Here are some interesting Jazz/Latin grooves from various jazz standards, some of this tunes come from the hard-bop era, drummers like Papa Jo Jones, Kenny Clarke, Max Roach and Vernel Fournier are the masters of this latin oriented grooves.
The first groove is the famous calypso “St Thomas” played by Max Roach on the studio album Saxophone Colossus (1956) by Sonny Rollins.
Another Max Roach work is “George’s Dilemma” from the album Study in Brown (1955) by Clifford Brown & Max Roach Quintet. The tune is an AABA form with latin feel on the A section and swing feel on the bridge, the Latin groove is related to the Mambo Bell pattern with cross-stick on 2 and small-tom on 4 (played on the first and second quaver).
Similar to George’s Dilemma there is another tune with this feel… here’s “A Night in Tunisia” from the album Our Man in Paris (1963) by saxophonist Dexter Gordon, the drummer is the legendary Kenny Clarke.
Full House by Wes Montogomery is a live album recorded on June 25, 1962. On the intro of the tune “Full House” Jimmy Cobb plays a 3/4 latin groove, the right-hand plays on the floor tom shell and the left hand moving around the tom and the cross-stick, hi-hat plays on 2 and 3.
The next album I chose is “Poinciana” (1963) by the pianist Ahmad Jamal. On the title-track, Vernel Fournier plays a New Orleans oriented groove with an open-handed technique, left-hand plays on the hi-hat and right-hand plays (with a mallet) on the snare and on the floor tom… this tune is a masterpiece.
The self-titled track of the studio album The Sidewinder (1964) by Lee Morgan is a nice example of playing in the gap (not swing and not straight eights), Billy Higgins is a master of this feel. Lee Morgan plays an amazing solo, for me this tune is a good way to introduce someone to jazz music.
In 1976 Art Pepper recorded the album The Trip after a long period of inactivity. The title track is a 3/4 tune with an impressive Elvin Jones on drums.
Here’s the PDF of the transcriptions.