Poinciana

About 5-6 years ago I realized I didn’t know how to play Poinciana. 

Poinciana is a very old song however in 1958 Ahmad Jamal recorded a live version with Israel Crosby & Vernel Fournier on the album ‘Live at the Pershing‘.  It’s a deceptively tricky groove and if you haven’t done your homework you’ll find yourself flat on your face struggling to keep this ‘simplistic beat’ going for very long.  At least that was my experience. 

When opening up the rabbit hole of this beat I ended up discovering what would become one of my favorite musicians of all time.  Vernel Fournier.  

After stumbling around with this groove for a bit I realized there wasn’t much online that could help and maybe there are other drummers having the same experience so I created a video tutorial.  Please keep in mind I had never made a ‘video’ up until this point so it’s a bit rough around the edges.  However, i’ll always hold this recording close as my late basset hound of 15 years decided to make a cameo mid way through…Iko! 

When this video hit 10,000+ views it triggered a copyright claim and therefore the sound was disabled.  

Poinciana drum tutorial, 2016

As a result of the audio getting nuked I decided to do something I said I would never do…recreate this live in the studio.  Yikes!  So in January of 2020 I had my friends James Driscoll & Richard Martin over to give it a shot.  They are both world class musicians and I think the result turned out fairly well.  

Poinciana trio performance, 2020

The drum transcription to tune is in Vernel Fournier’s ‘Drum Techniques‘ book which is out of print.  I do have a copy and if you’re interested please reach out.  

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