Thread: Simon Phillips
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:13 PM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: Can Simon play jazz?

To quote Soft Machine's former drummer, Robert Wyatt:

"rock musicians tend to make clunky and old-fashioned jazz drummers, and jazz drummers tend to make effete and precious rock drummers"

Simon didn't sound clunky or old fashioned in that clip to me. As with guys like Phil Collins and Chester Thompson he's always struck me as a fusionesque drummer who tended to choose rock. Very fast, a flowing player who uses plenty of grace notes and has heaps of dynamic control.

I would think that striving for authenticity in any style to be a rather mannered approach to playing music. Fair enough if that's what you want to go for or you are looking to break into a scene, but if it's a side project like this then surely it would make most sense to simply play the tune as YOU? There's you, there's the music ... okay, what do you do to make this sound as good as you can?

I think that's what Simon did. In the main themes he seemed to play repeating figures a bit more than I would have expected, which struck me as more of a compositional prog rock approach than that of an improvising jazzer, as per Ken's comment, but it worked well to my, admittedly untrained, ear. I can imagine plenty of local jazzers not getting the tune to sound as good as Simon did.
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