Here’s a collection of some interesting jazz grooves from various standards, some of these tunes come from the hard-bop era. Drummers like Papa Jo Jones, Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, Vernel Fournier, and Elvin Jones are the masters of these latin-oriented grooves.
The first groove is the famous calypso played by Max Roach on “St Thomas” from the studio album Saxophone Colossus (1956) by Sonny Rollins.
“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, with the hi-hat on 2 and 3.
“A Night in Tunisia” from the album Our Man in Paris (1963) by saxophonist Dexter Gordon is a perfect example of a latin-oriented groove. The drummer is the legendary Kenny Clarke.
“Poinciana” is an album by pianist Ahmad Jamal recorded in 1963. 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.
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 tom on 4 (played on the first and second eight-note).
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!
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 drumming.
Here’s the PDF with all the transcriptions.