Originally Posted by Red Menace
Just discovered Chick Webb. I'm working my way slowly backwards into Jazz. Webb's playing just blows me away.
Do recordings of his drum battle with Gene Krupa exist? How about any songs where he takes a solo?
I used to have a few albums of his band. One in particular had a cut with the tune "My Wild Irish Rose". He takes a couple of drum breaks and then an extended break toward the end. I remember playing it for a friend of mine and he said, "He sounds like a nuclear explosion". Even with the poor recording quality of the mid-late '30s, his playing leaps out. I can't imagine what it must have been like seeing him live. Here's a small sample of that tune:
The other albums I had were a little better quality and had Ella singing on some of the tracks. He had a nice relaxed and more modern sounding swing than one might expect, especially on ballads.
I used to have this issue of Modern Drummer which had interviews with different players talking about Chick Webb.
There was another issue from the early '80s with Art Blakey talking about his lessons with Chick and Sid Catlett.
I hope someone will unearth a film of him playing. I could have sworn I'd seen a video of him playing a cymbal in front of the original Zildjian factory in Quincy, though it might be a false memory. But if anyone finds one of the Chick Webb/Krupa battle- that would be like discovering Atlantis!