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Old 04-14-2017, 07:27 PM
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Spreggy Spreggy is offline
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Default Playing iconic solos like the record?

Well, let's be specific. I'm thinking of Steely Dan's/Steve Gadd's Aja, which imho could be argued as perfect solos in a perfect song. The solos are so iconic, so well done, and so essential to the song's integrity that I think that if you go your own way with it, it is no longer that song, so to speak. You might as well change a bunch of lyrics. I've heard plenty of big players go their own way on it, from Carlock to Igoe and others, and every time it seems to me they completely lose the song. The push and pull, tension and release throughout just have to be maintained.
There are also historic bits that should be considered, like the waves Steve made by making sounds others weren't doing at the time, like hitting cymbals alone. I'm old enough to remember that when the song came out, the drumming world collectively lost it's freakin' mind over it. It was a true game changer.

Chops aside, the song is about a guy's joy at returning home to his love after a day "on the hill". At every turn Steve's playing brings you through the many moods of the song, from the routine scenes of the day to the ecstatic feeling of finally getting out of town and burning the stretch of road to home at the end. The thing is freakin' perfect, I don't know if music can do more than that song does.

So, should one tamper with this song's solos? What say you?

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Old 04-14-2017, 09:31 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: Playing iconic solos like the record?

Strange...but I have never considered the drum work in Aja as a solo...it obviously is.

Nope...never de-composed/re-composed it...maybe I will!

I agree that his work on that song is integral to the song itself...hard to imagine it working as well or better in a different way.

Thanks for the composition exercise!

...after thinking about it I think a great part of why it works so well are the piano hits across it...even when Steve is breaking time into sets of 3 that piano work is doing the task that we see a clave doing in Afro-Cuban works...now I am thinking about that root far more clearly.

I think a successful re-image of that section would have to find a commonality with those piano hits...not just run off on its own...obvious but I think the reason I have not really liked some drummers take on it is due to their divorcing from that root.

Great song that I haven't developed since being exposed to it over 35ish years ago!

Last edited by Otto; 04-14-2017 at 09:41 PM. Reason: thought about it
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:03 AM
J-Boogie J-Boogie is offline
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Default Re: Playing iconic solos like the record?

I fully agree Spreggy, perfection. A great composition, telling a great story and an amazing job by Steve comprehending that composition and bringing it to life. His performance is pure Steve Gadd magic, one of my favorites of his. If I could, Id play just like Steve, down to that mysterious click.
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