Jas Kayser Picks Out Her Percussive Inspirations

Her new album is out now...

It's no secret that UK jazz is going through something of a platinum spell.

A host of artists have crashed through the glass ceiling, preparing spaces for others to follow, and to grow.

Drummer, percussionist, and composer Jas Kayser is next in line, with the Dorset-raised 26 year old enjoying an incredible trajectory.

After studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, she's worked with luminaries such as Shabaka Hutchings and Nubya Garcia, while also holding down spots alongside Poppy Ajudha and Jorja Smith.

Her own work is equally sought after. Jas Kayser leads from the front, her open, undulating, expressive style opening up avenues for her collaborators to travel down.

Recording a brand new album for Jazz re:freshed – a body that have done so much to support the music – her excellent '5ive' is out now.

To inaugurate its release, Jas sat down with Clash to discuss her drumming inspirations.

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Terri Lyne Carrington – 'Pray The Gay Away'

Terri Lyne Carrington is my all time favourite drummer. I admire her drumming but most of all I love her projects as a band leader and producer. This song is from her most recent album ‘Social Science’. A beautiful album with a POWERFUL message. This song stood out to me the most with the song being introduced by Terri Lynes hip groove on drums. The production is so perfect and I originally heard the beat flipped at first but when the melody came in it blew my mind.

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Tony Allen – 'Moyege'

Tony Allen is my hero. After all he is the innovator of Afro-Beat rhythms on the drums and his playing with Fela Kuti is out of this world. I love hearing drummers lead their own band and all of his original music is killing. I love this song from the ‘Lagos No Shaking’ album. My favourite part about it is the chorus melodies. So catchy! What a vibe!

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Marcus Gilmore – Drum Trading on 'Fingerprints' with Chick Corea

Marcus Gilmore has got to be best in the game in my opinion! I wish I could play like him, his freedom to express himself on the drums is admirable! This video of his trading with the GREAT Chick Corea captured on someone’s phone at Blue Note is my favourite. I watch it regularly! His ability to add his flavour to the musical situations and be so technical yet humble about the way he develops the solo is beautiful!

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Cleon Edwards – 'When Will I See You' (RC & The Gritz)

Choosing my top five drummers is unbelievably difficult because it probably changes every day…! However, I have been really loving RC & The Gritz (Eryka Badu’s house band) for a while now and they just released this live album called ‘Live in Deep Ellum’.

This song is such a banger and features Cleon Edwards soloing around it. His playing is like beautifully choppy plus sweet and tasty all at the same time!

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Pedrito Martinez – 'Que Palo'

To finish off this fun reminisce of some of my favourite drummers I can’t help but include this monster percussionist, Pedrito Martinez. He is born in Cuba and has played with so many greats but also leads his own band.

I recently discovered this tune and have it on repeat. I love the way he sings and plays and the way he combines his Cuban roots like salsa, timba etc. with a modern twist is perfection.

There is so much rhythm and Cuban music history to learn from his playing.

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Photo Credit: Fabrice Bourgelle

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