product review

Product Demo: Nicky Moon Custom Cup Chimes

In building a new percussion set up for a groove program to be named later, I asked cymbalsmith Nicky Moon to make some cup chimes for me. We corresponded a bit about what I wanted them to do, and Nicky NAILED it. This was the first time I have ever hired a custom shop to do something like this and was very pleasantly surprised. You can learn more about his artistry here:

**NOTE I have NOT been paid to post this, I paid for the chimes arms-length and am sharing what I learned with you, because that's what teachers do!**

Product Review: Sabian 20" Zen China

Product Review: Sabian 20" Zen China

Sabian has certainly cemented itself as one of the major cymbal manufacturers along with Zildjian (my personal fave) and Paiste. Sabian is a relatively newer company (although many companies are newer than Zildjian, which was founded in 1623 - yes, you read that right).

One of the lines of products I have thought highly of has been Sabian’s HHX line, which is somewhat analogous to Zildjian’s K series. The pieces are mostly darker in tone, more geared towards jazz than rock, although you will find many rock players with Sabian HHXs on their kits.

Book Review: Creative Quest, by Questlove

Book Review: Creative Quest, by Questlove

Perhaps one of the most prolific creators of today is Amir K. Thompson, who is better known as Questlove to the millions of people who see him lead The Roots every weeknight on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  For most performers, The Tonight Show gig would be the capstone achievement in a career. Not so here. The Tonight Show gig is really only one of a handful of Questlove’s simultaneous creative pursuits that seemingly defy human capacity.  How does he do all those projects, and do them all at such a high level?  

The mind reels when you consider that in addition to co-leading The Roots with Tariq Trotter, Questlove: 1) teaches at New York University; 2) has published multiple books, and several of those of those books (including Creative Quest) have landed on the New York Times Best Seller List, which I’d argue is still the gold standard of legitimacy (or at least commercial viability - more on that later); 3) gigs extensively as a DJ and 4) runs The Roots Picnic, an annual summer music festival in Philadelphia that is hugely popular.  This list is non-exhaustive, and omits the radio show, the podcast and quite a few other things, but you get the picture.

Product review! Zildjian K Sweet Crash 18"

You have to be careful when you are shopping online for cymbals (especially if they are hand hammered like Zildjian Ks are). Every cymbal is a bit different, slightly differing in attack or decay or overtones, and I analogize it to non-musicians as if you are sampling wines.  No matter how consistent the manufacturing process is, no two bottles of wine of the same vintage from the same winery will taste identical.