Sonny Rollins’ “St. Thomas” (from Saxophone Colossus, Prestige OJCCD-2912/0-7079), a classic jazz standard in the calypso style, features Max Roach in one of the first recorded examples of a Latin-influenced drum solo. Roach’s solo begins in the Latin style, using techniques such as rim-shots, clave (stick on the rim), and single-stroke rolls between the snare drum without snares and the clave sound. Later in the solo, Roach moves into a swing style and incorporates the bass drum as a solo voice rather than the ostinato function it served in the beginning of the solo. “St. Thomas” was recorded on June 22, 1956 and feature, in addition to Max Roach, Sonny Rollins on tenor sax, Tommy Flanagan on piano, and Doug Watkins on bass.
Mark Farnsworth is a student at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio where he studies with Bob Breithaupt and is a percussion major in the Jazz Studies program. Mark has also studied with Ed Soph, John Von Ohlen, Guy Remonko, and Jim Rupp.