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Riddim: Claves of African Origin, by Billy Martin
Item #: AMAM06BOOK
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This remarkable collection of rhythms exposes Billy Martin's unique take on the drumming connections between Africa and the Americas.
Martin's notation can be easily read by anyone, with or without previous musical training. The book also includes a CD of Billy's drumming examples from the book (87 tracks). It is intriguing, musical and challenging.

96 pages. Language: English
CD features 87 tracks of drumming
Edited and produced by Dan Thress, publisher, Music In Motion Films

Check out the new Riddim book website* at

* The Riddim book website is interactive. You can choose which continent to view (mini-map at top left of page or from the pop up boxes). Click on some Riddims (I.E. x.x.xx.x.x.x) and it will open up a box with more information (picture, audio, text). Have fun!

Click the picture to the left for additional commentary.
Billy Martin, aka illy B, is a remarkable drummer, visual artist, and label owner, who has successfully carved out his own musical path. As the organic beat-maker for Medeski, Martin & Wood, Martin has successfully blended world-music cultures into his own style.

Influenced by musicians who move people, Martin's playing does just that. His roots-based approach digs deep into the African-fed cultures of Brazil and the Caribbean and serves them up with New York culture and attitude. Fueled by these traditions, Martin plays on these rhythms with the heart of an improvisor with influences ranging from avant-guard to hip-hop. As you might expect, the result is infectious.

Under all of Martin's riddims, or rhythms, are traditions that owe as much to bebop innovator Max Roach as reggae pioneer Sly Dunbar. And, as you will hear, Martin has not taken any short-cuts in mastering these rhythms. The result of his commitment to discovering the richness of rhythmic cultures, while developing his own personal sound on the instrument, is a very captivating sound on the drums.

This book documents many of the pathways that Billy has taken to find his unique voice. The claves in this book are keys to playing authentic based rhythms and improvising on them.

Learning different clave rhythms is similar to jazz musicians learning chord changes, voicings, and scale patterns which enable them to improvise on songs. Drummers are no different. The claves contained in this book open up rhythmic subdivisions, substitutions and a much wider vocabulary to draw upon than playing static beats.

Call them systems, bell patterns, or claves, be assured that there is much freedom to be gained from owning these rhythms. The coordination required to play these rhythms will challenge and benefit every aspect of your playing.

-Edited and produced by Dan Thress, publisher, Music In Motion Films
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