I love Elvin's playing (mods, please delete me)

A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I never said I couldn't appreciate him. I admitted he is a tremendously talented drummer. His playing just doesn't excite me. There are plenty of other drummers in other genres that I can appreciate the talent of but don't necessarily have to be fans of.

Elvin's playing has just never got me excited to where I thought, "Oh, I must learn that lick." But I can appreciate the talent it takes to pull it off.
Im willing to bet that the drummers who do prompt you to think "oh I must learn that lick"...probably stole it from Elvin

:)
 

Mighty_Joker

Silver Member
My "Riley routine" basically involves shedding the three voice warm-ups from Beyond Bop, the three-voice triplet and paradiddle-diddle comping chapters from Jazz Drummer's Workshop, and the hand/foot combinations from Master Drummer.

This is to try and internalise all the hand/footing combinations to improve my comping. As John puts it, to get rid of the friction between my limbs.

Today, though, I was working on Ramsay's interpretation of long/short notes, such as playing the cymbal and bass drum for long notes, the tom for the short notes, and filling in the triplets on the snare. This was quite tricky, and sounded like nothing I'd ever played before. There aren't enough hours in the day!
 

brady

Platinum Member
Im willing to bet that the drummers who do prompt you to think "oh I must learn that lick"...probably stole it from Elvin

:)
You're probably right.

If so, I probably just prefer other drummers' interpretations. I'm a huge fan of Max Roach.
Nothing comes to mind that he may have taken from Elvin but if you know of any I'd like to hear it.

I hope this thread can help me understand Elvin more. As I said, I just don't get it. I wrote the same thing about Tony Williams a couple years ago. I mean no disrespect--a very talented drummer--but I think I'm missing something because his playing just doesn't do it for me.
 

Mighty_Joker

Silver Member
You're probably right.

If so, I probably just prefer other drummers' interpretations. I'm a huge fan of Max Roach.
Nothing comes to mind that he may have taken from Elvin but if you know of any I'd like to hear it.

I hope this thread can help me understand Elvin more. As I said, I just don't get it. I wrote the same thing about Tony Williams a couple years ago. I mean no disrespect--a very talented drummer--but I think I'm missing something because his playing just doesn't do it for me.
That last paragraph is interesting. I recorded a set from the Tony Williams Quintet the other night, a 1989 concert. While obviously great drumming, it didn't do it for me either. That said, his early work with Miles Davis blows me away.

Elvin, however, I can't get enough of. I'm listening to My Favourite Things right now, and just love it. If you haven't already, try Beyond Bop. It deals specifically with that area of drumming. I'm sure you're familiar with that book already though.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I do have a madness. It comes from listening to the likes of this man, and then listening back to recordings of myself. That's madness, I tell you!
I'll tell you madness ... from comparing my skills with those driven mad by Elvin (like you) and knowing the gulf is just as great ...


Oh my god Polly, you're nearl on 10,000 posts. Keep this discussion going and nail it!
It won't happen. I'm bailing before 5 figures.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I LOVE Elvin's playing - now that I understand it so much more.

For many years I was exposed and listed to traditional Chicago Jazz, New Orleans, Early Swing and went as far as Charlie Parker and Art Blakey. I didn't go much beyond that though from a listening/studying/playing aspect, but was definitely aware of it and heard it.

Once I dived deeper and understood where it was coming from, I couldn't get enough of Elvin. I didn't even struggle with Tony Williams as I did Elvin.

Now that I understand it, I am blown away and influenced by most of jazz music from the 20's - today.
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
Ahhhh you mean the alan dawson book! I love the coordination ways, stick with them, they'll do wonders for your playing, I'm up to playing longs on the bass, shorts on the hats and filling with the snare. It gets a little mindbending sometimes but it's such a great exercise since it works so many different areas of your playing PLUS they're extremely musical and are easily transported to musical settings, Dawson was a genius.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
I'm a massive Jaco fan and a bassist to boot, but I accept that there are plenty of bassists that don't like his style or his contribution. That's totally cool with me.

I know that it would be like throwing a grenade into the room if I expressed my views of Jones. It's sad that I'm fearful of expressing a genuine opinion. But I've learnt my lesson.

Davo
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I see Elvin's playing from a different perspective to many.

Elvin sometimes mentioned that he had a form of synaesthesia; whereby sounds can be experienced as 'colours' - depending on the level, some people actually see colours and some form more of an associative relationship with the colours rather than physically seeing them. There are other forms of synaesthesia other than just sound-colour but that seems to be one of the most common.

I also have the same experience of music. I develop strong colour associations to music and often this will become part of my value judgement of the piece of music. A lot of music that other people like I just don't experience vividly, whereas some I experience very vivid colour associations.

Elvin's playing (and Coltrane's sax, for that matter) develop very deep colour associations for me - particularly the way Elvin plays his ride cymbal. It's incredibly rich and vivid and quite unlike almost any other player.

I also appreciate that on a technical level, I do not really understand most of what Elvin is doing. I just hear the music very differently from most.
 

groove1

Silver Member
I LOVED Elvin's playing and saw him live on various occasions. I never wanted to play like
that though and couldn't have anyways. He was amazing! I have spent most of my life trying
to be tasteful like Philly Joe Jones and burn like Tony Williams (well, that hasn't really worked
either but it's been a great ride!).
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Im willing to bet that the drummers who do prompt you to think "oh I must learn that lick"...probably stole it from Elvin

:)
I recall reading in several interviews with Tico Torres (from Bon Jovi) back in the 80's how Tico used to sit behind Elvin and Elvin was one of Tico's favorites.

So while Bon Jovi seems to be the farthest thing from Elvin, none the less, there is an influence from on to the other.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I don't quite understand the indignation and antagonism that comes from some about others not caring for one of their heroes. (Sorry Gvdadrummasum, I love your drumming and most of your posts, but I've got to quibble with you on this one)

There's a Neil Peart fan on here who does the same thing and I don't see this as any different.

Speaking for myself. I like Elvins's drumming... what of it I've heard, that is. See, I also hear in colors. Some colors I like better than others. For example, despite that I know Led Zeppelin were a great band, I never got into them because to me their colors were drab enough to give me a headache (smears of avocado, harvest gold, orange, and brown). I can say the same thing for a lot of jazz of this era. I've tried to like Coltrane, Dolphy, Miles, etc but for whatever reason the sounds aren't aesthetically pleasing to me and the colors are all over the map.

Basically, if I don't like the music, it almost doesn't matter what the drummer is doing. I could force myself to listen, take some classes to get a better understanding, but I'm not interested in relegating music to an academic exercise. There are too many styles of music that I really like the sound (and colors) of that really excite me to spend much time on music that doesn't. Nothing wrong with that, is there?
 

aydee

Platinum Member
...

Not moi! I hate his playing. He cant hold a groove worth a damn, he is constantly playing fills, playing all over the one, and I've never heard the man play the money beat even once.

...
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I'm a massive Jaco fan and a bassist to boot, but I accept that there are plenty of bassists that don't like his style or his contribution. That's totally cool with me.

I know that it would be like throwing a grenade into the room if I expressed my views of Jones. It's sad that I'm fearful of expressing a genuine opinion. But I've learnt my lesson.

Davo
I understand where you are coming from but it wouldn't hurt my feelings in the least. I personally think both sides of the opinion keep things real.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I don't quite understand the indignation and antagonism that comes from some about others not caring for one of their heroes. (Sorry Gvdadrummasum, I love your drumming and most of your posts, but I've got to quibble with you on this one)

There's a Neil Peart fan on here who does the same thing and I don't see this as any different.

Speaking for myself. I like Elvins's drumming... what of it I've heard, that is. See, I also hear in colors. Some colors I like better than others. For example, despite that I know Led Zeppelin were a great band, I never got into them because to me their colors were drab enough to give me a headache (smears of avocado, harvest gold, orange, and brown). I can say the same thing for a lot of jazz of this era. I've tried to like Coltrane, Dolphy, Miles, etc but for whatever reason the sounds aren't aesthetically pleasing to me and the colors are all over the map.

Basically, if I don't like the music, it almost doesn't matter what the drummer is doing. I could force myself to listen, take some classes to get a better understanding, but I'm not interested in relegating music to an academic exercise. There are too many styles of music that I really like the sound (and colors) of that really excite me to spend much time on music that doesn't. Nothing wrong with that, is there?
totally understood

I guess its the same way that Peart, and Portnoy, don't do it for me

I like and respect those guys for sure....just not a religious follower because there music doesn't do much for me

the Elvin discussion is a personal one for me so I should probably stay out of all of them :)
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Wow. Really? A negative thread on Elvin Jones right from the get go? I would never say that everyone should like Elvin Jones. But to make the entire point of a thread on Elvin Jones to reflect this amount of negativity in his direction wreeks from I don't know what. My first drum teacher when I was a teen first turned me onto Elvin. But when he passed away (my teacher, not Elvin), I was able to snag several of his vinyl albums with Elvin on them including Elvin's own albums. And even back then before I was even able to think what a polyrythmn was, I heard the magic that he was able to stir out of his drums that I didn't hear in anyone else's drumming. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Tony Williams. But Elvin did things that no other drummer was doing or ever did. Fortunately I was able to see the guy live at the Village Vanguard back in the 90's (I think). Sat literally right in front of his drums such that when he knocked one of the metal braces he had hammered into the riser to hold his bass drum from creeping out of the riser, I put my foot up and held it in place for the rest of the entire set. Not only did I experience first had what a genuinely nice guy he was in addition to hearing pretty much everyone who has ever come in contact with him has said, I experienced the insanity of his ability first hand from 3 feet away. And yes, the triplets, syncopation, metric modulation and rat a tat was ALL THAT.

And after I typed that first paragraph, I read the OP's other posts and now see what his intent was. So, having said all that I'll respond to hopefully what you were trying to really ask. I have found Elvin's playing to be on another plane or plain. It is almost otherworldly. He literally does things that no one else can do. I know, I said that already. But it's true. His playing isn't necessarily for everyone. But as a kid I experimented with the plant based stuff probably too much. But it gave me an appreciation for the spirituality inherent in Elvin's playing. It takes an appreciation for both the technicality of his playing as well as the spiritual nature of his playing combined with his powere and precision. The precision aspect is what only became apparent after seeing him live. Unless you saw him play, you might think he was all over the place and "winging" it. Not so. Watching him play live I was blown away by how fluid he was. And he's a big guy so he brought a ton of power to his playing as well. Of all the jazz players from that era, and there are lots of great ones, I'd say my two favorites are Elvin and Tony. And for very different reasons because they are very different players. Reading Brady's last sentence in his post something struck me. I too have never said to myself "Oh, I must learn that lick." Because I could never pull it off. But neither could anyone else. No one played like Elvin. And I haven't heard anyone who comes close to doing so today. The only person I can think of who is alive today that even remotely approximates Elvin is Brian Blade. But that's for another discussion.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I would never say that everyone should like Elvin Jones.
A friend once said “There are some people you don't get to not like.” ...a pianist we know said he wasn't into Chick. It's just kind of clueless. In Elvin's case it just says “I am not a serious listener and I know very little about the drums.”
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I’m not sure there are any well-known drummers I truly dislike. There are players that I feel like have very narrow skill sets, and/or who are pretty severely lacking in chops, but there’s no one whose playing I actually dislike.

Except Max Weinberg. He’s had hand surgery like 7 times, I think? Someone who hits like that doesn’t need to be famous. He’s actively promoting bad technique. He needs to be a basement-only player. Not that Max is a bad guy, he is just a terrible example of technique, and needs to not be someone who large numbers of people see play regularly.
 
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