You can’t even begin to discuss the topic of New Orleans drumming without paying homage to the groundbreaking grooves of Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste. As the original drummer with the earthy funk group the Meters, Modeliste crafted a tricky style based upon confounding parts that managed to be both active and laid back at once. His beats often turned around, linear fills were divided between the four limbs, and second-line clave was always implied in his syncopation. The following transcription is Modeliste’s part from the instrumental “Cissy Strut,” which was a Top 10 hit in the spring of 1969. Be sure to check out the unconventional relationship between his bass drum and snare on the turnarounds, and the creative voicing on his hi-hat throughout.

Zigaboo Modeliste’s Funk Workout 1
Zigaboo Modeliste’s Funk Workout 2
Zigaboo Modeliste’s Funk Workout 3