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  #41  
Old 09-24-2011, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

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I

Gavin flows more than Bill but he's less anarchic. It's not so much a lack of originality as mainstreaming (to my ear). It would be fair to say that, irregardless of prowess, I prefer BB's musical personality.

BTW Ken, weren't you earlier advocating Michael Giles as the best KC drummer? :)
I still would in the sense that he created the archetype for what it means to be a Crimson drummer. We can see how in several ways that has remained constant. You advocated for Bill's 70s Crimson drumming, and then gave an example that demonstrated how his style matured on those solo albums, which you don't really like. So there. :)

I know for you it is a matter of what appeals; that is fine. It seems to me though, you confuse cultivation of sound with mainstreaming. I just don't buy that and never will. I am not going to argue that seeking out a sense of cultivation might blind one to the sweet nuance of originality. But I think that it is more the case that seeking out music solely for its perceived novelty will blind one to much of the musical richness that happens in any good performance of a piece of music. Geniuses stroll along once in a while. But great musicians are everywhere.
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  #42  
Old 09-24-2011, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

I have to admit I didn't get into KC until they came back in '80 with the Discipline album. I tried to go back and listen to the earlier stuff, and I just didn't get into it (well, except for the album Red). There was something about the interlocking guitars that struck me, I guess. And no one to this day even attempts to become a KC clone band...

I was in to Bruford when he played with Yes, so with his history of KC, I lean towards him for the right player for the band. But it depends on what Fripp wants. If Fripp changed the direction and did something completely different, Bruford would probably not be the guy.
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  #43  
Old 09-24-2011, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

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I still would in the sense that he created the archetype for what it means to be a Crimson drummer. We can see how in several ways that has remained constant. You advocated for Bill's 70s Crimson drumming, and then gave an example that demonstrated how his style matured on those solo albums, which you don't really like. So there. :)
lol ... did I say I didn't like BB's solo stuff? I like Feels Good to Me, and especially the title track and S&H. Unlike most, I enjoyed Annette Peacock's vocals on some tracks - a daring move that was more successful than the critics would have you think.

Yeah, BB did kind of set the archetype for KC, given that he was the most longstanding member during some of their peaks.

I can see why Fripply kept changing things around - the inspiration (arguably) seemed flow most when they were fresh - ITCOTKC, LTIA, Discipline, Thrak. The exception was the Trey Gunn / Pat M band, which was at its best in Power to Believe (one of my fave KC albums).


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It seems to me though, you confuse cultivation of sound with mainstreaming. ... I think that it is more the case that seeking out music solely for its perceived novelty will blind one to much of the musical richness that happens in any good performance of a piece of music. Geniuses stroll along once in a while. But great musicians are everywhere.
Yeah, I guess. My desire for originality in music may well be superficial. I just really dig new sounds and ideas :) Having said that, I love conventional playing of quality too - how can you not if the quality is there? Just that the little edge created by bloody minded originality is a bonus for me.

Bear in mind, we're looking at the various qualities of KC drummers. There aren't a lot of players in the rock world more original than GH, just that a couple of them played with KC :)


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And no one to this day even attempts to become a KC clone band...
Definitely not a clone band - a very hard ask with not a whole lot of financial reward. However, their influence is there, most notably in Tool. Seems that their brutal stuff has been a lot more influential than their myriad other styles. I guess somewhere around there are songs with Gamelan guitar lines inspired by 80s Crim, I just don't know them.


[/quote]... it depends on what Fripp wants.[/quote]

For sure. Bruford was the wrong player for late KC; he was getting more into jazz and RF was writing increasingly less jazzy music.

The forgotten one is always Pat Mastelotto, but he's another tremendous player. The Power to Believe II was gorgeous, and had super cool drum and e-drum parts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuLINo7u7T0

Not easy for a drummer's rep to follow BB and precede GH!
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  #44  
Old 09-24-2011, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

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l




Yeah, I guess. My desire for originality in music may well be superficial. I just really dig new sounds and ideas :) Having said that, I love conventional playing of quality too - how can you not if the quality is there? Just that the little edge created by bloody minded originality is a bonus for me.

Bear in mind, we're looking at the various qualities of KC drummers. There aren't a lot of players in the rock world more original than GH, just that a couple of them played with KC :)
Is there much true originality left? You praise Meg's original attempts at banality. But there is something there that you like. Every time a player sits at a piano, he or she has 200 odd years of players from Mozart and Chopin, Rachmaninov, Monk, Willie Smith, Brubeck their mom who played piano. That's a lot of ghosts. On the set, you have Max, Art Elvin, Bonham, Bill, Vinnie, that's an awful lot of ghost to haunt you, and some are living ghosts. I don't think it is a bad thing to let them haunt you, and it is original to take an idea and do it in your own way, as Picasso said, "I don't borrow, I steal." No one is original. All the chords have been played, all the notes have been played. You can invent more notes, but does that make you so original? It makes you a mathematician. You can blow free jazz and make a lot of noise. Bring in a deejay and you're hip. The originality comes when you take those notes and chords that everyone has played and say something personal with them.

So my point is that all Crimson drummers are haunted by Michael Giles playing, as was Bill. And all Crimson drummers after Bill are haunted by his playing, esp since both are foundational players that developed how rock music is played.

have demanded his head. But what does Bill do, he puts out three fine solo albums, and a super group, then rejoins Crimson, the band breaks up, reforms, he gets canned resurrects Earthworks and puts out two fine albums with that band. And if Fripp called him tomorrow, he may just come out of retirement.
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  #45  
Old 09-25-2011, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

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Is there much true originality left? You praise Meg's original attempts at banality. But there is something there that you like.
Banality or minimalism? To be sure, her playing is both. I haven't really analysed why I like the White Stripes. In theory, I shouldn't. It does sound fresh. No one in the professional sphere has played like that before. Her kit sounds terrific and that level of simplicity creates a lot of clarity.


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Every time a player sits at a piano, he or she has 200 odd years of players from Mozart and Chopin, Rachmaninov, Monk, Willie Smith, Brubeck their mom who played piano. That's a lot of ghosts. On the set, you have Max, Art Elvin, Bonham, Bill, Vinnie, that's an awful lot of ghost to haunt you, and some are living ghosts. I don't think it is a bad thing to let them haunt you, and it is original to take an idea and do it in your own way, as Picasso said, "I don't borrow, I steal." No one is original.
It depends what you mean by original. Mum used to like the quote "There's nothing new under the sun". It's all synthesis ... some synthesis comes across as a unique voice and some doesn't. Picasso stole like everyone else, but there was no one like him, he had an unmistakable "voice". So has BB.

So has Meg, for that matter. Jack W described his idea for Meg playing drums - “Robert Johnson tapping his foot on a floor”. There's the precedent. Add Meg's love for Bonzo's playing and you have Robert Johnson's right foot with a kit sounding a bit like Bonzo's. It was different to everything. No one else had done it because no real drummer would want to. Original, and it worked.

How about Bonzo himself? Another unique voice. He came up idolising Gene and Buddy but was later influenced by Carmen Appice. Disparate influences seem to create unique voices. Not that I think it's ideal for players to try to have a unique voice, which would be a wank ... just that that's how some people roll.


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The originality comes when you take those notes and chords that everyone has played and say something personal with them.
That hits it on the button.

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So my point is that all Crimson drummers are haunted by Michael Giles playing, as was Bill. And all Crimson drummers after Bill are haunted by his playing, esp since both are foundational players that developed how rock music is played.

have demanded his head. But what does Bill do, he puts out three fine solo albums, and a super group, then rejoins Crimson, the band breaks up, reforms, he gets canned resurrects Earthworks and puts out two fine albums with that band. And if Fripp called him tomorrow, he may just come out of retirement.
Mmm, I think "haunted" is an overstatement. Andy McCulloch was definitely following in MG's footsteps. IW was quite different. He had that funk and RnB influence. BB was quite different again IMO. I think it's was less MG's influence than all those drummers were heavily into jazz ... plus they had to adapt to Fripp's influence.

In his book BB came across as one who loved playing and but hated the music business, which he tolerated for a while because he was pragmatic about making a living. I can only imagine him coming out of retirement if his investments went sour and he needed the dough.
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  #46  
Old 09-25-2011, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

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I can only imagine him coming out of retirement if his investments went sour and he needed the dough.
You again. Did you ever get the feeling this is more of a tennis match than a forum discussion? I can just see people with the heads shaking back and forth . . . Is it you or me who scares people away? I actually know it's me . . . but when did we start talking about baking?

I think the goal is to have a unique voice, to say what you want to say rather than just going through the motions. When I get there, I'll let you know.
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  #47  
Old 09-25-2011, 07:49 AM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

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You again. Did you ever get the feeling this is more of a tennis match than a forum discussion? I can just see people with the heads shaking back and forth . . . Is it you or me who scares people away? I actually know it's me . . . but when did we start talking about baking?

I think the goal is to have a unique voice, to say what you want to say rather than just going through the motions. When I get there, I'll let you know.
Ha! Every now and then have one of these detailed chats. I enjoy 'em and don't really care what anyone thinks; if it bores anyone then there's lots of other threads to choose from. I imagine a few people might like to pipe up with an opinion but are afraid we might reply lol

I know I have a fairly distinctive voice. When I get my chops, groove and microtiming happening, I'll let you know (if we live long enough :)
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

And now for something completely different..... ;)
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  #49  
Old 09-25-2011, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

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Ha! Every now and then have one of these detailed chats. I enjoy 'em and don't really care what anyone thinks; if it bores anyone then there's lots of other threads to choose from. I imagine a few people might like to pipe up with an opinion but are afraid we might reply lol

I think we've more the covered the topic outlined by the light and run OP. We should certainly be commended for that. to add to it here an interview with Gavin Harrison

http://www.drumdepartment.de/content...video.php?id=9

The only drummer we haven't really talked about is Pat Mastelotto who I know little abut. i went to see Bill at Drummer's Collective last year and pat showed up. Bill praised him.\


"Rock music is a very conservative art form," he says. "It sort of begins and ends with Elvis Presley. That's kind of it. There really isn't anything in it. There's three of four chords, the same beat and the face changes, so now everybody thinks Soundgarden, or something, is the hippest thing, but it sounds exactly the same as the big groups in rock, before it." Bill Bruford 1995, how true that was
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  #50  
Old 09-26-2011, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

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"Rock music is a very conservative art form," he says. "It sort of begins and ends with Elvis Presley. That's kind of it. There really isn't anything in it. There's three of four chords, the same beat and the face changes, so now everybody thinks Soundgarden, or something, is the hippest thing, but it sounds exactly the same as the big groups in rock, before it." Bill Bruford 1995, how true that was
Yeah, earlier I said this, but it's a pretty basic comment:

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The forgotten one is always Pat Mastelotto, but he's another tremendous player. The Power to Believe II was gorgeous, and had super cool drum and e-drum parts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuLINo7u7T0
Not easy to look good when sandwiched between BB and GH!

I think BB's comment about rock's lack of sophistication fits well with his cerebral style. Yes, rock is conservative when it comes to harmony and rhythm. Discounting prog and related genres, the main innovations over the years seem to be timbral, lyrical and emotional.

It kind of fits ... I mean, it's rock ... as in baninging on rocks ... primal ... fundamental. That's the typical music critic attitude, kind of equivalent to Wynton Marsalis's view of jazz. They want what they see as the good stuff preserved in a bubble and for artists to work around that, so proggers and hard bop / free jazz artists are thought of as not carrying the spirit of their genres.

Fortunately, most people just like what they like, convention be damned. Pity commercial outlets have become increasingly conservative and limited listeners' listening experiences ...
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  #51  
Old 09-26-2011, 05:08 AM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

Yeah, well the reason why I said that was because you had said you like The Power to Believe. Would you grant some insight as to why, and set off the discussion?
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  #52  
Old 09-26-2011, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

Bob Fripp is very particular about his drummers having perfect time, and PM is as on the button as any of them. That's already a big plus.

What PM was especially good at was augmenting the atmosphere of the songs - like a modernised and restrained Jamie Muir. In the esoteric tracks he added all manner of spacey sounds, samples and loops. Electric kits in that context was largely unexplored territory, so he followed the Crim tradition of breaking new ground.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:00 AM
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I'm a big Bruford fan.. I have not heard any Crimson material with Gavin as yet but I'm sure it's worth a listen. I just love the way Bill plays drums,
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  #54  
Old 09-27-2011, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

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......I like Feels Good to Me, and especially the title track and S&H. Unlike most, I enjoyed Annette Peacock's vocals on some tracks - a daring move that was more successful than the critics would have you think.

I can see why Fripply kept changing things around ......
I have to agree with Delta about KC drummers being haunted by Mr Giles - he set the theme of orchestral and intricate but improvised drumming. (btw I still say that Culpeper were prog - but agree that they had that American sound)

Pol - do you really like the singing on Feel's Good? - the out of phase / in your face / out of place nature of it? Not saying there's anything wrong with her voice but from an engineer's view that mix is ..... ummmm.... not balanced....

I thought Fripp changed things around in KC so no-one else would gain any semblance of power within the band - love his guitaring but always thought that he didn't like to be stretched to play too fast - though I suspect that he could....

Back to you young lass ;-)
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  #55  
Old 09-27-2011, 10:59 AM
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I have to agree with Delta about KC drummers being haunted by Mr Giles - he set the theme of orchestral and intricate but improvised drumming
But how else would a high level drummer approach Robert F's compositions ... and pass the audition? I didn't see much MG in Ian W's playing. More in BB's, but he really just expanded on what he was doing with Yes, and he joined KC for exactly that reason. Then, Pat M seemed to play a rockier version of BB when he wasn't playing with electrics.

MG did set the blueprint, but I think "haunted" is too strong a word for it.


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Pol - do you really like the singing on Feel's Good?
Yep.


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- the out of phase / in your face / out of place nature of it?
Nope :)


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Not saying there's anything wrong with her voice but from an engineer's view that mix is ..... ummmm.... not balanced....
Agree totally. As you know, the engineering on the album was very patchy, and not just the vocals. Not sure went wrong. I found it disappointing, but not a dealbreaker.


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I thought Fripp changed things around in KC so no-one else would gain any semblance of power within the band - love his guitaring but always thought that he didn't like to be stretched to play too fast - though I suspect that he could....

Back to you young lass ;-)
Yes, he did seem to dominate more at the end. He and Adrian B apparently had some arguments over the power sharing. The rhythm section were well and truly put in their place ... Bob was probably traumatised by BB's headstrong personality haha

So "young" is now a synonym for "elderly"? :)
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  #56  
Old 09-27-2011, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

It is an interesting fact that Annette Peacock is the wife of bassist Gary Peacock. I think a lot of that album FGTM, come out of Bill's work with Gong for a brief period. Add a little bit of Zappa. I was reading a gigology of Zappa. I saw Zappa twice back in 1980 when after some legal troubles he toured the whole year. I was happy to see that one of those shows featured Vinnie on drums, who played on Joe's Garage, although after reading DL site it seems that it was the spring show that had Vinnie not the later shows in the Fall.

"Haunted" let's not quibble over words. What I am talking about is the phenomenon where you sit at the drum chair and hear the way another drummer approaches the material.You actually feel his or her influence. And as stated before, I don't think that is a bad thing.

My understanding is the Fripp was always a hard guy to work with, as in how many guys stayed after the first album.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:29 PM
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My understanding is the Fripp was always a hard guy to work with, as in how many guys stayed after the first album.
The booklet that came with Young Person's Guide to King Crimson had this quote from Judy Dyble:
Then Ian McDonald and myself joined Giles Giles and Fripp. I left and they became King Crimson. Why did I leave? Well, it was a personal thing really. I had been going out with Ian and when it broke up things were a little awkward. I also had a problem getting on with Bob Fripp, I think a lot of people do. Geniuses are always difficult to get on with. I often found working with him quite frightening.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:06 AM
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The booklet that came with Young Person's Guide to King Crimson had this quote from Judy Dyble:
Geniuses are always difficult to get on with. I often found working with him quite frightening.
I can see that, I read his diary on Dgmlive.com he says some... pretty... weird stuff.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:37 AM
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...... More in BB's, but he really just expanded on what he was doing with Yes, and he joined KC for exactly that reason..........

Now there we have to disagree - I don't see anything of KC's as an advancement over "Close to the Edge". "Siberian Khatru" is the best song KC never did rofl.


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..... I think a lot of that album FGTM, come out of Bill's work with Gong for a brief period. Add a little bit of Zappa.....
Blasphemer!!! Thou shalt not mention any other musician or band in the same sentence as either Zappa or Gong - and really, BB was just a ring-in for Gong whilst Pierre was off exhibiting mastery for the Percussionists of Strasbourg (or making some pocket money with Oldfield...
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:08 PM
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I can see that, I read his diary on Dgmlive.com he says some... pretty... weird stuff.
A lot of that comes from his involvement with Gurdjeiff's philosophy. Read Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous and you'll get the idea :) Frippy's a very smart guy and his mind roams far and wide ...


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Now there we have to disagree - I don't see anything of KC's as an advancement over "Close to the Edge". "Siberian Khatru" is the best song KC never did rofl.
Technically, maybe not. Conceptually, there's an obvious progression. Siberian Khatru for KC?? Heaps bluesy. Actually, I find BB's drumming in that tune is more like Mike Giles's than when he was with KC.


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Blasphemer!!! Thou shalt not mention any other musician or band in the same sentence as either Zappa or Gong
Here's a list of some performers that I've greatly enjoyed - Zappa, Gong, Crimson, MO, Beatles, Weather Report, Joni Mitchell, Osibisa, Police, Miles, Trane, The Who, Cinematic Orchestra, Nina Simone, The White Stripes, Dave Brubeck, Queen, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Talking Heads, The Doors, Janis Joplin, Henry Cow, Midnight Oil, Led Zeppelin, Dusty Springfield, The Stones, Art Blakey's JM, Keith Jarrett, Soft Machine, Jeff and Tim Buckley, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Cream, Velvet Underground, Maroon 5, Pearl Jam, Free ... but to name a few.

How's that sentence? I got Zappa and Gong in there with The White Stripes :)
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

Best? Impossible to say.

Michael Giles was a groundbreaker. I actually saw him playing live with King Crimson at a small club in London back in my youth. He was skilled and quite musical, a master of dynamics. Somehow he pulled off playing very busily without being bombastic. His double bass drumming was impeccable. Most influential progressive rock drummer of all time? Perhaps.

Andy McColloch's work on Lizard is amazing. His style was definitely based on Giles, but he pulled it off superbly, stretching out with complete ease and never making any mistakes. Sounds to me like he did some heavy Scotch rudimental training at some point. Highly underrated.

Ian Wallace was not as skilled as either Giles or McColloch to my ears but he was an excellent choice for touring. A powerhouse who always played to the seats in the back of the auditorium.

Bruford? It's all been said. A great mind.

Mastolotto, a kick ass player. To Bruford as Ian Wallace was to Michael Giles.

Gavin Harrison is a technical monster. Looking forward to hearing him touring with the latest incarnation along with Mastelotto and Bill Rieflin. His rhythmic illusion concepts are highly developed but of dubious musical value in my opinion.

I've seen Bill Rieflin play on several occasions. I'm not sure if he's up to the standards of the previous KC drummers but he's very solid and plays keys.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

My response to the OP’s question is the two-headed Bruford / Mastelotto beast in my opinion.

I’ve had the good fortune of spending time with Pat at two music camps in 2012 and 2014 (just last week) and he has provided plenty of insight into Crimson drumming arrangements playing with Bill Bruford, by himself, with Gavin Harrison, and with Gavin and Bill Rieflin. He is an incredibly talented, generous, and warm guy. You want to play drums just from being around him and seeing / hearing him play.

It was Fripp’s idea to bring Pat into Crimson to play along with Bruford for the “double trio” version. Actually, Bruford was a late add as Fripp originally had another drummer in mind for Pat to pair with. Pat said it was pretty clear from the start that Bill was a little miffed about having to share drumming duties. During the first practices, Bill presented Pat with a list he had made of how two drummers could best play together. It went something like this:

1. Neither drummer plays
2. Bill plays alone
3. Pat plays alone
4. Bill and Pat play together, but in different, interlocking rhythms
5. (couldn’t recall)
6. (couldn’t recall)
7. (couldn’t recall)
8. Allman Brothers

They agreed that #4 would work best and built their drumming arrangements accordingly. Essentially, Pat would anchor the main rhythm will Bill darted in and out, smacking things when you least expected him to which in my opinion, he does better than anyone!

Pat shared some insight as to how the three drummers on the front line version will work with the upcoming Crimson shows. He, Gavin and Bill R. have spent a lot of time coordinating who will handle what. I expect that Pat will be handling a lot of the electronic percussion duties, Bill R. will be anchoring the beat, and Gavin will be doing the Bruford-style thing. I am a big fan of Pat and Gavin, but know little about Bill R.

I have my tickets so we’ll see!
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:44 PM
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Duck Tape Duck Tape is offline
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Default Re: Best drummer in King Crimson history?

Pat M is interesting.. It seems like everything he plays is single stroke rolls but the way he orchestrates things hides it a little. I saw him with Tobias Ralph in Sydney the other month. I really like him. I've mostly listened to albums with Pat so I can't comment much further.
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