Mel Lewis

Mel Lewis
"In 1989, Mel Lewis was invited by Loren Schoenberg of WKCR radio in New York City, to do a series of radio interviews discussing his knowledge of historically significant jazz drummers.  For the past 20 years, the audio has been available to only a select number of drummers, existing only in cassette format.  As part of the PAS Drum Set Committee’s 50th Anniversary projects, John Riley and Loren Schoenberg have donated the audio to PAS, where it has been digitized for posting on the PAS web site.  Much of the audio has been transcribed in raw text form by student of John Riley and by Steve Fidyk.  Jim Lower, a student at the University of Central Missouri, formatted the Buddy Rich audio transcription into a standard interview format.  John Riley has recently written a short article about the interviews for Percussive Notes, which includes a section of Lower’s transcription and formatting." - Drumset Committee Chair, Michael Sekelsky

 

"MelLewis, 1929-1990, was loved by fellow musicians for his flowing, understated approach.  Fortunately his personality was anything but understated.  Mel loved to talk about music and musicians, and his recollections and analysis of many of the great Jazz drummers has been just added to the PAS archive in the form of 24 hours of audio from a series of eight three hour radio broadcasts Mel did with Loren Schoenberg for WKCR radio in 1989". - John Riley

Photo © Rick Mattingly

 

"Hanging out with Mel, listening to him talk about the people he knew, his take on rhythm, led me to do the series in 1984 or so. I don't remember the drummers we did that time but it was probably similar. Over the years, the tapes were lost. I thought Kenny Washington had a set (recorded off the air), he thought I had them. Ultimately, it was my bad, as they say. So in 1989, I asked Mel to repeat the series with me" -  Loren Schoenberg

Radio Interview with Mel Lewis

NOTE: The interviews are a series of long streaming audio segments. Please play one at a time to be able to stream audio effectively.

The History of Jazz Drums Part I

Warren "Baby" Dodds and Arthur "Zutty" Singleton - Part I



Warren "Baby" Dodds and Arthur "Zutty" Singleton- Part II



Ben Pollack, Kaiser Marshall, Paul Barbarin and Stan King - Part I



Ben Pollack, Kaiser Marshall, Paul Barbarin and Stan King - Part II



History of Jazz Drums Part II


William "Chick" Webb and Gene Krupa - Part I



William "Chick" Webb and Gene Krupa - Part II



Sonny Greer and Jonathan "Papa Jo" Jones - Part I



Sonny Greer and Jonathan "Papa Jo" Jones - Part II



History of Jazz Drums Part III

Davey Tough and Sidney "Big Sid" Catlett - Part I



Davey Tough and Sidney "Big Sid" Catlett - Part II



Sidney "Big Sid" Catlett and Rossiere "Shadow" Wilson - Part I



Sidney "Big Sid" Catlett and Rossiere "Shadow" Wilson - Part II



The History of Jazz Drums Part IV

Bernard "Buddy" Rich - Part I



Bernard "Buddy" Rich - Part II



Kenny "Klook" Clarke and Max Roach - Part I



Kenny "Klook" Clarke and Max Roach - Part II



The History of Jazz Drums Part V

Max Roach - Part I



Max Roach - Part II



Shelly Manne - Part I



Shelly Manne - Part II



The History of Jazz Drums Part VI

Art Blakey - Part I



Art Blakey - Part II



Norman "Tiny" Kahn - Part I



Norman "Tiny" Kahn - Part II



The History of Jazz Drums Part VII

Roy Haynes - Part I



Roy Haynes - Part II



"Philly" Joe Jones - Part I



"Philly" Joe Jones - Part II



The History of Jazz Drums Part VIII

Louis Bellson - Part I



Louis Bellson - Part II



Elvin Jones - Part I



Elvin Jones - Part II