193 – Bill Stewart: The Jazz Master on Trio Drumming, Composing, and Scofield
Bill Stewart has been one of the most unique voices in jazz drumming for decades. He is especially known for his work with jazz guitar greats Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, Peter Bernstein, and most consistently and profoundly, John Scofield. His resume is rounded out with other iconic artists such as Michael Brecker, Maceo Parker, Joe Lovano, and Nicholas Payton. He has released several recording as a leader including Think Before You Think, Snide Remarks, and his latest, Band Menu. Stewart grew up in Iowa but made the move to New York for college and never left, and has remained one of the most sought-after drummers in jazz.
In this podcast, Bill talks about:
- The dynamic of his new record, and playing and composing for a “chord-less” trio
- Growing up in Iowa and playing with family members and in Top 40 bands in high school
- His simultaneous development as a drummer and composer
- How other genres such as roots/blues and classical have influenced him
- His transition from Iowa to the East Coast, and from college to the New York scene
- Studying with Elliot Zigman
- The importance of playing with clarity – in rhythmic content, orchestration, and tone
- How he first hooked up with John Scofield, and the musical adventures they’ve had since
- His long-standing trio with Larry Goldings and Peter Bernstein, and his thoughts on playing with organ
The challenges and opportunities presented by trio drumming
Bill Stewart endorses Gretsch drums, Remo drumheads, and Zildjian cymbals and sticks.