Thread: Neil Peart
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: Neil Peart

Originally Posted by Zumba_Zumba View Post
Isn't that "evolution"? Just because something evolves does not necessarily mean it is made better. The test of time will determine that.

Well written response as usual, Matt. I learn something every time you write. I merely meant "evolution" as a change in "flashy technique" that so many people cling to when determining the worth of a drummer (like how fast you are, for example) and how certain drummers are applying this flashy technique to today's equipment. I just remember being floored by Neil's layered parts and interdependence. Then I saw Bozzio, then Minneman, then Lang and Donati; each of them with greater interdependence and "feet=hands" technique (in my eyes, at least).

Now there can be a giant debate on how this interdependence was already done and how it really isn't music but that would be purely subjective. We could be lead through the history of music and have our hands slapped for irresponsibly slinging terms like "evolve", but the popular vote is for guys like Donati, Lang etc etc as being cutting edge in applying layered drum parts and interdependence to drum technique. The same type of stuff Neil was credited for back in the day (where so much of this "drum god" stuff probably came from in the first place).

So, I take it out of my wallet, and use it again: as drumming evolves, people will say the same negative comments about Donati (again, sorry fanboys and sorry music history buffs and WFD champions).
Nice reply as always Zumba, and an example of the civility that can be used by 2 people moving thought in a particular direction so both sides can profit from the exchange.

Regarding the flashiness angle, aren't the interdependence experiments used by Lang and Donati really /at least with the mainstream/ technique exhibitions used at clinics and such in of themselves? I have always taken evolution to include the practical applications of most, if not all drummers. For instance the hi-hat application was a changed everything evolution, as was left hand independence and bass drum space that allowed more creativity for the bass player in jazz. Those things are universal now, while at least as far as I can see, some of what you're talking about is still limited to stuff you pay $10 to see at a music store. Now I'm not saying that might not change later, but for now the jury's out.

Now I'm certainly not against the exploration of certain percussion complexity. In fact one of the things I enjoy doing for fun is playing along with Bozzio's old Zappa records. And even though the Donati and Lang stuff just doesn't do it for me personally, I can still respect what goes into it. But after having the advantage to see drumming in many parts of the world, I've found that so called drumming cultures that are supposed to be primitive, have actually been doing for hundreds of years what we consider new evolution now. So is that true evolution? I just can't see that it is.

As you know you open up another big can of worms when bringing speed into a flashiness debate. The who's the fastest stuff is certainly not cutting edge. In fact it was probably the first thing cavemen drummers pushed along in the beginning of everything. I mean I understand what you mean by popular vote, but who's vote are you counting? There are some Yoruba drummers in Nigeria who would think that was pretty funny, because a lot of what you hear these prog guys doing now is often tips of the hat to what those Yoruban guys have been doing for a long time. And as for the odd meter stuff, there are things going on since the Roman times in Romania and Bulgaria I'd love to get you to hear. And even in the modern sense, get DC Criger to play you some of his Don Ellis stuff.

This original slant if I recall came from some fans believing that Peart invented some of these concepts, which is far from the truth. Now to say he was key to bringing some of those centuries old concepts to Euro American rock and making people more aware of it? Sure why not? But the other stuff reminds me of how people used to think Columbus discovered America, when there were already people everywhere.
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