In a new series, members of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra share their own musical favourites...

Today, meet percussionist Stephen Kelly - listen to Stephen's playlist now, via Spotify, and read more about his picks below...

Miles Davis – Seven Steps to Heaven

I bought this CD (Four & More) for myself after finishing my last exam in the Junior Cert, went home and listened to it and Tony Williams’ drumming just knocked me out. He was aged only 18 when he recorded this (I was 15 first listening to it), and yet he played in a way that changed jazz drumming forever. As Mort Fega says when introducing the band: Kinda scary that a young man should have so much talent.’ Kinda being a huge understatement!!!

Richard Strauss – Eine Alpinesinfonie 

This recording is all about the then principal trumpet of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Miroslav Kejmar. Unbelievable trumpet playing. With a sound like a laser beam, he takes the bull by the horns. This is a turbocharged performance. Up to 11.

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – Moanin’

Staying in a trumpet vibe, Lee Morgan testifies! His solo is something else on this tune. Art Blakey’s accompaniment from the drums is pitch-perfect, he knows when to change gears and bring the volume up (or down!) or when to dig a little harder on the snare drum. A musical drummer – who knew?!! Check out those press rolls on snare drum...

Richard Wagner – Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches kind from Die Walküre

Well, if you’re going to put your most beloved daughter behind an impenetrable (to all but one man) wall of fire, it should be to a soundtrack of this dramatic magnitude. My favourite bit in the whole Ring cycle, and this version by the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, conducted by Karl Böhm always gets me going. Another performance that needs to played at maximum volume.

Bobby Hutcherson – Can You Read My Mind 

My wife Deirdre is a huge Christopher Reeve fan, she always had a massive crush on him. On this version of the love theme from Superman, Geri Allen’s piano playing goes hand in hand with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson’s soulful rendition, Christian McBride on bass for bonus awesomeness. A simply gorgeous tune.

Buddy Rich – Love for Sale

The world’s greatest drummer, Buddy Rich. No one comes close, the lightning-fast single stroke roll fill at 3:54 is just incredible! Nobody, not nobody, plays the drums like Buddy Rich, the technique, the drive, the attitude – he had it all in my opinion.

Led Zeppelin – Moby Dick

Get the led out!!! Cowbell? Check. Awesome riff? Check. Shredding guitar licks? Check. Drums battered with bare hands? Check. Subtle shading? Check. Lightning-speed stick work? Check. If Buddy is the world’s greatest drummer, John Bonham is surely the God of rock drumming. Maybe one day I’ll set fire to the RTÉ Concert Orchestra's gong. Might be my last day though . . . (Check out the end of The Song Remains the Same movie if you’re not sure what I’m on about!)

Find out more about the RTÉ Concert Orchestra here. 

Picture: Andres Poveda