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  #1  
Old 09-15-2016, 02:55 PM
Supernoodle Supernoodle is offline
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Default Best Zappa drummer?

it's difficult but for me it is Terry Bozzio, for the sound and feel he brought to it. Just listening to Wind up workin in a gas station, from „You can't do that on stage anymore, Vol. 6“, incredible...

What were those hats by the way?? Immediately recognisable.

However Ralph Humphrey's studio work on Overnite Sensation is absolutely stunning as well.
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

For me it's Humphrey.. While i used to be a big bozzio fan (til very recently) and he is amazing, Humphrey for me has alot more feeling and groove to his playing. Less mechanical.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:52 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Tough to pick between Vinnie, Bozzio, Humphrey, Humphrey/Thompson. David Logeman is great on that one record, too. Vinnie is obviously the most talented, and the most at home with Zappa's rhythmic/metric stuff. That doesn't necessarily translate into him being my favorite drummer of them, though. I don't know what those cymbals were-- I assumed maybe 15" 602 heavy or extra heavy. That is one of the more distinctive sounds ever-- I think about his open hihat sound all the time.

Thinking about it, Bozzio is my favorite as a drummer; Ralph Humphrey and Chester Thompson, together with Ruth Underwood, seem the most classically Zappa.
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:29 PM
Supernoodle Supernoodle is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Maybe someone could ask Terry at the upcoming shows - about the Zappa hats - and if he still has them... always wanted to know!
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:27 PM
Brian Brian is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

"best"....ah, here we go again. The most talented were probably Vinnie, followed by Gordon and then maybe Bozzio.
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:06 PM
JohnW JohnW is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Aynsley Dunbar is right up there with the "Best", though Terry is just about my favorite.
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  #7  
Old 09-15-2016, 10:29 PM
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octatonic octatonic is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Vinnie.

I think he was Frank's too, based on what he has said in interviews.
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  #8  
Old 09-16-2016, 12:07 AM
Brian Brian is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
Aynsley Dunbar is right up there with the "Best", though Terry is just about my favorite.
I like his drumming but can't put him in the same category as Vinnie for ex. My understanding is that he couldn't sight read; well, little if any. Great drummer though. As always "best" being subjective
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2016, 01:33 AM
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Alain Rieder Alain Rieder is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

I started really listening to FZ when I was 16 in 1971, and I really liked Ainsley Dunbar's feel and I still do.
I was a survivor of the 1971 Montreux concert, when the hall burned down... I had a mono cassette from the show and listened to it many times.

Before Ainsley Dunbar, there was some great drumming in Hot Rats, especially by John Guérin.

I like Ralph Humphrey a lot, saw him play with FZ in 1973 and studied with him at MI at the start of the 80s.
If you like his playing in Apostrophe, do yourself a favor and listen to The Crux Of The Biscuit which just got out in July.
Also, Ralph plays on this interesting CD by The Tierney Sutton Band - The Sting Variations. You can even download the tracks for free on the link.

Bozzio played some amazing stuff with FZ, and to me Vinnie is obviously the most amazing, although I like the others a lot.

I recently read (bassist) Arthur Barrow's book which is very much interesting : Of Course I Said Yes!: The Amazing Adventures of a Life in Music
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2016, 01:13 PM
wilsonbangy wilsonbangy is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

The best for frank was Vinnie, Zappa loved his drumming and says so in his book. But all the guys frank had were seriously great and brought their own unique-ness to everything he did :)
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:07 PM
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Spreggy Spreggy is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Too many to answer, but the first time through Overnight Sensation had me saying holy hell what did that guy just play? So my fave performance would be OS with Ralph Humphrey.
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2016, 09:34 AM
Supernoodle Supernoodle is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Yeah, the drumming on that album is phenomenal. An antidote to the usual 'keep it simple' doctrine... he is busy and all over the place, but at the same time so relaxed and precise. Recorded drum sound is great too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEqB...pjH6zInuaIi0bu

the Bozzio period is well recorded on this one: (and the Sheik Yerbouti album)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBoHSQqudlY

lots of visual antics on the Baby Snakes DVD, probably the most entertaining Zappa lineup over the years, wish I had seen them in those days!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZrPka35mGE
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  #13  
Old 09-22-2016, 06:30 AM
12x7 12x7 is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Chester Thompson played in the band everyone. I cannot believe I did not see his name in this thread. Did I miss it?
His work on Sleep dirt is amazing as well as OSFA. Come on Chester had the funkiest grooves of all Zaps drummers. I also dug Chad.
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  #14  
Old 09-22-2016, 06:32 AM
12x7 12x7 is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

OK I saw Chester mentioned. Lol.
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  #15  
Old 09-22-2016, 10:53 PM
mesazoo mesazoo is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
I like his drumming but can't put him in the same category as Vinnie for ex. My understanding is that he couldn't sight read; well, little if any. Great drummer though. As always "best" being subjective
Bozzio reads really well.
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  #16  
Old 09-23-2016, 02:45 AM
Brian Brian is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

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Originally Posted by mesazoo View Post
Bozzio reads really well.
Definitely, sorry for confusion, was talking about ainsley Dunbar
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  #17  
Old 09-23-2016, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

My favourite drumming with Zappa was by Chester T and Ralph H on Roxy and Elsewhere. Even better with Ruth Underwood.

Next favourite drumming performances were on Grand Wazoo with Aynsley D.

The Bozzio period was great too, like Sheik Yerbouti, City of Tiny Lights etc.
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:01 AM
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  #18  
Old 09-23-2016, 02:13 PM
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8Mile 8Mile is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Fixed .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
My favourite drumming with Zappa was by Bruford.
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  #19  
Old 09-23-2016, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreggy View Post
Too many to answer, but the first time through Overnight Sensation had me saying holy hell what did that guy just play? So my fave performance would be OS with Ralph Humphrey.
Agree! without a doubt stands out. But like Steely Dan, FZ never ever had a bad drummer (whatever that is). These questions are like 'what is the best ice cream'
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  #20  
Old 09-23-2016, 11:56 PM
Skrivarna Skrivarna is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

If I'd have to pick: Vinnie.

But I don't have to, I can enjoy them all.
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  #21  
Old 09-24-2016, 12:09 AM
Zip Zip is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

I always like Chad Whackerman ever since he was in Modern Drummer in 80s
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  #22  
Old 09-24-2016, 12:37 AM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zip View Post
I always like Chad Whackerman ever since he was in Modern Drummer in 80s
I was about to say, "No love for Chad Wackerman?" Bozzio is the classic Zappa drummer some might say, but I like Wackerman's drumming. Got to see him live with Andy Summers (of The Police) in 1990, and he was amazing.
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  #23  
Old 09-24-2016, 02:15 AM
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pgm554 pgm554 is offline
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernoodle View Post
it's difficult but for me it is Terry Bozzio, for the sound and feel he brought to it. Just listening to Wind up workin in a gas station, from „You can't do that on stage anymore, Vol. 6“, incredible...

What were those hats by the way?? Immediately recognisable.

However Ralph Humphrey's studio work on Overnite Sensation is absolutely stunning as well.
Saw Ralph with the Don Ellis Orchestra back in the day.
Nothing like boogieing down in 33/16.
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  #24  
Old 09-24-2016, 02:48 AM
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Default Re: Best Zappa drummer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon La Ply
My favourite drumming with Zappa was by Bruford.

Fixed .
LOL. Cheeky bugger. BTW I've been in a Bruford phase again recently. Meanwhile ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
I like Zappa best when he plays country.
:P
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