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Though Sean Jefferson has certainly made it his life’s work to try and master the vast traditions set forth by the long lineage of elite jazz skinsmen before him, he never set out to make music strictly for drummers. Or musicians. Or even jazz fans. Yes, he has studied rigorously. Yes, he has a knack for putting a fresh, cerebral spin on meter. Yes, he grooves hard and swings tight. But Jefferson has since day one been in search of his own voice. And, though he is already pushing jazz drumming to all new horizons, as a composer he points the way to a vision of jazz’s future as a language. Never content to fall into the role of pedestrian beat-supplier Sean nonetheless insists that drums must always fit into the greater whole of the music. At the same time that Jefferson was being moved to view timekeeping in rich, metaphysical terms by drumming trailblazers like Elvin Jones, Jack De Johnette, and Jeff “Tain” Watts, he was equally moved by composers such as Thelonious Monk, Aaron Copeland, Paul Hindemith, Ludwig Van Beethoven, and renowned drummer/composer Brian Blade.
Inventive, ambitious, layered... Sean Jefferson operates on many planes at once, employing the drumset as a small orchestra that is loaded with a variety of individual instruments. The term “harmony” isn’t often referred to in the context of the drums, but for Jefferson it is of the utmost importance. And even given the immense weight of jazz history that he has volunteered to carry – not to mention today’s vibrant creative climate, Sean sits perfectly poised to stand out, be heard, and leave his mark on the artform.