- Jamiroquai - Space Cowboy
- Elaborated performance based on 16th note
- Focus on your left hand
- A pattern hard to keep balance
- How about our younger generations?
Let's return to my starting point this time. I'm going to look into acid jazz music in the Jamiroquai's album "The Return of the Space Cowboy" released in 1994 that I covered in my past article. Let's see acid jazz in the song "Space Cowboy" from the album that I heard some ten thousands of times to physically wear the disk down!
See the previous article here:
Elaborated performance based on 16th note
The rich and bull-bodied sound of Rhodes panning to the left and right, Jay Kay's gentle voice floats to make us chill out. Really nice and cool. Fine performances of the bass and drums based on 16th note phrasing are attractive in it. The drummer is Derrick McKenzie. Since he is originally (still now?) left-handed, I'm not very sure whether it is the reason or not, accented notes with left hand are relatively smooth compared to average right-handed drummers.
In the basic pattern, while playing 16 beats with both hands, open hi-hat appears occasionally in 3rd and 4th beat. It sounds beautiful and sophisticated. In the 10th bar, as you can see, hi-hat and snare drum fill up every 16 notes cleanly. He forms the fill by hi-hat and snare drum keeping the RLRL sequence of both hands in 16th notes.
Focus on your left hand
Just before the chorus in the 14th bar, he made a brilliant dive into the chorus with a syncopated 16th upbeat note. Open hi-hat with left hand and immediately cymbal with left hand on the 4th beat. It is very important to hit this cymbal accent smoothly with left hand (highlighted in red). In a typical drum kit layout in a studio or the like, the left side cymbal may be out of reach when you play hi-hat with both hands. Therefore, it is better to position the left side cymbal just above hi-hat, high tom, or wherever closer to you as needed.
From the chorus from the 15th bar, open hi-hat corresponds to the keyboard and bass. Sparkling 16th upbeat anticipations and syncopations! Here again give your full attention to your left hand. Do not forget to occasionally decorate it with 32nd notes ticks. Also see below for the difference between anticipation and syncopation. In a nutshell, there are various opinions on the words' definition.
A pattern hard to keep balance
A bridge section from the 22nd bar goes with a different kind of pattern. Keeping the open hi-hat on 8th note upbeat, in all the bars kicks syncopate and snare is hit at a bit unusual places. This is a pattern hard to maintain balance, but precisely because it is irregular, it obviously characterizes the song. So we'd like to play the pattern just like this.
How about our younger generations?
For me music of this age is my origin. I heard and imitated it to learn music and drums. I wonder what kind of genre and artists are the origins of young people these days. Is it like Blink-182? No, when I asked members of my band younger than me by over 10 years, they gave Earth, Wind & Fire, Bootsy Collins, Tower of Power, and even Lee Ritenour as examples of their origin. There may not be a bigger gap among musicians than I thought.