Thread: Neil Peart
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Old 09-13-2008, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Neil Peart

Originally Posted by Zumba_Zumba View Post
Funny thing is (and I hope this happens so drumming continues to evolve) in the future, people are going to say all this same negative stuff about Virgil Donati (sorry fanboys). So drumming evolves, tastes change, and influences die. Welcome to the art of drumming.
I don't want to get into the value discussion regarding Neil Peart as much as I want to continue to express my concern for this thought out there that drumming evolves every time it changes.

I just don't see that.

Some of the greatest drumming in the history of the world occured in the 1930s and 40s. It didn't need 70 years to evolve. It was already there, and still is. How about that Dave Tough guy who pushed the stylistic envelope in the 1920s? That stuff is still as good as anything right now/ this minute. Buddy Rich with Artie Shaw and Sid Catlett with everybody in the 30s, Kenny Clarke with Bird in the 40s, Elvin Jones in the 60s, Bonham with Zep in their era. Are people really serious when they say drumming has evolved from that?

Innocently yes, I think I know where guys like Zumba are coming from. Much of the discussion appears to be of a technical nature, with much of that coming from improvements in equipment as much as actual changes in the way we drummers make music evolve. With all seriousness, has there really been that much evolution in American music over the last 30 years, as much as there have been ocassional changes in styles?

What many of these people do is present a perception of individual style. And that's a really good thing. But it's usually not evolution.

When I listen to the so called evolution curve of drums these days, I personally really don't hear so much beyond some tricks that guys perform at clinics, that are outside practical music concepts. Even these so called revolutionary grooves that everyone raves about have been performed in some variation or the other as non western music for hundreds if not thousands of years. In jazz, yeah I do hear some new ideas being exercised from time to time by some very great players. But much of what they are doing are new creative slants on what are really the same old styles of the past. Even when a true eternal groundbreaker like say a Jack DeJohnette looks like he's gonna break out the true rise up the evolutionary ladder, necessary commercial considerations to play with all star tours etc get in the way. The same can also be said for Stewart, Blade etc.

Maybe a certifiable blue chipper like Hoenig can do it. But he will still have to be surrounded by like minded musicians willing to do more than push the envelope of stuff done before. As much as I love that stuff, you still can't help but hear Paul Motian with Bill Evans. And until I quit hearing that, the evolution hasn't ocurred there either.

When Kenny Clarke and Max Roach elevated the importance of left hand and bass drum independence in such a way that it has been incorporated into all necessary playing of today, that was a certifiable evolved revolution, and has stood the test of time. Really much of what we worship now are new concepts based on old ideas already used by fusion guys 40 years ago, and in the case of guys like Lenny White you didn't even need 2 bass drum pedals to do it. On that note, it's also interesting to me to see so many people now going back to one pedal, which is why people usually don't always claim evolution until time has passed to see if the so called evolution was really a just a fad. Now I'm not saying that's the case with that. But it's all still very new.

Like him or not, Neil Peart's got the magic, even if some of us think the whole he's a god thing is kinda silly. I only wish we would think twice when we throw out the word evolution for every little thing. To me, that's a word you keep in your wallet to use when it really is that.
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Last edited by mattsmith; 09-13-2008 at 09:30 PM.
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