Two Approaches to Jazz Drumming

For two consecutive weeks, we’ve been treated to compulsively listenable new albums by two excellent jazz drummers, Raphael Pannier (“Faune”) and Matt Wilson (“Hug!”). In many ways, the recordings couldn’t be more different. Pannier is a next generation virtuoso surrounded by other jazz killers — Miguel Zenon, Francois Moutin, Aaron Goldberg — whose spectacular modernist compositions are by turns angular and grooving. Wilson traffics in humor and hummable tunes, including his own. Fun, seasoned, and wise, Wilson’s music, as his album title suggests, is like a pleasing embrace. Pannier’s stuff is more like full-body cuddling. Both deliver sonic experiences that remind you why drums have been the basis of music ever since homo sapiens heard his heart.

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