Transcription Tuesday: Billy Higgins on The Sidewinder

Allaboutjazz.com calls Billy Higgins “reportedly the most recorded jazz drummer in history, and certainly one of the most beloved.”

Here is an excerpt from “The Sidewinder,”¬†one of his classic grooves, (iTunes link).

Some things to note:

  1. The time feel is famously somewhere between straight and swing.
  2. Seemingly insignificant details make it work. For instance, Higgins lays out on the very first beat of the head and enters on beat 2.
  3. Higgins sticks the exact same groove with no improvisation until partway through the first solo. Sometimes simple is best.

Billy Higgins on Sidewinder