Yussef Dayes’ 10 favourite drummers

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A big part of what made Yussef Kamaal’s Black Focus such a success was its rhythm and, while the band its its original form might be changing, the electric presence of Yussef Dayes remains. His work with YK and United Vibrations has elevated the drums for a younger generation of jazz fans, showing their true potential and power. One of the UK’s most accomplished young drummers, Yussef wouldn’t be where he is now without his forefathers. He’s ten of his favourites.

Catch Yussef as part of United Vibrations at Funk & Soul Weekender (12th-14th May).

Milford Graves

Milford is someone I rate highly. “If people didn’t play Caribbean music or West African music, or the diaspora of African music that spread all throughout South and Central America and into the early Southern states, they would have no idea of the connection between so-called bebop drumming and African drumming. If you didn’t play that, you wouldn’t know.”

Harvey Mason

This album is that classic ish!! Only a few can make the groove moving like that.

Clyde Stubberfield

R.I.P to the original funky drummer!! Whether it be funk, hip-hop, drum & bass. Clyde’s drumming will be found at the source.

Max Roach

Max is the martial artist of the drum set!

Elvin Jones

Music for the soul. Elvin’s energy always emmitting strong.

Idris Muhammad

With Idris you can hear his personality through his music. He brings a story. His style was very languid.


Questlove brought the sauce on this album.

Doudou N’Diaye Rose

I’ve been deeply influenced by Sabar drumming. The tradition is a way of communication, I find it’s something I can relate to. Doudou was one the original Sabar masters. He recorded his album with 50 drummers and 80 singers some of whom were his children. If you watch the footage on Youtube you’ll see the power of his drumming.

Tony Allen

Tony is one of the main pillars of afrobeat! It’s beautiful to watch his drumming, and see the way he makes it look effortless. And he’ll always make you dance!

Carlton Barrett

Carlton along with his brother Aston “Family Man” Barrett on bass, are my favourite drum and bass rhythm section. I feel as brothers, the connection and pulse is innate, and that is evident between these two!

Billy Cobham

I grew up listening and playing along to all of his records, particularly his work with Mahavishnu Orchestra. He was the first drummer my Father showed me. I had the honour of studying with him when I was 12. It was humbling to meet someone you look up to and they’ve just got love and wisdom to share.

Tony Williams

Tony is someone that continues to inspire. He was a master of his craft. He’s one of the few drummers that had the high technical ability, but was always used in a musical way. I take to this track because you get the other side to him with the vocals.

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