"LP does their homework," continues Haddad. "LP gear is popular even in Cuba where it's hard to find. I'll run across other instruments that sound good, but I can't use them, say on a gig like Paul Simon, because they're just not as dependable and durable as LP. The practicality of that goes beyond the slight differences in tones you might find."
Jamey Haddad is a multi talented percussionist and music instrument designer. He has also accumulated countless drumset and percussion credits, although he tends to play down the distinction: "If the drumset is considered a percussion instrument, then I guess it was my first percussion instrument." Haddad teaches both disciplines at Berklee College in Massachusetts and Mannes New School in New York.
"There's nothing that compares with playing jazz time on a ride cymbal," he says. "In that respect, I would prefer a dark, airy sound - that elusive thing that every drummer figures they have. When it comes to World Percussion, it's similar: there's a lot of elusive, "inside" information on any instrument. The people at LP figured out, when they made Batas, for example, how much inside detail they needed to make it special. As far as the instruments I've developed, form always follows function. I design an instrument because of the sound I'm missing and to fit with my technique."
In the Paul Winter Consort, Haddad plays with Glen Velez, referring to him as his "dance partner." In any musical relationship, Jamey makes what he calls "real time decisions," a subject he explores deeply in "Global Standard Time," his new book and video package. "In jazz," Jamey says, "everyone is making decisions on the fly. You need to learn the way your instrument works - or invent the way it can work!"