Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Triple Play - 8/3/14

For this week's Sunday Triple Play, we focus on drums and percussion.  I had a hard time narrowing it to three choices since drumming in pertinent to nearly every single music form there is.  Even electronic music relies on a digital pulse representing a hard beat to keep things moving.  I could've gone with more rock-oriented choices, some Celtic, Asian or Latin drumming (which I spend much time with in my free listening sessions) but after much deliberation, I narrowed it down to these three cuts.

First is Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart's one-time side venture, Diga Rhythm Band.  Hart is renowned for his love of and deep involvement with world music.  DRB probably has the most percussion per square inch of Hart's enterprises and I've always loved the jazzy xylophones that counter the dominant raga flavor of their music.  Next is the late African conga master Babatunde Olatunji.  When I worked in Baltimore City, I met a property abstractor who was a percussionist on the side and I always loved talking to him.  He turned me on to Olatunji and I'm grateful to him for it. 

Finally, we have the immortal Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich in a fun, freestyling jam on The Sammy Davis, Jr. Show.  Art Blakey is probably my favorite jazz drummer, but Krupa and Rich will always be recognized as the best of the best five piece kit slammers who roamed the Earth.  This clip is a joy to watch two legends enjoying themselves and their host, Sammy Davis, Jr. get into the whole thing along with the orchestra.

Diga Rhythm Band - "Razooli"

Babatunde Olatunji - "Oya (Primitive Fire)"

Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich drum battle on The Sammy Davis, Jr. Show

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