In the fall of 2019, three of the greatest jazz and fusion drummers came to the Blue Note club in Poznań, Poland. They were Simon Phillips, Dennis Chambers and Omar Hakim. We just could not miss out on having a chat with them about what is most important in life, i. e. the drums. You can watch a tour of the Simon Phillips drum kit (HERE), Dennis Chambers is still ahead of us, and today Omar Hakim will present his gear. Exclusively for beatit.tv viewers!
“This drum set is sort of my go-to rig for pretty much any kind of music that I’m doing, particularly funk, rock, groove stuff. I used the same configuration on Daft Punk’s album ’Random Access Memories’ but it’s also the set-up I use on my band project Ozmosys. I’ve got three rack toms: 10”, 12” and 13”, two floor toms: 14” and 16”. I’m also using a 14” x 6.5” brass Pearl Custom Alloy snare drum. Everything is Pearl, by the way. In this case, it’s the Pearl Reference Pure Series. On my left I have my auxiliary snare drum, which is my personal signature snare drum that came out many years ago with Pearl. This is a 13” x 5” drum made of African mahogany. What I love about it is it has a pretty cool tuning range. It gets up in the range of a piccolo drum but it also gets down pretty low depending on what type of head you put on it. I like to refer to it as an alto snare drum than a piccolo snare drum because it has a slightly lower voice.
All the drums are fitted with Evans UV1 drum heads and Reso 7s on the bottom.
The drum sticks are, as usual, Vic Firth. Depending on the music or the song, I use my original signature Vic Firth stick or a variation of the AJ1 that also has my signature on it. This has a wood tip, as you can see. This is a nylon tip for a bigger sound on the cymbals, particularly the ride. I use nylon here because I don’t have to worry about the tip wearing out and I can keep a consistent sound on the bell of the ride.
Cymbalwise, from left to right, I’ve got this really fun stack that is made up of… Everything is Zildjian. A 14” Zildjian ZXT Transformer. I love it because it’s a gnarly looking little guy. On top of that, I’ve got a cymbal I don’t see that often any more. It’s the EFX Re-Mix cymbal with tambourines on it. It’s just a cool sound. Lovely sound! This is a 13” Thin Crash. Next to that is an Avedis 19” cymbal. What’s interesting about the Avedis product is they’re not designated as a specific role in your setup. In other words, this cymbal could easily be a ride or a crash depending on how you touch it. It has a lot of different sounds and a lot of personality. I love this. It sort of reminds me of the cymbals that came out in the 50s and 60s. Just a really incredible, lovely sound. I’m also using these lovely hats from the same series. So cool. They’re 14” Avedis hi hats. If you go to the other side of the kit, I’ve got a 20” K Custom Hybrid Ride. Again, a cymbal that has a really versatile sound. I love it because it has a very generous-size bell. As you can see from the different techniques used to finish the cymbal, you have a section that is smooth at the bell, hammered just outside of the bell and the rest of it is lathed like a normal cymbal. It’s a very cool and versatile sound. Here, we have an 18” K Sweet Crash. Also, you can see that the finish and the lathing are different and really give that cymbal its unique personality. Last in the family is one of my favorite cymbals. This is called the K Custom Hybrid Trash Smash. I like to refer to this cymbal as my chaos-creation cymbal. I can get some insanity going with that cymbal when I need to but also it has a lot of detail and complexity. I can do a lot of things. When I’m choosing a set of cymbals, I’m looking for a cymbal that will allow me to express different moods, sounds and colors. Each one of these is a world unto itself but together it’s a lovely orchestra of tones.
That’s my setup. Maybe I’ll see you at the concert tonight. Ozmosys! Coming to your town soon!”