December 31, 2008

James Zitro

James Zitro (dr): [Son­ny Sim­mons: Mu­sic from the Sphe­res] [Ja­mes Zit­ro: Zit­ro]

James Zitro is a Californian free jazz drummer originating from San Francisco. Besides a wonderul disc with Zitro as the leader on ESP Disk, he appears on recordings of Sonny Simmons and Bert Wilson.


Spring Day said...

I always owe so much to Lucky. He has given me a hint at this drummer - I had never heard of him before. Now I've listened to two albums with his playing - and I must say, his album as a leader touches me more than the Simmons album. Zitro's own disc sounds more versatile, has more levels, seems bursting with interesting ideas. Maybe this is all due to the fact that I like jazz drummers as bandleaders in general?

Lucky said...

when i saw the cover you posted here, i thought - hey, springy digged for the original cover!! but diggin myself, i found out, that this is an inside pic from the new esp cd-release. various cover-scans on this picasa album:

i think i've heard you saying the thing with the drummer leaders. well, who are they anyway?

looking back at the old j.-e. behrendt jazz book, chick webb and gene krupa started it, then came guys like mel lewis, buddy rich or louie bellson - all back in the old swing big band style.

modern jazz of the 50's brought us kenny clarke and max roach who led great hardbop groups, also chico hamilton and roy haynes comes to mind.

freejazz drummer leaders? sunny murray - even not much, and then?

tony williams was certainly the best in the jazzrock genre, with his stunning lifetime group. alphonse mouzon, billy cobham? well...

more modern drummer leaders include dutch pierre coubois, italian aldo romano or swiss fredy studer. robert wyatt and charles hayward are not really jazz drummers, but they owe jazz a great deal, and are 2 of my favorite drummer songwriters.

the more more modern players are a lot: gerry hemingway, pierre favre, han bennink (though not often as leader - he's his own one...). edward vesala from finland and british tony oxley, german paul lovens or east german günter "baby" sommer all had their own groups.

ornette alumni ronald shannon jackson lead his terrific decoding society band, davis moss being something like his pale counterpart.

oh - i almost forgot jack dejohnette's various groups as leader: i listened to them shortly after i began listening to jazz, his early 80's ecm recordings blew my top away!!

even more? joey baron (a bit), bobby previte (a bit more), and some more...

sorry, spring day - sometimes i'm truly awful!! :(

Spring Day said...

Hehe, it's certainly alright to be awful, and it's absolutely alright to come up with lists on a blog site whith a subtitle like "Encyclopedic Experiment". Most of the musicians you listed would appear here sooner or later... I hope.
I once posted an album of Californian jazz drummer Rich West somewhere. Quite nice.
And just a few weeks ago I bought an album of Pheeroan akLaff called "Sonogram". Wonderful, sometimes perfect interplay between akLaff, Sonny Sharrock and bassist Kenny Davis. Unfortunately the two saxophonists, Carlos Ward and John Stubblefield, sound rather uninspired on this set.
Yes, I didn't choose the cover, but rather the inside picture of the Zitro-album, because this was the clearest photo of Zitro that I could find.

Lucky said...

never heard of rich west, the review really sounds very interesting, same like the aklaff album - with sonny sharrock things can get very exciting, and aklaff played on sharrock's albums around the same time, 'seize the rainbow' being my all-time fave.

your link work is definately confusing like it should be, i never know what to expect, a dl-link, a link to a homepage, article, etc. >>> "surprise, surprise", ain't it? ;)

happy week-end.

Spring Day said...

Oh, there is a little bit of a secret to the links, they are not totally random. If you click the album titles (or in some cases song titles), you should either get a direct download - mostly from mediafire - or you'll get to a blog site where you can download this album/song. If you click the artist's name(s), you'll get to some purely info website, without downloads.
Thanks for the weekend wishes. Tomorrow is Chinese new year's eve, and we are going to celebrate by going to a classical Chinese orchestra's concert. Sure, we're also going to be dressed in Chinese traditional clothes tomorrow ;-)

Lucky said...

gongxi fa cai! ;)

been in indonesia some years ago, where the new year was celebrated by the chinese minority quite big - all day everybody greeted each other with 'gongxi fa cai!', i still hear the melody of it.

Spring Day said...

You're so kind. And, you're not only wishing well, but also know the correct hanyu pinyin (official latin type transcription) spelling. So, you'll deserve some reward, as a Chinese new year's present to you - and anybody else who's coming across our extensive conversation here:
The mentioned albums of Rich West and Pheeroan akLaff.

Lucky said...


Lucky said...

and here's some
to celebrate...

... and MUCH more stuff, too ;)

Spring Day said...

I've just found a new article on All About Jazz about another drummer who's at the same time a leader/composer worth to be followed in the future: Tyshawn Sorey.