Jazz Drums

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
(has nothing whatsoever to contribute but is drinking from the cup of knowledge)

I'm glad this stuff is written down so I can refer back to it. You guys are all doing a great service to the furthering of jazz music by giving jazz know nothings like me a great roadmap to follow.
Whenever I'm bored I can just follow the Yellowbrick Road to the Emerald City.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Christ, I'm glad you got there first because I was about to have a thrombosis!

Dave Weckl is about as jazz as James Hetfield's right thumbnail...
But he absolutely nailed the overdubs on the Bird soundtrack. Not that I'd recommend him to someone looking for albums to learn the jazz vocabulary, but he can play jazz. Just as there was some youtube posted here of Roddy playing jazz pretty authentically.
 

Frost

Silver Member
Christ, I'm glad you got there first because I was about to have a thrombosis!

Dave Weckl is about as jazz as James Hetfield's right thumbnail...
What, you're implying that James Hetfield doesn't play jazz :p

Come on, the guy can't read music, give him a break.
 

Michael G

Silver Member
but I absolutely LOVE Dixieland stuff. Early New Orleans jazz stuff just grooves in a way that nothing else does.
yay

Since the overwhelming consensus seems to always jump to "Kind of Blue," don't get discouraged if you hate it or in general don't like it. Jazz has multiple styles that you gotta look around until you find the ones that suit your tastes.

Easiest way to do that I think is just start looking at the old "pioneer drummers" list and work your way up, listen to jazz as it progressed through history. Look at their vids and check out their sound samples. After all, if you want to learn jazz drumming and be more interested, it's helpful to have a selections that feature the drummer, which usually is the case with the few tracks uploaded to the site.
 

mrmike

Silver Member
+1 again for "Kind Of Blue" which may be the most beautiful jazz album ever recorded and from a drummers standpoint a great example of a nice relaxed swinging ride.

Speaking of a nice relaxed swinging ride, I think one of the greatest jazz drummers of all time that often gets overlooked in modern day but was considered the best in the business in his prime is Shelly Manne. I recommend "{Shelly Manne & His Men At The Black Hawk" volumes 1 through 5 as essential listening for anybody.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
I don't mean to create a ruckus, but I think "Kind of Blue" is a bad choice for an "entry point" to jazz.

It's a great record, of course, but it's one of several of Miles Davis' reactions to jazz as it was at the time. It's his idiocentric statement on where he intended to go as an artist and as such it just isn't a good representation of the music for someone just getting started.

I really think that bebop is the place to start, and I'd say that something like the Max Roach/Clifford Brown Quintet recordings would be much more suitable than "Kind of Blue."

The point is to get used to the genre by soaking up the music on the recordings that best represent bebop in its formative stages, and since bebop is the defining concept of most modern jazz I think it's best to look at players like early Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, even early Coltrane records (this is all off the top of my head) where the structures and changes were still very much in the swing/functional harmony/AABA context.

The nuts and bolts of modern jazz are well represented by many records that are easy to acquire, and once all that's been assimilated then by all means move on to "Kind of Blue," "A Love Supreme" and all the later phases of jazz.

But first, get the old "rhythm changes" into your ears and under your hands and feet. That is, after all, how the masters did it.

And now you may all commence beating me about the head. :)
 
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toddbishop

Platinum Member
I don't mean to create a ruckus, but I think "Kind of Blue" is a bad choice for an "entry point" to jazz.
It's a great entry point to jazz- it's got the original, classic renditions of three of the first tunes everybody learns- an AABA, a regular blues and a blues waltz, the changes are easy to grasp, Jimmy Cobb plays a lot of time and keeps the comping sparse, and as the most famous jazz LP in the world, every single other novice musician you run into is going to know about it.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
But he absolutely nailed the overdubs on the Bird soundtrack. Not that I'd recommend him to someone looking for albums to learn the jazz vocabulary, but he can play jazz. Just as there was some youtube posted here of Roddy playing jazz pretty authentically.
He might be able to play the parts, but in no way does that make Weckl a 'jazz drummer'. He is nothing of the sort. His sound and approach to the kit are both totally different.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
A couple of more corrections, while I'm at it: actually John Guerin did the overdubbed drums on Bird. As far as Weckl is concerned, check out his credits- he may not be any kind of bebopper, but he is certainly a jazz musician. Jazz covers a lot of territory these days- has for several decades now.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
he may not be any kind of bebopper, but he is certainly a jazz musician. Jazz covers a lot of territory these days- has for several decades now.
Sorry, not buying it. Weckl is not and never will be a jazz drummer. He has always been a fusion drummer, which is a totally different thing. There are those out there far more qualified to make judgements over the definition of 'jazz' than I am, but fusion developed in the 60's and 70's to be a distinct form separate from jazz. The aesthetic standpoint is different, the playing styles and techniques are different, the rhythms are different and the attitudes are different.

I think you are confusing fusion as an idea and a genre. It's a terrible word to use because it means so much and so little. Fusion might be formed as an idea within a subset of (largely) post-bop jazz experimentation, but it then developed into a separate genre that actually only really feeds from itself - 'breeds true' as it were. Then it stops being an idea. That's the tradition that Weckl comes from, not the jazz tradition that fusion is derived, but not a subset of any more.

Looked at his credits. Mainly Chick Corea and Mike Stern. Who are both fusion players. Corea was a jazz player, but also a key component in developing fusion into a distinct style of music that is not jazz.
 

jazzgregg

Pioneer Member
I don't mean to create a ruckus, but I think "Kind of Blue" is a bad choice for an "entry point" to jazz.

It's a great record, of course, but it's one of several of Miles Davis' reactions to jazz as it was at the time. It's his idiocentric statement on where he intended to go as an artist and as such it just isn't a good representation of the music for someone just getting started.

I really think that bebop is the place to start, and I'd say that something like the Max Roach/Clifford Brown Quintet recordings would be much more suitable than "Kind of Blue."

The point is to get used to the genre by soaking up the music on the recordings that best represent bebop in its formative stages, and since bebop is the defining concept of most modern jazz I think it's best to look at players like early Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, even early Coltrane records (this is all off the top of my head) where the structures and changes were still very much in the swing/functional harmony/AABA context.

The nuts and bolts of modern jazz are well represented by many records that are easy to acquire, and once all that's been assimilated then by all means move on to "Kind of Blue," "A Love Supreme" and all the later phases of jazz.

But first, get the old "rhythm changes" into your ears and under your hands and feet. That is, after all, how the masters did it.

And now you may all commence beating me about the head. :)
Wrong.
While bebop IS eventually essential listening, there is no better start than KOB. For all the reasons Todd said (though he is wrong about Weckl) and that it is easily accessable and understood by just about anyone, anywhere, ever. Not to mention it is much easier for a beginning Jazz drummer to play along to, very important.

History (music and otherwise) is built on reactions, it would be absurd to avoid something because you think it merely reactionary. Do you not read Machiavelli because it was written hundreds of years ago and directed at a government that doesn't exist? Do you not watch Godard's later films because of the social commentary? Do you avoid the Impressionists because they too were reacting to the previous art movement?

Furthermore, when talking MODERN Jazz, as in contemporary, 2011 Jazz, KOB is far more the foundation than bebop with it's modal harmonies, minimal approach and improv (and Coltrane). While rhythm changes are neccesary to know and understand for all Jazz musicians, they are anything but the foundations of modernism. As is the Brown/Roach stuff- though one of the best bebop groups ever, it sure as hell ain't modern Jazz. If you really want to go step by step construct, start with Armstrong, Ellington, etc, THAT would be how the masters did it. Bebop is jam session material.

Weckl- MFB is correct, he's as much a Jazz guy as Steve Lukather, as in, he isn't. What, Luke's played All Blues (what album is that off of again?) with Los Lobotomys? So What. If your instructional video contains any kind of sequenced music, you are not a Jazz drummer, the end.

GB
 
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Nealio1987

Senior Member
Im just starting to get into Jazz , could someone explain to me exactly what ' the real book' is and what it includes , many thanks.

Neal
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Im just starting to get into Jazz , could someone explain to me exactly what ' the real book' is and what it includes , many thanks.

Neal
It's a book consisting of lead sheets (and chords) of standards. The idea is that as an ensemble you can play using these sheets in a live performance. Generally they'll lay out the melody and a skeleton harmony. These are great for drummers too because then you can see the changes in the song - and when you're playing in a small combo, that is very important.

Thing was, they were unlicensed transcriptions so they were technically illegal to sell (but you still could get them) until recently when a licensed version was released. Not going to argue the merits either way, that's a discussion for another forum...
 

synergy

Senior Member
When I saw the OP I thought this was a thread about drums feeling undervalued in today's society so they constantly have to have a chip on their shoulder!!!! ; )

Sorry to the 'Jazz' guys- just couldnt help myself


We could start a Metal Drums thread as well!!! I'm a metal bass drum and I'm so tired of having to go dugga-dugga-dugga... All I want to do is go Boom, rest rest rest Boom, rest rest rest Boom!!!! :)
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Highly accessible stuff that features some of the great jazz drummers:

Workin', Miles Davis w. Philly Joe Jones.

Kind of Blue, Miles Davis w. Jimmy Cobb.

Saxaphone Colossus, Sonny Rolllins w. Max Roach

Soul Station, Hank Mobley w. Art Blakey

Any album with Clifford Brown & Max Roach. The compilation Alone Together is stellar.

Night Train, Oscar Peterson w. Ed Thigpen

All of the above are readily available and feature drumming that's pretty easy to "hear" and understand, I think.
 
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