Drum Rudiments
September 14, 2007 6:50 PM   Subscribe

Flam, parradidle and ratamacue... (single link YouTube) brings to mind the late john Bohnham. Also Rich/Krupa. And Steve Gadd. Elvin Jones just passed away and did I mention Ed Shaughnessy? Black and white! Drummers can get tripped out or tripped in. Drummers read the Wikipedia and they will open up if you let them... I am sure every drummer here has a back beat. Drums have always been about physical comedy.
posted by St Urbain's Horseman (60 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. Did anyone else watch the entire ten minute Jon Bonham drum solo?

In a word, wtf.

*mind. blown.*
posted by humannaire at 7:03 PM on September 14, 2007

Wow, I'm crazy impressed with that physical comedy link. Atkinson has amazingly good timing... never misses a beat.
posted by phrontist at 7:14 PM on September 14, 2007

Kreutzmann; don't wear your own swag on stage!
posted by Tube at 7:27 PM on September 14, 2007

At first, with the 10 minute solo video, I wasn't that impressed. I was just like, "Okay, he can play well enough when no one is there."

I shut up at about 5 minutes.

I mean. Really.

posted by Alex404 at 7:47 PM on September 14, 2007

Whenever I pull a drum solo I like to close my eyes and make like this guy. Try and keep it danceable, you know? If only I had a horn section to work with...
posted by waxboy at 8:02 PM on September 14, 2007

Joey Baron. Way musical.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:19 PM on September 14, 2007

Too easy, waxy lazy...
posted by St Urbain's Horseman at 8:22 PM on September 14, 2007

Joey Baron again. Way grooving, has a clue...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:30 PM on September 14, 2007

And thanks for the Rowan Atkinson clip, I enjoyed that immensely!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:31 PM on September 14, 2007

Art Blakey, 1965.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:33 PM on September 14, 2007

Elvin Jones / Max Roach.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:35 PM on September 14, 2007

More Jones / Roach / Blakey.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:38 PM on September 14, 2007

And rounding the trio out to three...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:43 PM on September 14, 2007

Drums have always been about physical comedy.

I'm intrigued by this statement. Can you elaborate?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:45 PM on September 14, 2007

Nice stuff :)
posted by Dub at 8:51 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

flapjax wins.
posted by Alex404 at 8:53 PM on September 14, 2007

As far as I'm concerned, you just can't have too many drums and drummer threads on MeFi, either, so thanks for the post! And for those wanting to explore more, beyond the excellent links that St Urbain's Horseman has provided: Previously on MetaFilter.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:01 PM on September 14, 2007

Regarding physical comedy and drumming, there is, of course, the great Dutch drummer Han Bennink, who is both immensely talented and a natural-born comedian. A helluva nice guy and always who is always a joy to hear/see. Check him out playing this drum set made of cheese! Here's a previous FPP on Bennink.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:17 PM on September 14, 2007

Aw, c'mon guys, you barely scratched it.

There's a reason Tony Williams was playing with Miles when he was 17...
posted by toma at 9:40 PM on September 14, 2007

Good lord, yes, toma. Tony Williams was such a ridiculously talented and musical player from such a shockingly young age, it's... hell, it was almost scary. I think there were more than a few aspiring jazz drummers who sort of threw in the towel and went into the used car business upon hearing Tony Williams.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:44 PM on September 14, 2007

I'm crazy for Tony.

This guy dressed like your Dad, but he got off one of the coolest solos ever in the original 'Take Five.' Joe Morello with another take.
posted by toma at 9:50 PM on September 14, 2007

With the passing of Joe Zawinul, got to look again at some terrific Weather Report stuff. Peter Erskine is great...
posted by toma at 9:54 PM on September 14, 2007

I saw Tony Bennet in concert a few years ago and about halfway through the concert he introduced his drummer and honestly I thought, oh no, the drum solo (forgive me drummers). So they spotlighted the dude and I swear about a minute into it I had goosebumps. It was AMAZING. If I remember correctly he said that he used to be the drummer for Sammy Davis Jr. but I can't remember his name.
posted by vronsky at 9:56 PM on September 14, 2007

Here's another one of the monsters, Simon Phillips. He can play anything, but he's probably best known for his stints with Jeff Beck and The Who.

Here's one of his impossible solos, demonstrating freakish independence...
posted by toma at 10:04 PM on September 14, 2007

There was a nice couple who used to hang out at the place I played pool. We got to talking music, and I said I was an Elvis Costello fan.

She perked up, "Oh yeah, I met him."

"Really? How'd you do that?"

"Oh--he played with my Dad."

"Really--who's your Dad?"

"Earl Palmer."
posted by toma at 10:20 PM on September 14, 2007

Started to wander around YouTube after watching the Rowan Atkinson link, quickly found this. Excellent.
posted by davejay at 10:27 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

note to self: buy drum kit for kids before they're 3.
posted by davejay at 10:28 PM on September 14, 2007

Hah--that Super Mario is funny.

Hey, if you like bass playing too, check this one out with Stanley Clarke and Armand Sabel-Lecco, having some fun. After about 5 minutes, they turn my old studio-mate, Joel Taylor, loose. He's terrific.
posted by toma at 10:55 PM on September 14, 2007

If I remember correctly he said that he used to be the drummer for Sammy Davis Jr. but I can't remember his name.

Sammy's great show drummer (who I was just listening to a few days ago on this classic recording) was Michael Silva. Some say he's dead; others say he's living in Paris.

When I saw them back in the late 60's, of course, Sammy played drums too during the show. And sang, tap-danced, told jokes, did impressions, did rope tricks, twirled guns... astounding, really.

This guy dressed like your Dad, but he got off one of the coolest solos ever

Definitely. The first time I saw that Brubeck quartet play (in a high school auditorium, also late 60s), Morello was doing a fast roll during Take Five and lost the stick in his right hand, which flew up and off the stage into the wings. Unfazed, he continued the roll with his left hand, reached down with his right to pick up a new stick, and continued the solo. I don't even think most of the crowd even knew it had happened.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:56 PM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, pardon me, I gotta do it again. He murders.

Vinnie, again, playing absolutely diseased stuff. Time freak. Everything freak.
posted by toma at 11:27 PM on September 14, 2007

I don't even think most of the crowd even knew it had happened.

The stagehand who wound up with a drum stick lodged in his eye definitely knew it had happened, though...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:29 PM on September 14, 2007

flapjax wins.

Yeah, when you team up Blakey, Jones, and Roach together you ain't never gonna lose a drum battle. I loved the shots of Elvin watching the other two. And interesting to see, too, how great they sounded when they barely had a dozen drum heads between the three of them.

I have to put a word in, too, for Miles Davis’s favorite, and the first drummer I ever loved: Philly Joe Jones. Who played with such effortless cool for so many years (even with Thelonious Monk wandering around watching him).

p.s. the full-length version of Nutty: Monk and Philly Joe in 1969.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:31 PM on September 14, 2007

And props to toma, who only recently posted a drummer FPP to the blue.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:38 PM on September 14, 2007

...back at you, flapjax, for staying on top of all the musical goodness.

And in case anyone thought drummers like Buddy were just soloists, check out his big band, no slouches. Time Check rocks.

Okay, which way to the bar?
posted by toma at 12:07 AM on September 15, 2007

Speaking of Buddy (who you can't avoid in any discussion of the drum greats) and a fine big band, toma, in this Tonight Show clip he's just turned 68! Playing a tune he recorded over 40 years earlier. You think about old blues guitarists or maybe New Orleans piano players, but a drummer almost 70 playing like this?
posted by LeLiLo at 1:01 AM on September 15, 2007

No discussion of Buddy Rich is quite complete, though, without mention of the infamous bus tapes, surreptitiously taped by one or more band members, documenting Buddy's insanely over-the-top tirades at his band members. Man had some issues...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:36 AM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Hey lelilo, nice. Thanks for all the cool posts.

You got me double-checking--my 'slouches' link is from the following year, if you can believe it. When he was either 69 or 70 (Wikipedia, his 90th 'birthday's in two weeks).

I doubt I'll surprise you, but the drummers I hang with are in agreement about Buddy, two or three different ways:
1.) Amazing. A cut-throat monster of the Jazz Age. Forgive him the 'whiteness' of his friends and bands, this guy's a musical die-hard's die-hard. Everything thing he played was bad-ass.
2.) A freak, with those hands. Maybe the greatest hands in history. Especially the left, really shocking for a rightie to have such a murderous left. Most solos can't even be charted, too complex.
3.) Never lost it. Maybe the most shocking--close to immortal. He was still a scary motherfucker the moment he died.

He's almost gotten a little bit of that Sun-Ra thing, where you mention the guy and everybody just shrugs their shoulders, as if to say "Yeah--Dude is on his own planet."
posted by toma at 2:59 AM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

And flapjax, I thought long and hard, but decided not to link Buddy's 'Clamming!!' take. But it is funny.

...I may still be able to find Paul Anka's 'The guys get SHIRTS!'...
posted by toma at 3:01 AM on September 15, 2007

The guys get shirts. That's just the fuckin' way it is.
posted by toma at 3:05 AM on September 15, 2007

..wow. so quiet.

*wanders around big empty space*

*kicks broken glass*
posted by toma at 4:20 AM on September 15, 2007

Virgil Donati rolls with his feet.
posted by toma at 4:24 AM on September 15, 2007

Max Roach, in homage to Papa Jo Jones, rolls all over the chrome.
posted by toma at 4:31 AM on September 15, 2007

Thomas Lang rolls on his sticks, to start...
posted by toma at 4:41 AM on September 15, 2007

Animal rolls with Buddy, for a minute or two...
posted by toma at 4:48 AM on September 15, 2007

Sri TH Subash Chandran rolls his 'Rrs'...
posted by toma at 4:55 AM on September 15, 2007

..Keith Carlock gets the lead role in the 'play' every drummer wants...
posted by toma at 5:04 AM on September 15, 2007

..you don't roll with Abe Laboriel jr...
posted by toma at 5:10 AM on September 15, 2007

Hi toma! I'm still here! But keep kicking that glass around, I love that sound!

Hey, you mentioned Papa Jo Jones: I have a little Papa Jo story:

Round the year 1978 or so, I had just moved to Boston. I was eager to get into jazz, at least that's what I thought at the time, and was hanging out and playing with guys from the jazz and Third Stream departments at the New England Conservatory. Anyway, I was doing some jam sessions and such, and one guy I met, a piano player, one day asked me: would I like to drum for two nights of open jam sessions with Papa Jo Jones that were going to be happening at a club north of Boston? (The place was a Shelley Manne-owned club called Shelley's Man Hole...) I said: What? I'm a drummer, Papa Jo is a drummer, what're you talking about? He told me Papa Jo wanted to do alternating sets, he didn't want to drum all night long, he wanted another drummer up there so he could chill at the bar and not have to work so damn hard all night!

Now, I wasn't exactly a font of jazz knowledge, but I did know that Papa Jo had a reputation as being very, shall we say, demanding of his sidemen. That is, he'd bite guys heads off, onstage, for not living up to his exacting standards of musicianship. He was famous for standing up in the middle of a tune if some soloist or pianist or whatever wasn't cutting it, and throwing his ride cymbal onto the stage floor! So I said to the guy, nah, uh-uh, I'm not going to do that, man, you must be crazy! But he says: no, no, it won't be like that with you! He wants to lay out every other set, he's not gonna fuck with you! So, I said... okay!

And indeed, I went up there those nights, and played alternating sets with Papa Jo Jones! And I was a pretty awful jazz drummer, really. Jazz drumming has never been my forte, to put it mildly, and Papa Jo (as well as any number of the guys I was playing with those nights, probably) knew damn well that I wasn't ever gonna set the jazz world on fire with my rhythmic innovations (I think all I really had was an Elvin Jones-like propensity for triplets: I used them constantly). BUT... like the pianist said he would, Papa Jo left me alone. What he really seemed to want to do was hang at the bar and shoot the shit! And indeed, on the bandstand he really laid into some of those brave young souls who had the nerve to show up at his jam sessions. I recall he sent a couple of guys off the bandstand practically crying! But I think at that point that might've been him just sort of living up to his reputation. Just doing his shtick.

Anyway, hadn't thought about that in a loooong time, so thanks for mentioning Papa Jo, and reminding me!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:13 AM on September 15, 2007 [4 favorites]

Nice flapjax. Was just about to post on one of Abe's fans. You're probably not familiar with Abe, but another musical dude is...
posted by toma at 5:32 AM on September 15, 2007



Bed time.
posted by toma at 5:44 AM on September 15, 2007

Great post and thread. That Donati post reminds me that when I first heard Peart's solos I thought he was doing a roll with his feet. So for months I practiced and practiced 'till I could almost, but not quite, manage a roll with my feet. I was showing the cool, older, drummer—you know, the twenty year old guy everyone idolizes when they are teenagers?—and he was like, um, yeah, that's kind of impressive but that's not what Peart is doing.

It's always a little weird to see these drummers that are so far above you (well, me) in talent that it's like they are playing an entirely different instrument. And they make it look so easy. I had a childhood acquaintance, via my grandmother (one of her friend's children), who, the first time I visited him and watched him play, he made me feel like I should just quite the instrument and find something else to do. I was sure he was going to have a great career—he was Otmar Liebart's first drummer. They played the Tonight Show and then within months he was fired. David was (is) an impressario and wanted to do some more interesting things than Liebart did. Last I heard, David was playing around the Bay Area. But he was just tremendously talented and you know that sinking feeling you get in your stomach and then the guy says, you want to sit down and play? And you're like, um, well, I think I need to go. :)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:17 AM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Man, Stevie Wonder can kill. I had no idea.
posted by anthill at 9:25 AM on September 15, 2007

I use YouTube regularly for my music class, my choir rehearsals, and my drum ensemble rehearsals. Fantastic stuff in here for my drum ensemble - I know one kid in particular who's going to freak out over that Tony Williams vid.

Thanks to all, plenty of stuff I didn't know about here. I'm looking forward to using it.
posted by honeydew at 9:30 AM on September 15, 2007

Man, flapjax, EB, I can completely put myself in your shoes. I started out playing rock n'roll, but figured I could still hang with anyone (I was that guy in the neighborhood who could play Neil Peart's stuff). Now I know I can only hang with a few, these guys are on another planet. Living in L.A., I don't bother getting behind the set because that drunk guy at the end of the bar will probably follow and tear the place up.

That's a hell of a story, Flapjax. I'm not sure I would have had the hair to alternate with Papa Jo Jones, that's one you can tell the kids. Good for you for taking the chance and getting through the gigs.

I have too many of those "I think I'll quit now" stories to count, EB. I think one of the rudest shocks I ever got was buying Jeff Beck's 'There and Back' and having absolutely no clue how to play Simon Phillip's 'Space Boogie'..(uh..*COUGH*..of course there's a video of Virgil playing it, why wouldn't there be...jesus..)..dual bass, shuffling in 7. I'm no better at it today than I was 20 years ago.

I was hanging out with the dudes, who used to get drunk and go back to the practice studio and play stuff, when one of those late night things started up. My buddy Paul was nudging me saying "let's see if we can get Joel (Taylor) to do that dual bass thing." After a little prompting, he sits down and plays a perfect heavy metal dual bass with his right foot. He just figured out he could alternate using the ball of his foot and his heel, sure, so obvious. Why didn't I think of that? Now I guess I gotta figure out how to get my elbows in on the act.

I love these threads because you can browse what others see as greatness. It's amazing how often people know it immediately, recognize it without doubt or hesitation. For such a cryptic and unexplainable thing, the art of 'music,' that's amazing. I think that speaks to the power and immediacy of it. Just looking at one of these videos can get me thinking about it all day. There seems to be no end, no upper limit, to what these guys can do, to where the state of the art will stop. I was going to be a scientist, but I quit grad school when I realized that music was an even bigger world, and one where individuality counts, thank god.

L.A. story: A b-ball buddy of mine had a favorite sushi place, and was there on like a weekend night. The tradition there was to shut down the place by playing 'Hotel California.' Some lucky soul gets a pair of sushi utensils from the chefs and bangs the bottoms of 'em on the counter in time to the 'thump-thump' where the band finally kicks in with Don's vocals. My pal is chatting away with this really nice guy next to him, when, lo-and-behold, he's tonight's honoree. The moment came, and he completely geeked the timing, drawing laughter and good-natured heckling from the crowd. He sheepishly gives the hardware back to the chefs, turns to that nice guy next to him and asks "so what do you do?" Guy replies "I'm the new drummer for The Eagles."

See yous.
posted by toma at 12:45 PM on September 15, 2007

Hey, I went off to bed at 4:20a, but you guys are still here.

He's almost gotten a little bit of that Sun-Ra thing, where you mention the guy and everybody just shrugs their shoulders, as if to say "Yeah--Dude is on his own planet."

Speaking of other planets, I loved the bit from Ashley Kahn’s book about Impulse Records, The House That Trane Built, where he quotes a clause Sun Ra insisted be included in one of his record contracts:

6. Similar Rights on Planets Other Than Earth. Company agrees that all rights discussed in paragraph 5 above, as well as all rights of distribution and retail sales, on planets other than Earth (including but not limited to Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter, and Mars) shall belong to Sun Ra.
posted by LeLiLo at 4:07 PM on September 15, 2007

I remember seeing Elvin Jones in Virginia around 1993, when he would have been in his mid-60s. A friend and I had gotten a bit crispy beforehand, and we just sat there agape, laughing in astonishment as he played so badassedly he almost kicked his bass drum off the stage. Keiko had to keep coming out and pushing it back in place. Unreal.
posted by gottabefunky at 4:29 PM on September 15, 2007

I remember seeing Elvin Jones...

I saw him once too, from a front row table at a small-ish club in Boston, in the late 70s or early 80s, can't remember exactly, but I was struck by his continual gravelly-voiced growling and grunting as he played. Man, sometimes all that vocalizing was just about as loud as anything else onstage! It only added to this powerhouse aura he exuded. A burgeoning, sweaty rhythm machine. He was, as the kids say, awesome.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:47 PM on September 15, 2007

Ha, fantastic post and thread, glad I didn't miss it!
posted by snsranch at 5:51 PM on September 15, 2007

Yipee! Matt is a born drummer.;-)
posted by St Urbain's Horseman at 7:28 PM on September 15, 2007

Speaking of Sun-Ra, in Oakland I got hooked up with Eddie Gale at show at Maritime Hall I did around '98. We vibed each other a mile away, and from there even got together for a small tour.

What I learned is what we all listen for is the sound between beats. Whoa...

...and Sun Ra is on it, and I mean now hear and forever.
posted by humannaire at 7:40 PM on September 16, 2007

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