I Want to Play Like Ralph

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I Want to Play Like Ralph

Postby 440ranch » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:31 pm

I was listening to one of my all time favorite albums, Herbie Mann's "Push Push".
I've always loved the conga playing... So, I looked it up, and its Ralph McDonald.
Cool, smooth, low key, just a few notes well placed... just the kind of thing I like.

So, after years I finally look up Ralph McDonald, not with us anymore, but turns out, a really interesting guy.
Not only has he played with a ton of greats, he also was a writer..."Winelight" for Grover Washington,
"Just The Two of Us" "Where Is The Love" for Roberta Flack...

I guess that helped him finance his conga playing, huh?
Cool guy.
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Re: I Want to Play Like Ralph

Postby Omelenko1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:35 pm

Ralph McDonald was probably the most recorded percussionist during the 70's and 80's. He had his own groove, not a Latin player the likes of Mongo or Barretto, but he had his own style and he blended perfectly. I always enjoyed his playing. (RIP)
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Re: I Want to Play Like Ralph

Postby RitmoBoricua » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:48 pm

Perhaps his calypso roots had a big influence in the way he played.
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Re: I Want to Play Like Ralph

Postby JohnnyConga » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:49 pm

440 Ranch if you want to play like Ralph I can show you how he played his 'signature' style( as I studied his style)..Ralph made his money from co-writing the song "Where is the Love" with his partner William Salter(a bass player) Roberta Flack recorded it and Ralph and William became millionaires off that one tune...so Ralph started his own Record lable ..before all that happened he was a 'session' musician in NYC...he actually started with Harry Belafonte and stayed with him for 13 years. His very last gig was touring with Jimmy Buffet...
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Re: I Want to Play Like Ralph

Postby 440ranch » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:53 pm

JohnnyConga wrote:440 Ranch if you want to play like Ralph I can show you how he played his 'signature' style( as I studied his style).a


Sure, lets do it, but...
Out here in the country, I have very poor Internet service for a two way camera deal.
Can you record them and put them on one of those clouds or something?

Can you chart it out on Time Unit Box System?

I'm sure we can figure something out.
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Re: I Want to Play Like Ralph

Postby Derbeno » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:46 am

RitmoBoricua wrote:Perhaps his calypso roots had a big influence in the way he played.


Well, his dad was a Calypsonian from Trinidad. In old time Calypso they actually played the Clave and then the faster Soca changed all that.
Echale candela, p'afinar los cueros
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Re: I Want to Play Like Ralph

Postby JohnnyConga » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:39 pm

Ok 440ranch here is my imitation of Ralph McDonald...i wanted to play along with a Brecker Bros recording Ralph is on but a friend of mine borrowed it...I can play along later with music when I get the album back...how'd I do?.....
http://youtu.be/xPMEmXNLQaA
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Re: I Want to Play Like Ralph

Postby 440ranch » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:12 pm

Hey! Thanks JC. That is very cool of you.

You should know that I do all my practicing in the feed room of my horse barn. Whenever I go up to feed the horses, I end up playing drums first, then I feed... So now when the horses are out in the pasture they have learned (Its a Pavlovian thing)
when they hear me playing, they come running up to the gate hoping to get fed...

So now, thanks to you, I'm pretty sure that I will have the only horses in the world that start to drool and come running when they hear Ralph McDonald.

Thanks JC
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Re: I Want to Play Like Ralph

Postby congamyk » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:56 pm

nice vid JC - you groovin'
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Re: I Want to Play Like Ralph

Postby Omelenko1 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:19 pm

Is that the "Ralph McDonald" or the "Rafael Maldonado" style? Just joking. That was great Johnny!
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Re: I Want to Play Like Ralph

Postby Hawker » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:24 am

440ranch wrote:Hey! Thanks JC. That is very cool of you.

You should know that I do all my practicing in the feed room of my horse barn. Whenever I go up to feed the horses, I end up playing drums first, then I feed... So now when the horses are out in the pasture they have learned (Its a Pavlovian thing)
when they hear me playing, they come running up to the gate hoping to get fed...

So now, thanks to you, I'm pretty sure that I will have the only horses in the world that start to drool and come running when they hear Ralph McDonald.

Thanks JC


Lol love the horse story. Nice job on the McDonald groove Johnny, he and Steve Gadd used to do a lot of stuff together.
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