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  #1  
Old 02-15-2017, 06:26 AM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

This may be a hot topic, maybe. But I noticed whenever I really like a particular drummer, I probably like more the music he's playing in, and how his drumming compliments that. But when I was confronted with a drummer's album of music he wrote, and played drums on, I'm often disappointed.

This has happened to me several times now, and after this last time I thought I'd share it and ask if anybody else has experienced the same thing? I got to see one of my favorite drummers ever up close and personal, and the music they played was great. Of course, after the short 45-minute concert, they had his personal CD's to sell, so a friend bought one for me. I finally opened it up and popped it in the CD player (it was even signed by him), and after about 45 seconds, I'm ZZZzzzzzzzzzzz...........

I suppose it's rare when I find a drummer who composes stuff I really want to listen to over and over, and I guess I really shouldn't complain because I doubt I could write anything anyone would want to hear. I've spent most of my life re-gurgitating ideas and helping others realize their musical vision, which I'm completely happy with. I have found I don't have anything interesting to say musically, and I'm happy to just lay down grooves for others.

So part of me wants to complain, but part of me likes to celebrate these super-drummers who've stepped up and began to write their own music, because I know I couldn't do it. Has Gadd ever written anything of his own on his albums? Steve Jordan's latest Verbs album was all covers, and I really like that album.

Maybe I'm being nitpicky? But I've been disappointed quite a few times, so I doubt I'd be doing any spur-of-the-moment CD buying after seeing one of my idols. Unless I'm buying the band I went to see, like when Billy Cobham came to town, at the end of his show, he announced the CD's he was selling was that specific band playing almost the same show. I thought that was cool. But when a drummer comes out and does a concert of other music, then sells CD's of his personal music, I'll likely not buy.

Am I crazy? Disrespectful?
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2017, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

I know what you mean. I don't think it's because drummers can't write good music, but because the music I really really like to listen to isn't drum-centric.

I guess the best example I can give is the Foo Fighters. Love them! Dave Grohl was known first as a drummer, BUT when he writes for the Foo Fighters, he's writing songs. Just plain old, popular rock songs. Ones that I like to listen to.

When a drummer writes songs to showcase their drumming, I may appreciate it, but I can pretty much guarantee it won't be in any playlist that I listen to regularly.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:01 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

I've been puzzled by my thoughts regarding this as well.

You have drummers, like Anika (2 threads up) where the songs she writes are exhibition pieces for her drumming. Great drummer. All great musicians. Not my thing.

Then you have bands like the Mercury Program, where the songs are drum-centric exhibitions just like Anika's . Less complicated even. I tend to listen to this as background music when I work.

So why the hell do I like one and am content to pass on the other?
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:14 AM
81MC 81MC is offline
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

I think drumming is the hardest instrument to translate from skill set to western music. Personally, I always want to listen to a particular tune because the harmony pops into my head; very rarely does a drummers performance inspire me to go out of way to listen. When I'm playing along, I'm usually humming a melody to myself. 3 chords on a guitar or a few notes on a piano can always be made to sound really good, yet I think most very good drummers would lose my interest before long on their own. The skill sets are very different on a day to day basis and I think it has got to be incredibly hard to be good at both drums and songs. I had the opportunity to see Brian Blade live recently. Phenomenal drummer, and has played on several albums I listen to fairly often, but outside of one of his compositions I heard his own albums would probably never make my
playlist. But I could sit in the bar and listen to a mediocre young lady play acoustic guitar damn near every night... and I'm a drummer! Maybe that explains why my playing isn't progressing.
Of course I'm speaking in sweeping generalities of what I mostly consider music I enjoy most often; some of the greatest, most storied music in the world is rooted in percussion as we know. And some of my favourite albums are
'Led' by drummers.
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  #5  
Old 02-15-2017, 07:17 AM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

I don't find it too bizarre when a drummer writes songs I don't like. A guitar player who's solo album puts me to sleep is another story. Definitely not as common as sucky drummer albums, but they are out there!
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  #6  
Old 02-15-2017, 07:53 AM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
I've been puzzled by my thoughts regarding this as well.

You have drummers, like Anika (2 threads up) where the songs she writes are exhibition pieces for her drumming. Great drummer. All great musicians. Not my thing.

Then you have bands like the Mercury Program, where the songs are drum-centric exhibitions just like Anika's . Less complicated even. I tend to listen to this as background music when I work.

So why the hell do I like one and am content to pass on the other?
Well, TBH, I didn't bring this up because of Anika. But yes, I do appreciate her skills and I think it's great that she's a positive force for drumming. I just don't enjoy her music as much as I enjoy Benny Greb's music - especially the CD he put out with the brass band, that was very music-centered. Even his Greb Fruit album is pretty good.

But even those pale in comparison to listening to King Crimson's Discipline. Or even a new acquisition I'm now checking out, Autolux. But The Dead Weather, maybe they don't count since the drummer is as much a guitar player too?

Some drummers have a knack for composing, like Tony Williams and Billy Cobham, even Stewart Copeland (among others), and that's really cool. Others it will just take me some time to warm up to it. I am very impressed with Marco Minneman's compositions he's done with the Aristocrats, but that's a true band format too, a great power trio. And there are times when I can let Jojo's Nerve play in the background too.
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  #7  
Old 02-15-2017, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

Yes, very.

Drummers music is terrible. I mentioned it a little while ago and some weren't too happy. The composition, the skill, the effort, all first class, but just so tediously w@nky.

I am a drummer, I write tunes, yet I don't write them in the same way that pro drummers do. We're not here to shake our cock about and say "look at how many time signature changes I can do", we're here to write music that you can nod along to, groove to, dance to, sing to. There's a very fine line between interesting/grower type music and solo w@ank. eg I just can't listen to Terry Bozzio or Dave WEckl

Some musicians write the drums first as they feel that is the hook of the song, what gets people moving if you will. Listen to a band like Reuben (Jamie Lenman) or Tesseract. Both have guitarists who are very competent drummers and use the drums to create the framework within which the song can breathe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSLEh2LqwrY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kkl7CiCghVI

Last edited by JohnoWorld; 02-15-2017 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:12 AM
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  #8  
Old 02-15-2017, 12:42 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

Almost always. I listen to music because I like it, never just for the drumming. If the drumming is exciting or interesting then its a bonus.

Good songwriters are rare, its a special gift, and if you are not the main composer in your band there is usually a good reason. Apart from the obvious like Roger Taylor and Phil Collins drummers who pen great songs are like hens teeth. Gloss over Dave Grohl, he is a guitarist now.
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  #9  
Old 02-15-2017, 01:18 PM
Wave Deckel Wave Deckel is offline
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

If you are disappointed, listen e.g. to these two songs. Some drummers are great composers. But drummers, that are also good composers, are a rare breed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w53U7QMkbgM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyvQDOtfeJI
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  #10  
Old 02-15-2017, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

Never disapointed with the good drummers, to name a few (all tunes composed by the mentioned drummers next to it):


Ralph Peterson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfdORYk18Mc

Vinnie Colaiuta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK5zDrXK8uw

Jeff Watts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnCCkhQYk-o

Harvey Mason: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzbhGxVvN1g

Tony Williams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jkT_w14QEo

Billy Cobham: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDeB7xyj3XUaRlbQZY



Etc.!
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  #11  
Old 02-15-2017, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

The albums I don't have much interest in are where the drummer just puts out music that showcases highly-technical drumming. I'm almost always disappointed by that. Even if it's a drummer whose playing I love, I probably won't even check out their dates as a leader unless someone tells me I should.

Now, Tony and Billy are in a different category as composers and leaders. They didn't just write music that showcased their drumming, they are legit writers. They've written stuff that has basically become part of the musical canon. Other artists play their music. Which is a pretty good litmus test, come to think of it.
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2017, 06:09 PM
JohnoWorld
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Sanguinetti View Post
Never disapointed with the good drummers, to name a few (all tunes composed by the mentioned drummers next to it):


Ralph Peterson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfdORYk18Mc

Vinnie Colaiuta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK5zDrXK8uw

Jeff Watts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnCCkhQYk-o

Harvey Mason: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzbhGxVvN1g

Tony Williams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jkT_w14QEo

Billy Cobham: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDeB7xyj3XUaRlbQZY



Etc.!
Sorry but all of that is terrible
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  #13  
Old 02-15-2017, 06:32 PM
Wave Deckel Wave Deckel is offline
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

Apparently you don't like Jazz and Funk. :-)

Some people like the above stuff, others not. That's okay. I don't like many of the above postet songs, too. Too much focus on complex drumming in many of them imho.

Here are some different examples of good compositions where the focus is not on drums as the "über-thing", while being written by drummers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpt_3jYfbUw (Mike Botts)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-BdGchS0yk (Ringo Starr)
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  #14  
Old 02-15-2017, 06:46 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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Originally Posted by JohnoWorld View Post
Sorry but all of that is terrible
Agreed, and I do like Funk and Jazz. Not talking genre, simply not songs to my liking, and if they are being held up as special???
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  #15  
Old 02-15-2017, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Sanguinetti View Post
Never disapointed with the good drummers, to name a few (all tunes composed by the mentioned drummers next to it):


Ralph Peterson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfdORYk18Mc

Vinnie Colaiuta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK5zDrXK8uw

Jeff Watts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnCCkhQYk-o

Harvey Mason: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzbhGxVvN1g

Tony Williams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jkT_w14QEo

Billy Cobham: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDeB7xyj3XUaRlbQZY



Etc.!
Nice stuff. I kind of liked them all. I don't mind a lot of drums in genres that lend itself to it. Instrumental music allows drummers more latitude. I do like instrumentals quite a lot, but I like music w/ lyrics even more.
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  #16  
Old 02-15-2017, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

To branch out the idea of the OP, I have a huge list of bands and/or albums that I absolutely should love, but for whatever reason, I don't.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

Carmine Appice was touring with his own band back in the 80's.
Went to check it out thinking it would be drummer nirvana.
Nope ,mostly blues based rock and vocals.
Pretty generic stuff.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

I've been a prog fan for a long time, and so I get the idea of intricacy and musical complexity. But that doesn't mean that all forms of it work, or work for me. I still find a lot of free jazz to be rough to listen to. I don't care much for music that includes a lot of random changes for no discernible musical reason. And when most of the instrumentation is very basic except for one instrument, whether that be a guitar or a drumset, then I am much less interested.

The prevalence of the internet and affordable recording gear means that we have a LOT more forms of musical expression available to us, not just what is deemed commercially viable. To me that's both blessing and curse. I have found some great music just bebopping around randomly on SoundCloud, but to be sure there's a LOT of unlistenable dreck on there as well. ("Just because you can, doesn't always mean you should.") It also makes vanity projects all the more common, and as mentioned, not everyone has the ability to write an album's worth of great music. Even those that do, don't always knock it out of the park with every song!
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

I quite like the Elvin Jones albums...

That's probably about it. Oh! And Bill Bruford's earlier work with 'Bruford'. That's not too bad - about as cheesy fusion as I'll ever go (and there is a lot of terrible, terrible cheesy fusion out there and much of that is perpetuated by drummers...).
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
To branch out the idea of the OP, I have a huge list of bands and/or albums that I absolutely should love, but for whatever reason, I don't.
I was just thinking of starting a thread/discussion about this topic!
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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To branch out the idea of the OP, I have a huge list of bands and/or albums that I absolutely should love, but for whatever reason, I don't.
I hear ya. I can't tell you how many times someone has discovered I'm a Rush fan and said, "Oh, you must love Dream Theater!" Ummmm, no. lol
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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I hear ya. I can't tell you how many times someone has discovered I'm a Rush fan and said, "Oh, you must love Dream Theater!" Ummmm, no. lol
I hear you there. It never, ever translated for me.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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I was just thinking of starting a thread/discussion about this topic!
I've replied to threads like these, and I often get crucified because my tastes are weird. And also keep in mind there are LOTS of bands that I've really, really tried to like but for whatever reason, they just don't do it for me.
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  #24  
Old 02-15-2017, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

I don't think this is exclusive to drummers.

I have heard solo music I did not enjoy from members of bands I really enjoyed.

I liked some of Phil Collins solo work as well as Billy Cobham.
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

I think this is a big picture question not something specific to one band etc..

To me the point of the drummer, aside from an occasional boring (to me) solo, is to be the string that ties the song together. Like a (cosmic? :) clothesline that all the notes are hung on and when you pull it in the song comes out.

I recall a thread about drum solos a few years ago and it was like this thread with many people voicing opinions on one side or the other. I think you get this idea or you dont. Not right or wrong but I agree with you in that I dont like drum-centric music or even music written by drummers at least none that I have heard.

Bo/Matt you are a great drummer who can play all kinds of styles and do so in all kinds of settings as we have learned over the years. Sounds like you have learned this after many years of doing it "right" (IMO).
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

Anybody else doesn't particularly like Vinnie Colaiuta's solo album?
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  #27  
Old 02-16-2017, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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Bo/Matt you are a great drummer who can play all kinds of styles and do so in all kinds of settings as we have learned over the years. Sounds like you have learned this after many years of doing it "right" (IMO).
Oh gee, thanks! I suppose I'm just a music historian. I've been listening to music for at least the last 47 years of my 51-year life, and although I'm not near as busy a player as I'd like to be (who is?) I've heard enough or been prodded on to give things a listen enough to feel if it will be a good thing or not. These days I kinda tell people who give me recommendations on what I should be listening to that, "I don't have time to listen to the music I actually BUY" ;)

But I'm not really knocking drummers who compose, 'cause like I said, I can't do it. And I think everybody basically finds their audience eventually. There's just more, after all this time listening, that doesn't move me as much as other things. But I do appreciate everyone's efforts. I just no longer voice an opinion on someone's music unless I really love it. No point saying bad things about someone's art, since it's all art, right? I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't like how I play or wonder why I did certain things on the kit that just didn't make any sense, so I'm definitely not above anyone else as far as that goes. And there's still a lot to learn out there!
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

You r welcome. Didn't mean to imply that you were saying all of that.

Really though, don't you think you just probably would rather hear music that is focused on a good groove or a great band feel/sound? To me that makes you a great drummer rather than someone who wants to blaze away and overwhelm the music with chops etc...

Groove is where it's at, not complicated math, not drum solos. The pocket. Make em bob their heads and you win. To me anyway.
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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You r welcome. Didn't mean to imply that you were saying all of that.

Really though, don't you think you just probably would rather hear music that is focused on a good groove or a great band feel/sound? To me that makes you a great drummer rather than someone who wants to blaze away and overwhelm the music with chops etc...

Groove is where it's at, not complicated math, not drum solos. The pocket. Make em bob their heads and you win. To me anyway.
I'm all about this. But I've learned over time that a lot of the greatest musicians know when to go for it and when to lay back. They know when to let the music speak - and there's a lot of that kind of stuff out there. When I hear Steve Jordan play with John Mayer, it's all groove, yet something incomprehensible too - something to make you want to work on your own groove. Contrast that with a new band I just discovered, Autolux, which is all groove, but more atmospheric and nothing to sink your teeth in to. So I'm riding this fine line - there has to be enough there for me to think there's something to work on, yet cleverly-disguised as groove music. If there's nothing there, it falls into "atmospherics" for me ;)
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:50 AM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

It goes back a few years, but Marvin "Smitty" Smith's album, Keeper of the Drums stands out. He wrote all of the tunes as well. Here's the first track:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHxuX4Atg9g
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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Agreed, and I do like Funk and Jazz. Not talking genre, simply not songs to my liking, and if they are being held up as special???
Kinda my feelings too. I like lots of funk and jazz, just not that.

Each to their own obviously and for me personally, I don't pigeon-hole myself into genres. I like lots of heavy music but I hate a lot of heavy metal. I like lots of jazz and funk but I hate self-indulgent tripe.

What I'm saying is that I am very particular in what I like and what I don't. Genre only comes into it when I'm trying to explain to others what I like.

Look at Animals as Leaders. Their last album Joy of Motion was one of the greatest albums I've ever heard. Their new one has a completely different feel to it and I hate it.

So as a rule, I am generally disappointed by most music I hear, so the fact that I am with drummers music is not surprising.

What I would like is one to break the mould, one exception to the rule. last one I tried was Aristocrats and it's awful
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
It goes back a few years, but Marvin "Smitty" Smith's album, Keeper of the Drums stands out. He wrote all of the tunes as well. Here's the first track:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHxuX4Atg9g
Yes, that was a great album, the one that really put at the time Marvin Smith on the center of the scene, remember listen to it at the end of the 80īs (I also have the second one).

Best regards!
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:09 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

I don't know if I could really pinpoint a trend strictly with drummers per se, but I definitely notice a trend with the type of players whom you might expect to put on clinics, regardless of their instrument, putting out albums of music that is geared toward other musicians perhaps listening to it. The sort of thing that is more fun to play than to listen to. I mean, who really needs another adult contemporary/fusion crossover album with keyboards taking the place of vocals? Walmart maybe?...
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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It goes back a few years, but Marvin "Smitty" Smith's album, Keeper of the Drums stands out. He wrote all of the tunes as well. Here's the first track:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHxuX4Atg9g
Wow Marvin....listen to Sonny Rollins much?
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:26 PM
JohnoWorld
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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Originally Posted by Ghostnote View Post
I don't know if I could really pinpoint a trend strictly with drummers per se, but I definitely notice a trend with the type of players whom you might expect to put on clinics, regardless of their instrument, putting out albums of music that is geared toward other musicians perhaps listening to it. The sort of thing that is more fun to play than to listen to. I mean, who really needs another adult contemporary/fusion crossover album with keyboards taking the place of vocals? Walmart maybe?...
Maybe that's it. They want to make music that other musicians will appreciate.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:30 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

It's odd because many times drummers make the best arrangers.


Bass players and drummers always seem to write really boring music, and I think it's because we are stuck thinking about rhythms, rather than melody. The music is usually complicated, and interesting, but there's no hook or melody line that pulls you into it. No one's sitting around tapping their feet or humming these songs.


To expand on it, I'd put many of the guitar virtuoso types in this category as well. Steve Vai songs, for example, are boring as hell! Much like drummers, and bass players, these songs are complicated, but are usually just a vehicle for someone to shred their chops over.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:12 AM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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Originally Posted by tcspears View Post
It's odd because many times drummers make the best arrangers.


Bass players and drummers always seem to write really boring music, and I think it's because we are stuck thinking about rhythms, rather than melody. The music is usually complicated, and interesting, but there's no hook or melody line that pulls you into it. No one's sitting around tapping their feet or humming these songs.


To expand on it, I'd put many of the guitar virtuoso types in this category as well. Steve Vai songs, for example, are boring as hell! Much like drummers, and bass players, these songs are complicated, but are usually just a vehicle for someone to shred their chops over.
Which is why Toto were such an interesting band. Chops for miles and miles. With fantastic songwriting.

I'm not even a particular fan of Toto - I can just sense the absolute craftsmanship of what they achieved.
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  #38  
Old 02-17-2017, 10:45 PM
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Alex Sanguinetti Alex Sanguinetti is offline
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

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Originally Posted by tcspears View Post

Bass players and drummers always seem to write ...
Bass Players:

John Patitucci: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzXwNNhCNyE

Buster Williams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0fzsv0_5fc

Jaco Pastorius: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WH2...DEFCF049BF94A3

Ron Carter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hboSV13e-a8

Stanley Clarke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZLLv4s4WvI

Oscar Pettiford: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EcsQDHKkfs

Alphonso Johnson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFBJ3zBjdqY
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  #39  
Old 02-17-2017, 11:36 PM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

That Patitucci album is horrible!
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Old 02-19-2017, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Ever get disappointed in a drummer's music?

I've fallen in love with this gorgeous little lydian tune by drummer Paul Motian.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk0xKSwpJww

And of course Brian Blade's Stoner Hill is complete beauty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBCJNM-5UuA

Also that Jeff Watts tune is freaking amazing, jesus Wynton is absolutely slaying and goddamn that solo in 7 at the end by Tain wooooooo
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