Mischa Porte, Songs Without Drums: Bill Withers - Hope She'll Be Happier
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This video is a coming together of 3 things:
1. I've been listening to Bill Withers a lot lately. His music attracts me because of the beautiful arrangements and his beautiful singing. It's special, yet it still feels easy to relate to. Like he's the guy from across the street.
2. The last few days I've been struggling with my own playing. I hear myself playing the same kinds of grooves and fills and it bores me. When asking friends and colleagues if they recognized this I got some great advice.
Vincent van Warmerdam told me to listen to some of the greats and literally become an amateur again; an admirer. "In your case Mischa, listen to Richie Hayward, Long Distance Love". The simple yet soulful playing by Richie indeed inspired me to play less notes. A lesson I thought I learned already.
3. Since Hal Blaine's passing I've been reading about him and discovering his discography. His influence on the evolution of modern drumming is huge. The same goes for Jim Keltner, who I've been a fan of for years.
These 3 separate things brought me to the idea of playing to Bill Withers' song, imagining I was part of the recording session in the 70's. I played a simple groove, like Richie Hayward maybe would, put in small accents and changes to follow the song's intensity. I felt inspired again by not trying to do anything fancy, but trying and hit every note to do right by the song.