Big Band Music

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
Idea from another thread...

Nothing against the original who was fabulous in his own right, this is a great cover with some excellent vocals. Love the groove.


A couple more



What are your favorite big band tunes?
 
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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Sing, Sing, Sing is my most favorite for many many sentimental reasons <---it was the very first song I ever "played" along with my dad when I was 3

I really love a lot of Louis Prima stuff; Woody Herman and the Herd...
 

RickP

Gold Member
I play in a local Big Band . My parents were huge fans of Swing Music . Some of my favourite Big Bands are :
Count Basie
Woody Herman
Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis
Maynard Ferguson

Mel Lewis is my favourite Big Band drummer - no bombastic fills or solos like Buddy Rich . Mel plays perfect parts for the music , his sound is very identifiable . The dark cymbal sound , calfskin heads.

Sonny Payne was another favourite and his work with Count Basie is superb .
 

J-W

Well-known member
Gene Krupa and his Orchestra. Can't get enough. I have as much on vinyl as I can find.

It seems that hunching over is the key to playing big band music. I think I need to report this discovery in the Buddy Rich's Secret Solved thread. He just simply hunched over more than the others.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I play in a local Big Band . My parents were huge fans of Swing Music . Some of my favourite Big Bands are :
Count Basie
Woody Herman
Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis
Maynard Ferguson

Mel Lewis is my favourite Big Band drummer - no bombastic fills or solos like Buddy Rich . Mel plays perfect parts for the music , his sound is very identifiable . The dark cymbal sound , calfskin heads.

Sonny Payne was another favourite and his work with Count Basie is superb .

my college jazz band director loved Thad Jones...we did stuff by him every semester
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
my college jazz band director loved Thad Jones...we did stuff by him every semester
Being really old my first knowledge of Big
Bands were those of the 40s of which the numbers were endless. These were "dance bands" as compared to "performance bands" So when you talk Big Bands they are totally different as are the drummers who played in them. In a dance band the kick is the main time mechanism that the band cues on and the dancers react too. 99% of the time the kick plays all four beats in 4/4 or 3/4 time.
And that holds true for Foxtrots, Waltzes and Polkas.
The Waltz can vary as to Strauss, Old Time and Modern as regards the kick but dance music is dance music. Whereas in the performance Big Bands the root is usually Jazz and how many out there can dance to Basie, Ellington, Herman etc.. well you get the picture. In the performance band the time keeper is most often Bass and a rhythm Guitar while the Drums and Keys do fills, accents etc.
As for those bands I'm a huge (late) Basie fan. In my opinion his 1968 album "Straight Ahead" is the
greatest ever by a Performance Big Band ever but I'm sure you all have your favourites.
 

Sebenza

Member
Count Basie had the best band in the classic era. Every so often I always watch this, it's a great recording and filmed very well.

Thank you for posting this. Amazing stuff!
 

Sebenza

Member
Back in the nineties as a youngster I met this old guy in the café I had my rehearsal room in and we got to talking. Turned out he was a real lover and authority on old school jazz and organized weekly listening sessions in some bar. I went there a few times and one of the things that really stuck with me to this day, was this piece played by Duke Ellington and his band. I know it's super famous in its own right, but I still post or mention it any chance I get, as it is just simply awesome. Paul Gonsalves changes the audience's mind...
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
My childhood, watching Lawrence Welk with my grandma.

Yep and millions danced to his music cause thats what he played starting out in Strasberg N.D. and did the same for the rest of his life. Whether you liked or disliked his music and style, he had a tight band with first rate musicians through all the years and entertained and thrilled millions, especially Seniors who loved t
Count Basie had the best band in the classic era. Every so often I always watch this, it's a great recording and filmed very well.

I've seen this several times. He had the very best musicians and what a class act the Count
is !!!
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
Being really old my first knowledge of Big
Bands were those of the 40s of which the numbers were endless. These were "dance bands" as compared to "performance bands" So when you talk Big Bands they are totally different as are the drummers who played in them. In a dance band the kick is the main time mechanism that the band cues on and the dancers react too. 99% of the time the kick plays all four beats in 4/4 or 3/4 time.
And that holds true for Foxtrots, Waltzes and Polkas.
The Waltz can vary as to Strauss, Old Time and Modern as regards the kick but dance music is dance music. Whereas in the performance Big Bands the root is usually Jazz and how many out there can dance to Basie, Ellington, Herman etc.. well you get the picture. In the performance band the time keeper is most often Bass and a rhythm Guitar while the Drums and Keys do fills, accents etc.
As for those bands I'm a huge (late) Basie fan. In my opinion his 1968 album "Straight Ahead" is the
greatest ever by a Performance Big Band ever but I'm sure you all have your favourites.
@Sonorfan THIS is a brief concise wealth of knowledge and insight! I think I get the difference in dance vs performance and the ‘kick’, but intend to explore in much more depth. Thanks!!
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I never had any kind of big band drummer phase, I've just listened to a little bit of the biggest people-- Thad Jones / Mel Lewis, Woody Herman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson.

The large group stuff I like aren't really traditional big band-- more like ~ 12 piece groups or larger studio orchestras, not just doing normal charts, like:




 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
@Sonorfan THIS is a brief concise wealth of knowledge and insight! I think I get the difference in dance vs performance and the ‘kick’, but intend to explore in much more depth. Thanks!!
Go for it SBD !
I wish I had formal music training. Any experience I have was garnered by osmosis.. playing all those dances gig after gig including a traditional Big Band playing the Great American Songbook numbers. Plus a lot of Country and Old Time with a fiddler, chording piano and rhythm guitar. Those gigs paid the best !
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
Go for it SBD !
I wish I had formal music training. Any experience I have was garnered by osmosis.. playing all those dances gig after gig including a traditional Big Band playing the Great American Songbook numbers. Plus a lot of Country and Old Time with a fiddler, chording piano and rhythm guitar. Those gigs paid the best !
Me too. And what’s a paying gig? :ROFLMAO: Last one I played was around 1989 I think, made $150 for the night if memory serves (and it often doesn’t). For 3 sets plus driving, setup and tear down for a total of about 6 hours. $25/ hour... but if you get to play the music you love it’s totally worth it.
now that I’m older and (presumably) wiser I might find a band to do this again... btw what does a drummer make playing gigs these days?
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
Another classic
 
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