Thread: Simon Phillips
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: Can Simon play jazz?

Originally Posted by con struct View Post
Okay, and now we're getting to the heart of the matter. You say can hear it in the delivery, and I believe you, but what if he's been an avid student of bop and post-bop drumming for many years and the way he's playing here is the result of all that study?
What if he's decided to approach it in a different way, a way more to his liking and more the way he wants to express his take on this music?
Look at what people said about Monk. "All wrong," "clumsy," "no technique." And these were jazz guys saying that. I mention Monk because he never changed his approach, the rest of the jazz scene changed its perception of his approach.
Now of course I'm not comparing Simon Phillips to Thelonious Monk. But I do have to wonder about the idea that studying a style of music will always lead to the same way of playing it.
Unfair comparison really. Monk WAS a revolutionary jazz figure BUT he was coming from a very specific deeply rooted tradition that came before him in jazz to which he branched off of. Monk was THE master of syncopation'conterpoint in his writing and ensemble playing {soloing/comping} too don't forget. Certainly a "jazz based" musician his entire career but many didn't get Monk at the time it was going down.

Look at the way Ken hinted at it. Simon is obviously playing with a backup band of seasoned jazz pros. You can hear in their playing, I can. And like Ken said since he's playing in that specific format with these people playing off the same common "language" of music why not play more off the piano players syncopated comping figures and such rather than finishing phrases and such by leaning heavy on the downbeats of the bars instead missing the moment of the locking up on the buoyant extra push in the ensemble that could be happening as just one example worth pointing out. Doesn't sound like a new take on drum innovations or "my take on it" but more of lack of experience with a common jazz language and rules of engagement that seems better shared by the rest of the musicians playing the music on the stage during the tune other than the drummer in this case. He's working on it for sure but he's no master of the complex jazz ensemble language yet.

Just my thoughts and observations take it or leave it, no worries..........


Last edited by Steamer; 10-25-2009 at 12:23 AM.
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