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Billy-Drummond


"Drummond's playing exudes a wealth of jazz history along with a surprisingly adventurous approach...he arrives as one of the most promising leader-drummers in jazz," states a recent feature article about Billy in Modern Drummer magazine. He was born in 1959 in Newport News, Virginia and began to play the drums at the age of four, influenced by his father who was also a drummer. His love affair with jazz began through his father's record collection, which included many of the classic recordings of Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Max Roach, and so on.During his youth, Billy played in various school and local bands, studying many styles of music. He then went on to college and obtained a degree in Music Performance.

In early 1988, Billy arrived in New York City, looking forward to experiencing a healthier jazz scene. His first major break on the circuit was to join the young band,"Out of the Blue" (OTB), with whom he recorded on the group's final CD for Blue Note Records. Soon after, Billy joined piano master Horace Silver's Sextet and toured with them extensively.
In recent years, many of the world's greatest jazz artists have called upon Billy to tour and record with them including: Sonny Rollins, Pat Metheny, Joe Henderson, J.J. Johnson, Nat Adderley, Bobby Hutcherson, James Moody, Andrew Hill, Freddie Hubbard and Steve Kuhn. He has also contributed to the work of the new generation of musicians such as Javon Jackson, Renee Rosnes and Chris Potter among others. Billy is most definitely in the pantheon of tasteful drummers whose musicality and finesse always contribute to a greater effect.

In addition to being one of the most sought-after sidemen, Billy Drummond has released three CDs as a leader; Native Colours features Steve Nelson, Steve Wilson, Renee Rosnes and Ray Drummond, The Gift includes Seamus Blake, Renee Rosnes and Peter Washington. Jazz Times magazine said the recording featured "a richness and total lack of cliches," and called the recording "a fine piece of work - imaginative, satisfying and memorable." On Dubai, his third solo release, "Drummond's nimble, pianoless quartet spins jazz on the head of a pin with stunning results."

Dubai was voted # 1 on New York Times jazz critic Peter Watrous' Top Ten List of 1996. The CD features the two tenors of Chris Potter and Walt Weiskopf, bassist Peter Washington as well as Billy's powerful drumming at the helm. The material is a compelling mix of originals by the leader and members of the quartet, rounded out with compositions by Dewey Redman, Pat Metheny and Billy Strayhorn. Dubai received high praise from critics, and recently received a four star review in Downbeat magazine in which the author states, "a case has been made for Billy Drummond's new persona: one of the hippest bandleaders now at work."

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