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drumming is dancing, dancing is drumming
December 17, 2011 8:46 PM   Subscribe

I'm willing to bet that even a lot of you who say "I don't like drum solos" will, well... like this one.
posted by flapjax at midnite (101 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now, just for you folks who might find this kind of thing interesting, let me just tell you a little about the drums ol' Fred is using here. You'll note a couple of barrel-shaped tom-toms: those are Chinese, and in the early days of the drum kit (also known as the "trap set" or the "trap kit") it was those Chinese drums that were ubiquitous. Also note, the two pedals on either side of the drum assemblage: those are the precursors to the modern hi-hat. The hi-hat started out being, well, not so high. Those are called... low boys!

OK, that's it for your evolution-of-the-modern-drum-kit primer!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:52 PM on December 17, 2011 [15 favorites]


That was awesome (although the drum sounds were all done in post, obviously... the mid-size tom on the left unaccountably had a snare sound). Does history record whether Fred could actually drum seriously?
posted by unSane at 8:53 PM on December 17, 2011


Did the Chinese drums have snares on them? Cos I definitely heard them on one of them.
posted by unSane at 8:54 PM on December 17, 2011


For the TLDW's, the good part's at 3:05 (but, you know, it's all good).
posted by hanoixan at 9:00 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not a fan of drum solos, it's a form of musical masturbation. But in that video, the drumming is secondary to his dancing and tapping skills so I wouldn't consider it a drum solo.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:02 PM on December 17, 2011


Well thank christ for that. I've just sat through some of the pure garbage in the BS of A post, which made me feel overwhelmingly fucking sad, so it's good to have found something to take some of the bad taste away. Thank you.
posted by The Discredited Ape at 9:03 PM on December 17, 2011


He's incredible. I've never seen anyone so light on their feet - he dances like his body weighs 20 pounds.
posted by facetious at 9:04 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's another one.
posted by eye of newt at 9:12 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not a fan of drum solos, it's a form of musical masturbation.

They're no more or less masturbatory than any other instrumental solo -- the big difference is because they're entirely rhythmic without a melodic or harmonic component, you usually have to be a drummer to really enjoy them. For example: watching this guy play a fluid 7/8 groove with a steady backbeat on the 3 and the 6 1/2 completely blew my mind, but if you don't know what he's doing it just sounds like, y'know, drumming.
posted by unSane at 9:20 PM on December 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


I dunno, he's no Tommy Lee
posted by empath at 9:31 PM on December 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Amazing.

And he's smiling the whole. Frikkin. Time.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 9:32 PM on December 17, 2011


I'm not a fan of drum solos, it's a form of musical masturbation.

Anyone who paints drum solos, with a broad brush, as being "masturbatory", is someone who has never heard this or this or this (solo at 1:14) or this or any number of other stunningly musical drum solos. Or, If they have heard these and so many others, then they are simply... not listening. They don't know how to listen. And the fact that they are proud to indicate such is only a reflection on their own limitations regarding artistic and musical perception.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:37 PM on December 17, 2011 [24 favorites]


Not enough explosions.
posted by Ickster at 9:39 PM on December 17, 2011


I'm not a fan of drum solos, it's a form of musical masturbation.

You need to be better acquainted with Neal Peart's more recent drum solos, then. They're melodic, they have structure, and they transcend the typical drum solo in nearly every respect.

(Apparently David Letterman did a full week of drum solos. Here's Shelia E from the same week. Not really a solo, but damn that chick can RAWK!)

Also, this is more of a drum duet, but it's completely awesome.

Okay, back to the actual content of this FPP.
posted by hippybear at 9:41 PM on December 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think when most haters of drum solos talk about their hatred of drum solos, they are thinking of ROCK drum solos, which do tend to be wankery.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:44 PM on December 17, 2011


Okay, back to the actual content of this FPP.

I for one have no problem with further discussion of drum solos (and any links to good ones!) because I think it does relate to the "actual content" of this post!

For that matter, so do other tap dancing examples, and with that in mind, heck, here's the fabulous Nicholas Brothers in a number which, according to the YouTube uploader, was described by Fred Astaire as "the greatest dance number ever filmed."
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:48 PM on December 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


This confirms my theory that America used to be a lot cooler.
posted by bardic at 9:52 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not a fan of drum solos or guitar solos or theremin solos or any form of music wankery. I appreciate musical technique on instruments of all sorts, but perfect technique does not a musician make. In the video you linked in your FPP, he is not a drummer and the talent he exhibits in the video is secondary to his "drumming." I wouldn't consider your FPP link to be a "drum solo" which is what my comment addressed.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 11:05 PM on December 17, 2011


This is the best of all possible threads.
posted by cmoj at 11:19 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not a fan of drum solos or guitar solos or theremin solos or any form of music wankery

It's really, really sad that you equate "solo" with "wankery".
posted by 3FLryan at 11:26 PM on December 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I guess, in the strictest sense, since masturbation = solo for sex, masturbation = solo for music. But man, that solo can be a beautiful, intense, wonderful thing.
posted by 3FLryan at 11:28 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


perfect technique does not a musician make.

I'd be the first to agree with that. Many of my favorite musicians throughout history have had far from "perfect technique". But, also, I'd say that there is no such thing as "perfect technique". What does that even mean, anyway?

For my part, I'm not interested in any kind of concept of "perfect technique". I am interested in good music, and that can happen in solos, duos, trios, quartets, quintest, sextets, septets, 8, 9, 10 piece bands, big bands, orchestras, and among planets.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:32 PM on December 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm not a big drum solo person either, but I have been meaning to share Buddy Rich's West Side Story Medley on Parkinson (song starts at about 0:56, most epic drum solo at about 6:42). The sheer combination of exhaustion and exhilaration he displays as he comes down after the performance with his sweat rag in hand reminds me of an olympic athlete, at least if olympic athletes competed in v-neck pullovers.
posted by zachlipton at 11:32 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Suave as fuck.
posted by bayani at 11:39 PM on December 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


and among planets

Aha, a fan of Kepler!
posted by 3FLryan at 11:40 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Aha, a fan of Kepler!

Yeah, but his second record sucked. He let Venus take too many solos. Total masturbation.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:46 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I already forwarded that to every drummer I know telling them to burn their sticks, because in the end, drummers suck.
posted by timsteil at 11:46 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


aw, shucks, Tim, you're too kind!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:48 PM on December 17, 2011


I dunno, he's no Tommy Lee

Oh, really?
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 11:51 PM on December 17, 2011


Did the Chinese drums have snares on them?

I've only ever seen them used, historically, as toms, quite separate from the snare drum, and I would imagine that they were very rarely, if ever, outfitted with snares to turn them into snare drums. But... maybe that one was retrofitted? Or, as you'd mentioned, post-production might be responsible for substituting the actual sound, that is replacing it with a snare sound.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:59 PM on December 17, 2011


Another guy playing drums with his feet.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:00 AM on December 18, 2011


What's awesome is the guy probably smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and drank like a fish. You don't see talent like that much anymore.
posted by dobie at 12:04 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another guy playing drums with his feet
posted by twoleftfeet

A kind of ultimate eponystericalicity.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:12 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


wait the flute
posted by neuromodulator at 12:40 AM on December 18, 2011


The sheer combination of exhaustion and exhilaration he displays as he comes down after the performance with his sweat rag in hand reminds me of an olympic athlete, at least if olympic athletes competed in v-neck pullovers.

Come on now this is just inviting the masturbation comparisons!!!!
posted by palidor at 1:29 AM on December 18, 2011


MaryDellamorte: "I'm not a fan of drum solos, it's a form of musical masturbation."

See also: Any "blues" guitar player at any open blues jam as the do the SRV Overbite and smoke the competition.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:42 AM on December 18, 2011


Derail here, but how the hell can you compose a sentence that includes the phrases "with all due respect" and "fucking retard"?

That aside, having a brother who is a drummer(and used to compete in competitions,) I can definitely appreciate the musicality that goes into drum solos.
posted by Drumhellz at 1:47 AM on December 18, 2011


It's really, really sad that you equate "solo" with "wankery".
posted by 3FLryan at 7:26 AM on December 18


Indeed. To claim "Solos are wankery" is plain wrong, not least because that statement doesn't have the words "Joe Satriani" at the beginning.
posted by Decani at 1:47 AM on December 18, 2011


[Comment deleted; maybe the commenter would like to rephrase?]
posted by taz at 1:53 AM on December 18, 2011


To be fair, let's not forget there's at least a whole music generation that grew up under the shadow of punk and its visceral hatred of anything that smacked of prog rockery, bearded weirdies or pomposity. Any solo, drums, guitar, whatever, trigger those buttons. For others, the song is everything and solos disrupt the song; my late wife was like that.

But for most people a drum solo at a concert is just a good time to get another beer....
posted by MartinWisse at 2:12 AM on December 18, 2011


To be fair, let's not forget there's at least a whole music generation that grew up under the shadow of punk and its visceral hatred of anything that smacked of prog rockery, bearded weirdies or pomposity.

Yeah. How tragically limiting, though, to have punk be your litmus test for all the other musics of the world. The rich diversity of musical expression throughout the ages, all seen through the prism of whether or not Sid Vicious would've liked it. How incredibly provincial, how ridiculously absurd.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:24 AM on December 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well the cool thing about rich diversity of musical expression is that it can attract different tastes. Someone who has played a certain instrument may enjoy the dedication to craft that an incredible solo displays in the same way that a punk enthusiast would enjoy the raw emotion and message of a particular track.

I think the division in some of the posts in this thread really speaks to the appreciation of different forms of art.
posted by Drumhellz at 2:55 AM on December 18, 2011


And the ironic thing is, some of the punks shouting the loudest about drum solo wankery also owned more thna their fair share of King Crimson, Yes or Genesis albums...
posted by MartinWisse at 3:07 AM on December 18, 2011


That was awesome (although the drum sounds were all done in post, obviously...

Really? I mean, I know a lof of on-set sound is dubbed in post even now, but (in parts of this at least) the sync is very, very tight. Watch the sequence with him kicking the snare at http://youtu.be/DtwWQMwRf-M?t=1m4s. That's pretty tight. Granted there is also an obvious lack of visible mics (although goodness knows how drums would actually have been recorded then anyway)... but are we absolutely sure the sound comes from post?

Given he's so capable of doing this beautifully anyway, and it's such a great gag that he can do it whilst dancing... gah, perhaps what I'm saying is, it just seems such a shame if they couldn't use the sounds he actually made...
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 3:47 AM on December 18, 2011


Fred Astaire continues to blow my god damned mind with every clip. Thanks for this!

(Was originally going to wank on about Neil Peart and either his recent Letterman appearance (thx hippybear!) or that 3D YYZ video, but, I mean, damn.)
posted by cavalier at 3:57 AM on December 18, 2011


Yeah, but straight afterwards Ginger Rogers did it backwards and in high heels
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:59 AM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


that would bring the Andopolis drum kit to an even thirty pieces
posted by nathancaswell at 4:36 AM on December 18, 2011


I'm not a fan of drum solos or guitar solos or theremin solos or any form of music wankery

Ah, like vocal solos or violin solos or piano solos. It's all wankery until it's ensemble, then it progresses to a circle jerk, with which you seem more comfortable. You don't like music, and you're here to tell people who do that they actually like listening to people masturbate.

In any case, I applaud the strong and courageous statement of self you've delivered here, though it's unclear whether your bravery is inspired by idiocy or vice versa.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:56 AM on December 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


drum solos and bass solos got a very bad reputation in the 60s and 70s when it seemed that half the rock bands out there insisted that we be subjected to what was, indeed, wankery - and i'll add the 10 minute wanking on a guitar with the rest of the band sitting out excursions to that

all i can say is you'd better be good and you'd better have something to say if you're doing it - and a lot of those guys weren't
posted by pyramid termite at 5:16 AM on December 18, 2011


are we absolutely sure the sound comes from post?

Absolutely 100%. You could get frame accurate sync in post even back then. The sound of the kit is just too good and there are no mics. It's impossible to mic up a kit to sound that good and not have mics visible. The drums are all close mic'd (there's almost no room ambience at all). Not to mention the fact that the toe of a leather shoe isn't going to produce a nice 'crack' like a stick. AND the fact that one of those Chinese toms that Flapjax mentioned seems to be playing a snare sound!
posted by unSane at 5:26 AM on December 18, 2011


Incidentally, the tom sounds on that recording are fantastic -- a massive crunch and no boing at all.
posted by unSane at 5:28 AM on December 18, 2011


drum solos and bass solos got a very bad reputation in the 60s and 70s

Hmm... were there really that many bass solos going on? I mean, in rock, which is what you're talking about, right pt? I dunno, I grew up with a lotta 60s and 70s music, but I just don't recall all that many bass solos. Have I blocked 'em out of my mind?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:30 AM on December 18, 2011


When I think epic wanking 70s solo I think flute.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:36 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like a little bit of boing in a tom sound. Boing! High harmonics! Rubber ball!
posted by Wolof at 5:37 AM on December 18, 2011


and among planets.

Holst?
posted by ersatz at 5:46 AM on December 18, 2011


Music is, from one perspective, a completely unnecessary past-time; it is a useless way to pleasure our dumb brains that evolved musical expression as an accident. All forms of music are wankery, not just the one you choose to dislike.

All forms of music are also awesome. Our lives would be incomplete without music. Why all the hating on wanking, figurative or literal?
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 5:47 AM on December 18, 2011


I like drum solos like I like tap dancing: never, unless the guy on the drums is as good a drummer as Fred Astaire was a dancer. In this case, of course, we pretty much have both.

I also like masturbatory performances, but the same rule holds: only if the wanker is as good a wanker as Fred Astaire was a dancer. So... almost never. (And I'd pay good money to see Fred Astaire masturbate with his tap shoes.)
posted by pracowity at 5:54 AM on December 18, 2011


I'd pay good money to see Fred Astaire masturbate with his tap shoes.

That sounds painful.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:56 AM on December 18, 2011


Have I blocked 'em out of my mind?

it will take years of therapy for you to work through this and when you remember, you'll hate your therapist for it

they weren't as common as the drum solos, but yeah, they did happen - they weren't recorded as much, though - focus 3 has one, which is overlong - james gang's first album has one on "lost woman", but that one happens to be kickin', with the drummer playing along - i think vanilla fudge's "break song" and canned heat's "refried boogie" has them, but i'm not going through an hour of musical torture to confirm that - oh, and rare earth's "get ready", which isn't bad, but not as good as the sax or the drum solo

somewhere around 69 or 70, some bands thought recording drum solos was a good idea - maybe because it meant they could fill up 10 minutes of a record without having to come up with a song

i wonder if anyone's cataloged these - might be an interesting project for masochists
posted by pyramid termite at 6:05 AM on December 18, 2011


oh, yeah, james gang live has another bass solo, but that's a lot longer and a different bassist
posted by pyramid termite at 6:06 AM on December 18, 2011


fearfulsymmetry wrote
Yeah, but straight afterwards Ginger Rogers did it backwards and in high heels
Or in this case, Ginger Baker.
posted by Songdog at 6:25 AM on December 18, 2011


Indeed. To claim "Solos are wankery" is plain wrong, not least because that statement doesn't have the words "Joe Satriani" at the beginning.

Some of his stuff is wankery. Some of his stuff is beautiful. Sure is cool to hate, though.
posted by 3FLryan at 6:43 AM on December 18, 2011


So what you're saying is not all solos are wanking but all wanking is done solo.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:51 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


All this talk about the merits of the drum solo and everyone overlooks the one truly astounding thing about Astaire's performance: "One continuous shot beginning 0:12 all the way to the finish-- absolutely no cuts."
Unbelievable.
posted by TDavis at 6:51 AM on December 18, 2011


: Does history record whether Fred could actually drum seriously?

Seems likely... I found a picture of him on the drums at home.
posted by zennie at 7:00 AM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyway, shouldn't be too scornful about wanking: it's sex with somebody you love after all.
posted by MartinWisse at 7:02 AM on December 18, 2011


While we're talking about midcentury novelty tap dance routines, here's Gene Kelly performing my favorite midcentury novelty tap dance routine of all time. And while we're on the subject of tap dance routines that incorporate drums in impressively creative ways, here's Eleanor Powell performing my favorite drum-incorporating tap dance routine of all time, with bonus Buddy Rich.
posted by pts at 7:10 AM on December 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, but straight afterwards Ginger Rogers did it backwards and in high heels

And then Fred dubbed her taps for her in post because she wasn't precise enough.
posted by sixswitch at 7:12 AM on December 18, 2011


Not enough explosions.

Or cowbell.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:17 AM on December 18, 2011


Papa Jo Jones doesn't need sticks...
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:29 AM on December 18, 2011


Not that he doesn't use them...
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:30 AM on December 18, 2011


Fred Astaire was always a percussionist in his dancing, even without the gimmick of actual drums.

For a more understated example, there is his ashtray sand dance in Top Hat, which is sort of his answer to subtle brushwork on the snare.
posted by marco_nj at 7:33 AM on December 18, 2011


Those chinese drums look more like big cheeses to me. Could it be...?

And speaking of theremin solos, here's Pamelia Kurstin playing backwards and in high heels. (No, really, she has a left-handed theremin! I'm not sure about the footwear, though.)
posted by moonmilk at 7:49 AM on December 18, 2011


(Confirmed the heels at 8:05, though they're not very high)
posted by moonmilk at 7:52 AM on December 18, 2011


So what you're saying is not all solos are wanking but all wanking is done solo.

I'm saying wanking is in the hand of the beholder.
posted by 3FLryan at 7:54 AM on December 18, 2011


"here's the fabulous Nicholas Brothers"

Holy hell! That was excellent.
posted by oddman at 7:58 AM on December 18, 2011


drum solos and bass solos got a very bad reputation in the 60s and 70s when it seemed that half the rock bands out there insisted that we be subjected to what was, indeed, wankery - and i'll add the 10 minute wanking on a guitar with the rest of the band sitting out excursions to that

Place: Some music fest in Austin in the early 2000s.

Time: The penultimate act, The Blues Travelers. The closing band was going to be Black Crowes, who we liked alright and were interesting in seeing. Didn't have anything against Blues Traveler per se, either.

30 minutes later: After the 3rd or 4th interminable harmonica solo, we decided that we didn't need to see the Black Crowes that bad and went home.
posted by kmz at 8:13 AM on December 18, 2011


The next time some drummer gets all snappish because I looked at their kit for too long or got too close, or I breathed near it, I am sending them this link. With a note saying, "When you are sleeping, I will sneak into your practice space."
posted by not_on_display at 8:48 AM on December 18, 2011


are we absolutely sure the sound comes from post?


The tap sounds from his shoes are more than likely post also, so I would figure the drum sounds are also post
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 9:17 AM on December 18, 2011


I'm saying wanking is in the hand of the beholder.

I suppose that's better than wanking in the eye of the beholder.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:22 AM on December 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I honestly don't know what anyone means to communicate when they describe a product of any sort as "masturbatory". Perhaps if the solo was done alone in a sound-insulated practice space; or perhaps if it was deliberately grating, to feed the performer's inner troll; or perhaps if only the performer could hear it; but if someone else, even one person, is enjoying it? That's regular artistic intercourse of a kind that you apparently don't like, for whatever reason.
posted by LogicalDash at 10:03 AM on December 18, 2011


I've always liked them, even if it's just a hi hat: Mr. Hi Hat.

Gee. It's kinda fun to play a bunch of these solos at once in separate tabs!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:28 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hi, bass player here. Not only did I start playing in the 70s, but I started out in jazz and my closest friend, Greg, was a king-hell drummer, who was also in jazz band with me. We lived fairly close to each other, so in the first four years I spent playing I probably spent 80% of those hours jamming with just this one guy, just drum and bass.

There's a thousand stories I could relate about solos that he did that lasted for hours, or our discussions about what makes good music or bad solos, or how I would come back at mid-morning Saturday after playing until midnight Friday and have him say (already seated and playing at his kit), "Hey! Do that, da-da-dat, da-da-dat, da-da-DAH thing from last night. Now! Hurry up and plug in!"

But the one story from this wholly unexpected MeFi thread that just hit me like a ton of bricks was the one that just happened ten minutes ago ...

I came by Greg's house one day, and I'm telling him about this interview I just read with Buddy Rich. They started talking about what kind pieces Rich liked to have in his kit, and when they were talking about bass drums he said something like 'But my favorites were the Slingerland such-and-such.'

And the interviewer said, 'That was the same kind of kick drum you played in your famous double bass solo in 1949 at the New York Paramount.'

And they got off into the is tangent about this legendary solo that Buddy Rich played only once using just a double kick drum set up. Everybody knew about it, but there were no known recordings, no known photographs. I told this to Greg, and we spent the next span of time talking about how could that even be possible, how could you make anything using just two kick drums.

It was different back then. You'd cling to little scraps of information, pictures seen in advertisements; "What is that next to the keyboards," "Whoa dude, check out the drum kit in this shot!" I hadn't thought about that, literally, since 1976 when I read upthread that someone mentioned Buddy Rich. So I typed in "buddy rich twin bass solo" into Google, and I swear to God, there it was!

After more than thirty years, that I could find this just floors me.
posted by Relay at 10:41 AM on December 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


Yeah, but straight afterwards Ginger Rogers did it backwards and in high heels

Or in this case, Ginger Baker.


Baker would, while smoking a cigarette down to the end without dropping an ash.
posted by ovvl at 11:10 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


LogicalDash: I honestly don't know what anyone means to communicate when they describe a product of any sort as "masturbatory". [...] but if someone else, even one person, is enjoying it? That's regular artistic intercourse of a kind that you apparently don't like, for whatever reason.

Well, one person can enjoy watching another masturbate.

The claim of "masturbatory" is that the musician's main goal is to pleasure themselves — in the case of solos, by making a display of prowess, observing it, and being all, "I am so awesome". If the audience is involved, it is only (as far as the musician is concerned, and according to this theory of the musician's motives) to feel awe and thereby feed the musician's ego.

Of course, there are the usual problems with attributing motive, but I think that's what people mean.
posted by stebulus at 11:18 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


If it has the little cymbal that goes "pssh" I like it.
posted by clvrmnky at 11:23 AM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll watch Terry Bozzio masturbate any day of the week.
posted by Splunge at 12:05 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


How about a little gyroscopic drumming?
posted by Quasimike at 12:30 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find this an example of the breadth of "talent" that was required of actors in the early days. Like James Cagney singing and dancing instead of behind a machine gun.

Would Fred Astaire be allowed even a bit part today?

Now we have Bruce Willis, and Vin Diesel.

Today, the biggest "stars" in movies are the special effects guys.

Aside from the dancing, the most appealing part of the drum solo here is "timbre" not pyrotechnics. I say that as a former drummer with no talent. YouTube Max Roach or any of the old jazz drummers. It wasn't the fussilade, but the tension they created. I've seen guys play the stand of a high hat and a cowbell and leave me in awe.
posted by private_idaho at 1:08 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since we're talking about drum solos etc., I can't help but link this video from the recording session for Flora Purim's Speed of Light with Billy Cobham (drums) and Freddie Santiago (cajon).

Disclaimer: Freddie is my uncle.
posted by lizarrd at 2:53 PM on December 18, 2011


Huh, totally forgot to link it. Here it is.
posted by lizarrd at 2:54 PM on December 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nope
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:05 PM on December 18, 2011


Well this has been a day! This, and earlier I watched "An American In Paris" with its signature ballet at the end. A single malt before bed and I may just curl into the fetal position, so comfortable will I be. Thanks a bunch for posting this.
posted by Mike D at 5:29 PM on December 18, 2011


Yep, thank you flapjax, great post!
posted by snsranch at 5:34 PM on December 18, 2011


more awesome theremin in a ted talk
posted by garlic at 5:53 PM on December 18, 2011


Jeff Porcaro explaining his drumming on Rosanna.
posted by gen at 1:34 AM on December 19, 2011


Hah. I was just watching that Fred/drum sequence three or four days ago; it showed up on the YouTube sidebar when I was looking for Sammy Davis, Jr. videos. (Speaking of remarkable tap dancing, here’s Sammy in 1947 with his father and the man he called his uncle.) I'd been thinking about the time (April 1967) I saw Sammy at the University of Pennsylvania, and he was just mind-bogglingly good — not only dancing, singing, impressions, telling jokes, but also twirling guns, doing rope tricks, and yes, even taking a more than capable drum solo.

When I interviewed Chick Corea (also many years ago) and asked about his influences, he simply said "Fred Astaire." Some people have technical skill, others have passion, he told me, and a few rare souls — like Fred (and Sammy, of course) have both.
posted by LeLiLo at 4:09 AM on December 19, 2011


I have been meaning to share Buddy Rich's West Side Story Medley on Parkinson

You just can't talk about drumming without mentioning Buddy. To repeat myself (talking about a different Buddy Rich video in a different drum post started by the same flapjax four years ago), you also have to remember that on that show, he was about 65 years old! Astounding. When I saw him play that medley live, about 10 years earlier, he was even better.

As toma said about Buddy in that earlier post, in one of my favorite all-time MeFi comments: "1.) Amazing... Everything thing he played was bad-ass. 2.) A freak, with those hands. Maybe the greatest hands in history... 3.) Never lost it. Maybe the most shocking — close to immortal. He was still a scary motherfucker the moment he died."
posted by LeLiLo at 4:24 AM on December 19, 2011


Correction: That earlier post was started by St Urbain’s Horseman. I also was just revisiting this great flapjax post (from four years ago as well), ”Give the Drummer Some.”
posted by LeLiLo at 4:31 AM on December 19, 2011


I'm a big supporter of wankery and masturbation in all their forms and I won't stand for anyone sullying them by association with dance and drumming.
posted by chairface at 8:13 AM on December 19, 2011


Some of his stuff is wankery . Some of his stuff is beautiful . Sure is cool to hate, though.
posted by 3FLryan at 2:43 PM on December 18


There's nothing cool about hating Joe Satriani. The word is right, not cool.
posted by Decani at 11:03 AM on December 22, 2011


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