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  #1  
Old 02-28-2010, 10:49 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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Default Chick Webb

I looked up Chick Webb in the search and I didn't find a single thread about him! Pretty surprising considering how influential he was. I wish I could have seen this man play live. Especially for the battle at the Savoy between his band and Count Basie's. Even some You Tube footage would be nice. So unfortunate that he died so young. He certainly was a good example as somebody that overcame the odds. At least we still have the recordings.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:00 AM
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DogBreath DogBreath is offline
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Default Re: Chick Webb

Read all about the great Chick Webb (and listen to him play) right here on his own DrummerWorld page. Unfortunately, I'm unaware of an film of him actually playing.
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2010, 05:43 PM
Richard.Awesome Richard.Awesome is offline
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Default Re: Chick Webb

could you recommend some recordings to check out? i know of him, but would love to dig deeper.
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2011, 09:48 PM
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Red Menace Red Menace is offline
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Default Re: Chick Webb

Frankenthread!!

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?
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2011, 10:20 PM
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dmacc dmacc is offline
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Default Re: Chick Webb

He was pretty incredible and sadly, today, seldom mentioned.

Let me see if I have anything with him soloing on and I'll let you know.

I know for sure I have nothing with Gene and him together.
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2011, 10:33 PM
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Red Menace Red Menace is offline
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Default Re: Chick Webb

Thanks Dmacc.

Found this great video on Mr Webb.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7yGiTxAyRQ

It seems that Webb gets much less recognition than other drummers of the same era. Everyone always wants to compare players to Buddy and give props to Louie Bellson, Buddy and Gene. I've finally started to cover Jazz with my drum teacher and I really have no interest in learning the modern fusion stuff. Too noodlie for me. I'm absolutely enamored with the big-band era though. The class, the swagger, the restrained and yet flashy chops and that giant bass drum.

To me Chick Webb represents all of that without all the pretentiousness that Jazz has gained over the years. Originally this was the people's music.

To pick up Richard's question now that I've zombied this thread: what are some essential recordings to check out?
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  #7  
Old 12-07-2011, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: Chick Webb

Theres a famous interview with Gene Krupa about trying to defeat Webb at the battle of the bands and when it would be time for them to "cut"! Krupa explained how he would go back and forth with Chick but in the end walked out in front of Webbs kit and kneeled down and bowed.
Webb had a very unusaul sense of timing and could appear to be so far away from the beginning of a groove and mysterially return without a missed que and appearing to do all this planned hahaha!!!! He was almost a dwarf, he was hunchedback and lived in pain his entire life. He had the BEST band in the land and all the band leaders knew it.
That man was the best of his time and he had a traditional combination of drums and percussion together, the man was a Monster!! Doc






utube below in red men. post IS the interview I was speaking of and you can hear the difference in the bands. Its nite & day I don't have heros if I did it would be Webb

Last edited by Doctor Dirt; 12-07-2011 at 11:05 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2011, 11:59 AM
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dmacc dmacc is offline
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Default Re: Chick Webb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Menace View Post
I've finally started to cover Jazz with my drum teacher and I really have no interest in learning the modern fusion stuff. Too noodlie for me. I'm absolutely enamored with the big-band era though. The class, the swagger, the restrained and yet flashy chops and that giant bass drum.
Good for you for doing your research. People my age (40's) consider me a little off-beat when we begin to discuss drummers when I bring up the drummers from the 40's and prior, but, I can also discuss the drummers from those periods to today.

Heck, in addition to studying the extremely critical people as Webb and other similar era players, I'd invite you to go back even further. You'll discover that people like Dave Tough who was one of the baddest Swing drummers ever really began in the small group stuff before Big Band/Swing came into it's own. Heck, the small groups is where Krupa came from. For both of these drummers - dig back into stuff with Eddie Condon/Bix Biederbecke, etc.... I listen and love that music to this very day.

I was very fortunate to have been raised on the early jazz by my Dad who was also a drummer. His musical taste really was into the early New Orleans and Chicago style playing - actually before Big Band & Swing Bands.

I posted this link in the General Discussion group but be sure to listen to this for perspective on Webb and others... http://www.pas.org/experience/oralhistory/mellewis.aspx Though I'd say check it all out, Part II covers Webb.

Also, I hear the Danny Gottlieb book covers some of the early historical drummers as well.

The recordings I have with Chick Webb have a couple songs with small drum breaks - no extended solos.
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2011, 08:30 PM
JohnW JohnW is offline
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Default Re: Chick Webb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Menace View Post
Frankenthread!!

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:

http://www.amazon.com/My-Wild-Irish-Rose/dp/B0011K8L7C

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.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MODERN-DRUMM...-/280381747376

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!

-John
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2013, 07:49 PM
GretchJazzKit@yahoo.com GretchJazzKit@yahoo.com is offline
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Default Re: Chick Webb

Chick Webb couldn't even read music either...
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  #11  
Old 11-02-2013, 10:19 PM
JohnW JohnW is offline
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Default Re: Chick Webb

That seems to be the case from all I've read about him. And it also seems that he didn't take lessons, but constantly played on everything as a kid- chairs, railings, steps, etc. Art Blakey said he was a disciplinarian. Here's a quote from another Great:

"The greatest soloist I ever heard on drums was Chick Webb. In order to find out where drumming is at today, you must go back to the very beginning. And I think the greatest drummer that ever lived was Chick Webb. He was my favourite drummer. Not that I have too many favourite drummers: Iím not too easily impressed with people. But this man overcame all his difficulties; he was a dwarf, with a big hump on his back." -Buddy Rich (in an interview with journalist and singer Les Tomkins)

By the way, here's "My Wild Irish Rose" in its entirety:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1JJDau0GqA
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