In the run-up to NMB’s final gig of the year, we asked ensemblebash percussionist Chris Brannick to give us his Top 10 percussion tracks! Here’s how it rolls…
First, two videos featuring me. First with the amazing Steve Bingham, a cover version of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal that’s both funny and shows off a fair range of small percussion.
One of the highlights of my musical career has been to work with Stewart Copeland, ex-drummer for The Police, now a film composer. He never switched off, always 100% in every rehearsal from downbeat to packing up – and he’s a really nice guy, too. This is from a tour of Italy, playing the title music to The Equalizer. When he hits a drum, it damn well stays hit.
Difficult one this; I wanted a recording of Iannis Xenakis’ Psappha. Steve Schick does a brilliant job of playing it, but I’m not keen on his instrument choices, which all seem a bit small. I think the piece needs more drama. Still, a great performance.
If only Nexus had made a video… that’s the classic performance. This is pretty good, though, and the opening is spectacularly tight.
It would be a real shame to miss out on one of my favourite percussion areas – frame drumming. Here’s a rather lovely pandeiro solo by Ron Powell. Worth it just for the first 10 seconds…
The piece that probably started it all… Ionisation by Edgard Varèse, performed here by an expanded Amadinda – who are a fabulous group, but a bit serious.
Another of my favourites that I couldn’t find in a version that ticks all the boxes… here’s Amadinda again. I find this performance all a bit fast and frenetic. but it’s very accurate indeed. And technically stunning.