David Letterman Drum Solo Week II

Naigewron

Platinum Member
I doubt that Gavin will do a drum "solo" (in the sense of playing by himself). More than likely the band will play a tune or vamp and he'll go nuts on top of it.

Gavin is a freaking amazing drummer, but I've never seen him play a solo all by himself. Even his Modern Drummer festival performance didn't feature that.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Agreed all round Swiss. Of course, he's much more impressive than I'll ever be, even in my dreams! I'm hoping Gavin has the space to offer his superb sense of journey. I'm expecting big quality from the Brit' team this week!
All respect to Tony Royster, he can play.

On the other hand, I can see the Jazz Police screaming at him. No sense of swing at all and that ride tone was horribly inappropriate. I think the guitarist came out of that best.

My issue with Royster is that he is very much a drummer. He's grown up with it and learned to play to a high technical ability but I'm not hearing a lot of reverence for the material or understanding of musical function outside of his niche. There's some examples later on like the 'kaflaka' work with the snare and the double bass - the speeding up snare roll/cymbal hit combinations. It all screams of chops with little or no precontextualisation. It's impressive, but it's nothing I would even want to listen to for more than a few seconds at a time.

He can't swing worth a damn either so why he's playing along to 'Caravan' is totally beyond me. It's not like his chops even fit into that musical context.

His arm/hand technique also looks very awkward.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
He does have a sense of swing but it's that swung 16th hip-hop feel rather than a jazz swung 8th feel. It's actually very interesting to watch. I know what you mean about the ride tone, I'm no jazz aficionado but that wasn't quite working for me either.

I actually thought the floor tom sounded pretty cool, but overall the drum sound is a bit boring. It's the snare, all the gospel guys seem to have the same snare sound...it's very flat. It affords opportunity for nuance or subtlety of expression, really.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
I think you got that right there Ben. It's the 'wrong' swing feel.

Maybe I'm turning into a Jazz snob. Oh dear.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Geez Duncan, what's with the mad guy in the white pyjamas in your avatar? :)

I quite like TRJ's spot. The critiques are probably fair enough but he does bring an amazing amount of speed, control and fire to the table. I'd take Duke's Caravan any day but this one was cool for what it was ... certainly 10ox more enjoyable than most of the music played on TV.

But mostly I'm looking forward to seeing Gavin and, especially, Stew.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
I think this guy did a great job. Best one so far. The kids nowadays have amazing speed. Seems every generation gets faster and faster.
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
I wasn't familiar with him and when I heard he just came off tour with JayZ I kind of cringed but I really enjoyed his performance. Granted, I don't have the trained ears many of you have for these kinds of things but I thought it was entertaining and had a nice groove. I try not to over analyze these things too much, I either like it or not. JMHO.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
I ignored the swing issues entirely because I knew he was just sketching out an outline that would lead to those kaflakata breaks which he probably does better than anyone on earth with the possible exception of Chambers. When I especially heard the guitar lead, jazz police sensibilities flew out the window because I was pretty sure I was in different territory anyway.

IMO this is how all the solos should go for an internationally broadcast television show viewed by a wider audience. Let guys who don't play jump up and scream whoa while high school drummers envision themselves on their own JayZ tour. This beats the heck out of the normal hero worship we've been seeing from those two drummers that people mostly talk about...and a much higher standard to aspire to. Who cares what people like us think. We're just a lot of inside baseball that has nothing to do with the broader demographic. Besides we're the ones who try to get our sticks at cost and sneak into concerts for free. With the exception of the gear hounds we're not making this business any money, so why should the Letterman show care what we think.

Still in Royster's case you have to reflect on that famous video he did as a 12 year old and wonder if he will ever not be compared to that pretty remarkable debut.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I like what Tony did. I like that part of it was to music and then he went off by himself and came back to it. He impressed me with his speed and the sheer amount of clean notes that came out of his flurries. I wouldn't want to work that hard personally, but he's young and full of youthful energy.
 

Thaard

Platinum Member
I thought Tony's was the most suited solo for the audience and television. People don't give a shebang about his hip-hop-swing, when he does exactly whats expected of him.
He built it up and exploded in the end, which is pretty standard as solo's go. The difference is that his chops are more or less 100% clean.
Gotta hand it to him. I'm looking forward to Chambers and Harrison.
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
Tony did a great job! Looks like we are off to a great week of solos. The sound still sounded muddy to my ears....i thought the show would have got past that learning curve since the last drum solo week.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I'm hoping Gavin inspires with his lovely inventive groove augmentation, Dennis rocks out on funk, & stuart leaves us all in no doubt that it's all about the music.

Lofty standards set by Tony, & a more impressive lineup would be difficult to find, but I've got the Brit's down as taking the team prize on this! (yes, that is intentional nationalistic bating)
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Well the Canuck already won so it doesn't matter who comes after. Just kidding. :)
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Who cares what people like us think. We're just a lot of inside baseball that has nothing to do with the broader demographic. Besides we're the ones who try to get our sticks at cost and sneak into concerts for free. With the exception of the gear hounds we're not making this business any money, so why should the Letterman show care what we think.
Good point.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Good point.
It is a good point actually. Although that leads me to ask the obvious question about the public perception of drummers.

I'm not American but I understand that David Letterman is watched by many millions. Do exercises like this build or demolish stereotypes? Over here in the UK we never really had the 'Buddy Rich' phenomenon of the 'solo drummer' in quite the same way as the US did; so to a UK audience the idea of this entire week - showcasing drummers - is really an alien concept. There is an obvious 'drummer' stereotype that we all know and over in the UK this can be a particular problem, especially when other drummers actually live to that stereotype. To me the idea of this week could have the potential to confirm the stereotype of drummers 'just hitting things with sticks' unless one of the players does something remarkably different.

If Susie Ibarra were on this week I would be much more interested in the whole affair. That would add a new dimension to the public perception of drummers but Royster's solo added to a stereotype that I'm not entirely comfortable with. He did exactly what was expected of him and that was to hit things hard, loud and fast - he did that very well and he clearly has a great level of skill. I'm going to reserve judgement until I've seen Gavin Harrison and Copeland because I think they really might do something very different.
 

LinearDrummer

Silver Member
I thought Tony's was the most suited solo for the audience and television. People don't give a shebang about his hip-hop-swing, when he does exactly whats expected of him.
He built it up and exploded in the end, which is pretty standard as solo's go. The difference is that his chops are more or less 100% clean.
Gotta hand it to him. I'm looking forward to Chambers and Harrison.
Couldn't agree more!

That was a great job by Tony...Letterman seemed quite impressed

Much better choices with this lineup the second time around
 
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