Michael Jackson was fat

Workshop: Michael Jackson - JAM

Drum workshop: Jonathan Moffet
by Tom Schäfer,

I.Michael Jackson would have celebrated his 60th birthday this year. His numerous multiplatin hits, which have redefined the concept of pop culture since the 1980s, will not be forgotten. Before everything is the album "Thriller" (1982), which is the world's best-selling album with an estimated 100 million copies.

Michael Jackson became one of the most influential pop stars in the world. His productions are considered to pave the way for the development of pop music. The checked out sounds of the drum grooves also set new standards.

The fact is that the drum tracks are produced to the point in terms of sound and intention. And the often electronically generated and often weird sounds were designed specifically for the song context in order to bring the beats to their full potential in their effect and energetic urgency.

A great example of this is the track “Jam”, which appeared on the 1991 album “Dangerous”. And here we come straight to the drummer who, like no other, has brought this groove track to life: Jonathan Moffett. He is one of the arena power drummers who has provided the megastars with magic groove tracks for almost his entire life. Be it Madonna, Lionel Richie, The Jacksons, Elton John, Janet Jackson or Michael Jackson.

Jonathan Moffett was Michael Jackson's first call drummer for the elaborate and extravagant stage productions. The two were linked by a friendship that lasted over 30 years, which began at the time of the Jackson 5, when Jonathan Moffett also played the live drums. Jonathan Moffett knows the Jackson groove world very well like no one else and is therefore considered to be the drummer who developed the role of the live drummer. Jonathan Moffett is also a charismatic "alpha drummer" who knows how to "carry out" the live adaptation of the produced groove tracks to a significant extent. This is also the case with the song “Jam”.

Although the track was not recorded by himself in the studio, Jonathan Moffett lives this groove track live like nobody else: with impressive passion, urgency, power and intensity.

In an informative video, Jonathan Moffett presents the original “Jam” live groove track, which also features his typical bass drum work. After all, Jonathan Moffett was nicknamed "Sugarfoot" because of his nimble pedaling technique. In this version, the “jam” groove was also planned for the live shows of the “This Is It!” Stage production.


The notated sequence comes from a video recording which also highlights the typical Jackson Jam drum sound quite well. Elementary is the high pitched cracking snare drum, a dry, precise kick power and dynamically played hi-hat beats. The dosage of the beats, the interaction of the sound contrasts and the entire flow of energy create a state of aggregation that sums up the unmistakable Moffett / Jackson groove power. Jam the groove!


(from STICKS 11: 12/2018)

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