Modern jazz drumers and their influences

thatjazzguy

Junior Member
Why do Modern jazz drummers always say their main influences are, "Tony Williams, Kenny Clarke, Max Roach (etc.). I get these are classic drummers who should be studied religiously, but I don't get how someone like Bill Stewart or Antonio Sanchez could come out of Max Roach's playing.
DON'T GET ME WRONG!!!!!! I love all the oldies way more than most of the new guys.
I am mainly curious as to what extent some of these modern drummers are studying the greats and how the new drummers get such crazy ideas from some really simple (ALTHOUGH CRAZILY MUSICAL) phrases
Mostly based on Max Roach and Clarke
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
did you just suggest that Tony Williams played "simple phrases" ?

...and who do you suggest they be influenced by?

these guys you mentioned are innovators of the instrument itself

no one ever said you have to sound like those who inspire you...most don't and can't for that matter

Tony himself when asked when he realized he had his own style answered....I still don't .....
then goes on to admit that what you hear when he plays is him doing his own impression of Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Clifford Jarvis, Stanley Clarke and so on ...and what came out is what you hear on all those great records
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Influence is not a strictly linear thing. Maybe they were listening to more than just Max, or maybe there's more to Max than you are aware of, or maybe they are highly creative players in their own right and actually invented some stuff, or all of the above.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Just because someone influences you, doesn't mean it's a straight "he did this, so I will do that" thing. Some of it can be in the way you sit, the way you approach things in the music, the look you have on your face. There's any number of ways a guy can influence you.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I don't think it's a stretch at all. Just to name one example, Max's approach to soloing, comping, drum sound and even composing music can all be found within Bill's arsenal. Just because he doesn't play exactly like Max doesn't mean there isn't an influence. Bill took elements of Max and dozens of other great drummers to come up with his own sound.
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
Yead I admit if you spin a Max record and then check out Antonio Sanchez it might sound like they're something completely different, I like to think of it as a line, Max inspired Tony who inspired Tain who inspired Antonio and so on. All these guys are building on top of what the previous generations accomplished. I think you should read up on some jazz history to get a better sense of what these guys accomplished and why they're still studied today, for example Elvin Jones dynamic ride cymbal playing is something that is so influential that I think every jazz drummer has to study it at some point.
 

drummindan8484

Senior Member
Just because someone influences you, doesn't mean it's a straight "he did this, so I will do that" thing. Some of it can be in the way you sit, the way you approach things in the music, the look you have on your face. There's any number of ways a guy can influence you.
This is very true. I would call Joe Morello an influence as I absolutely love his playing, but the biggest thing I've got from him that I've incorporated into my drumming? Using a wood beater on my bass drum (even for jazz!). I consider Aaron Spears a big influence as well and while I've only learned a couple of his licks, thanks to him I often start my fills on an off beat (and of 3 or 4) and fill through the following measure. Aside of the main groove to Scofield's "Blue Matter" I can't play a thing Dennis Chambers does but I'll never forget how floored I was when I first heard him play, and I still consider him one of my biggest influences. The only way to find out would be to actually sit down and talk to one of these dudes and ask "how did x drummer influence you?" Not an easy thing to do, but I'd be very curious to hear some of the answers!
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Why do Modern jazz drummers always say their main influences are, "Tony Williams, Kenny Clarke, Max Roach (etc.). I get these are classic drummers who should be studied religiously, but I don't get how someone like Bill Stewart or Antonio Sanchez could come out of Max Roach's playing.
DON'T GET ME WRONG!!!!!! I love all the oldies way more than most of the new guys.
I am mainly curious as to what extent some of these modern drummers are studying the greats and how the new drummers get such crazy ideas from some really simple (ALTHOUGH CRAZILY MUSICAL) phrases
Mostly based on Max Roach and Clarke
The drum set is a very young instrument, barely 100 years old. There simply aren't a whole lot of people who have had a chance to influence the instrument, when compared to more established instruments. So it is understandable people would continue to cite the same drummers and influences over and over again.

Consider the piano dates to about 1700 - it has about 300 years of history, even farther if you count keyboard instruments. So pianists have a much longer history to fall back on.

Also, drummers tend to stick to the Western trap set - too much, I think. Membranophones and idiophones are the oldest instruments, going back tens of thousands of years across hundreds of cultures. If Western trap set drummers expanded their knowledge of other cultures, they'd suddenly start seeing all kinds of influences - not just individual musicians as influences, but entire societies. Just as pianists cite influences going back hundreds of years, so could drummers if they looked back farther.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
The drum set is a very young instrument, barely 100 years old. There simply aren't a whole lot of people who have had a chance to influence the instrument, when compared to more established instruments. So it is understandable people would continue to cite the same drummers and influences over and over again.

Consider the piano dates to about 1700 - it has about 300 years of history, even farther if you count keyboard instruments. So pianists have a much longer history to fall back on.

Also, drummers tend to stick to the Western trap set - too much, I think. Membranophones and idiophones are the oldest instruments, going back tens of thousands of years across hundreds of cultures. If Western trap set drummers expanded their knowledge of other cultures, they'd suddenly start seeing all kinds of influences - not just individual musicians as influences, but entire societies. Just as pianists cite influences going back hundreds of years, so could drummers if they looked back farther.
how can you be influenced by something you cannot listen to?

if I can't hear a drummer play there is no way they will have any affect on me

it's not like Beethoven or Scriabin where we can here listen to someones interpretation or adaptation of an etude

if a drummer precedes the recording process ...to me there is no way he can influence anyone

maybe the history of a certain instrument and how it is traditionally played but if we are talking about a specific player of that instrument.....cannot happen in my opinion
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
I hafta say -- as much as I recognize Clarke as being one of the forefathers of the bop style, I can't say I hear much of a direct influence in contemporary players.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I hafta say -- as much as I recognize Clarke as being one of the forefathers of the bop style, I can't say I hear much of a direct influence in contemporary players.
Kenny Clarke is credited as the first player to "drop bombs" with the kick and not just feather quarter notes.

he was the first guy to comp adding the kick according to folks who were around at the time

so anyone who does that.....which is everyone....is directly or indirectly influenced by Kenny Clarke

he is also credited for being one of the first (some say THE first) to take time to the ride cymbal

Clarke was a MAJOR innovator as far as jazz drumming is concerned

his influence is unavoidable if you play jazz
 
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brittc89

Pioneer Member
I can hear a great deal of history in a lot of the top modern jazz guys. Its interesting to me to think of the evolution, not necessarily for the better, of the drumset. And how each generation is able to pull from and combine more and more resources. Even if were talking about going all the way back to Big Sid, there is still always one more year of dudes to check out. I think part of the reason this is such a notable phenomenon is the relative youth of the drum-set as an instrument, 100 and some years old, depending on where you define the first drum-set as existing. But its clear to me that as the history of the drum-set progresses in terms of years, players will consistently be tracking that movement. I hear a lot of Al Foster in Bill Stewart. I can hear the influence of tony williams and roy haynes in Antonio Sanchez, mixed with a certain virtuosity that lends itself to development. Its there, you just gotta trace it and think in terms of broad spectrum of the innovations that those early guys were pursuing.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
how can you be influenced by something you cannot listen to?

if I can't hear a drummer play there is no way they will have any affect on me

it's not like Beethoven or Scriabin where we can here listen to someones interpretation or adaptation of an etude

if a drummer precedes the recording process ...to me there is no way he can influence anyone

maybe the history of a certain instrument and how it is traditionally played but if we are talking about a specific player of that instrument.....cannot happen in my opinion
If a musician was never recorded, there is no way his recordings can influence anyone, because they don't exist. But recording is only a small part of music

Western music has highly developed notation and schools of study. We can replicate the way they played things hundreds of years ago, whether a solo concerto or a symphony. Plus, there are people alive today who can trace their course of study right back to the original pianist composer - handing things down from one person to the next has been an effective and important way of passing along knowledge and influence in any field of study. If anything, this kind of music has become too formalized and fossilized!

When you listen to non-Western cultures, the music goes back maybe a thousand years or more and their styles, traditions and influences have either been handed either from person to person, in formal schools and notation, or both.

Blows my mind to think of that kind of heritage. A young instrument with relatively little history, like the Western trap set, is rooted in things thousands of years old but most drummers just look back a few decades for influence.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
If a musician was never recorded, there is no way his recordings can influence anyone, because they don't exist. But recording is only a small part of music

Western music has highly developed notation and schools of study. We can replicate the way they played things hundreds of years ago, whether a solo concerto or a symphony. Plus, there are people alive today who can trace their course of study right back to the original pianist composer - handing things down from one person to the next has been an effective and important way of passing along knowledge and influence in any field of study. If anything, this kind of music has become too formalized and fossilized!

When you listen to non-Western cultures, the music goes back maybe a thousand years or more and their styles, traditions and influences have either been handed either from person to person, in formal schools and notation, or both.

Blows my mind to think of that kind of heritage. A young instrument with relatively little history, like the Western trap set, is rooted in things thousands of years old but most drummers just look back a few decades for influence.
i understand the history well....I have a degree which is partially in roots of rhythm

but we are talking about being influenced by players of the instrument, the nuances of their touch, how they approach a piece, how their stick sounds on a ride cymbal, their improv ideas...

not possible to be influenced by a drummer or percussionists playing without hearing it
 
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Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
i understand the history well....I have a degree which is partially in roots of rhythm

but we are talking about being influenced by players of the instrument, the nuances of their touch, how they approach a piece, how their stick sounds on a ride cymbal, their improv ideas...

not possible to be influenced by a drummer or percussionists playing without hearing it
Not necessarily. Sure, listening to someone or a recording is optimum. But written and passed-down music from a particular musician can influence other musicians greatly, especially if musicians are continuing to render it. Pianists can refer to details notes from the composers laid down hundreds of years ago and get it just exactly right. There are other ways to leave behind instructions on style and approach, even without a recording. Lots of music has been passed down for centuries this way and varied little.

On a relatively new instrument like the drum set, drummer could be looking for influences much farther back than 100 years and much farther away than America - and many of them do.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Not necessarily. Sure, listening to someone or a recording is optimum. But written and passed-down music from a particular musician can influence other musicians greatly, especially if musicians are continuing to render it. Pianists can refer to details notes from the composers laid down hundreds of years ago and get it just exactly right.

On a relatively new instrument like the drum set, drummer could be looking for influences much farther back than 100 years and much farther away than America - and many of them do.
completely disagree 100%

a written piece is fine and I may be able to get something from it as far as how someone interprets it or how I may interpret it taking into consideration what gets lost in translation.........but as far as the player himself influencing me in any way ...without hearing them play it's just not possible

for example...I have never heard a recording of Sanford Moeller play so in no way can he directly influence me.....But I have heard Gene Krupa and Jim Chapin play and have heard them interpret his methods ....which they had admittedly altered slightly .... therefor I can be directly influenced by them and their interpretation ...but still have no idea what Sanford Moeller sounded or looked like while playing


I have seen a grainy choppy film of him with no sound that could have basically been anyone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_V4rZ4d0u0
....but thats about it ......no influence on me whatsoever ....not possible
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
completely disagree 100%

a written piece is fine and I may be able to get something from it as far as how someone interprets it or how I may interpret it taking into consideration what gets lost in translation.........but as far as the player himself influencing me in any way ...without hearing them play it's just not possible

for example...I have never heard a recording of Sanford Moeller play so in no way can he directly influence me.....But I have heard Gene Krupa and Jim Chapin play and have heard them interpret his methods ....which they had admittedly altered slightly .... therefor I can be directly influenced by them and their interpretation ...but still have no idea what Sanford Moeller sounded or looked like while playing


I have seen a grainy choppy film of him with no sound that could have basically been anyone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_V4rZ4d0u0
....but thats about it ......no influence on me whatsoever ....not possible
Hum, OK. I can tell you that I have listened to musicians playing something first written or composed by someone else, and the original musician has influenced me greatly, even when rendered through others. I guess it all depends on what you get out of it or not. But it is possible and I believe it happens more than you think. Indeed. for 99.99 percent of human history, no recording technology existed, yet people influenced each other greatly, across centuries, with written or oral traditions, and many musicians became revered and their styles mimicked and studied even today.

As I said before, drummers tend to cite relatively few influences because they are most interested in music from a very narrow time and place (American culture of the past century). Some, like you, are apparently incapable of being influenced unless they actually hear the musician or a decent recording of them. Severe limit.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Hum, OK. I can tell you that I have listened to musicians playing something first written or composed by someone else, and the original musician has influenced me greatly, even when rendered through others. I guess it all depends on what you get out of it or not. But it is possible and I believe it happens more than you think. Indeed. for 99.99 percent of human history, no recording technology existed, yet people influenced each other greatly, across centuries, with written or oral traditions, and many musicians became revered and their styles mimicked and studied even today.

As I said before, drummers tend to cite relatively few influences because they are most interested in music from a very narrow time and place (American culture of the past century). Some, like you, are apparently incapable of being influenced unless they actually hear the musician or a decent recording of them. Severe limit.
what YOU are not understanding is that we are talking about being influenced by a certain persons playing...... their physical playing

how Tony attacked the kit
how Elvin graced the ride cymbal
how the snare drum sounded when Bonzo cracked it
Vinnies flow
Max and his effortless melodies

if they were never recorded and people who were around to hear them interpreted it we would then be influenced by their interpretation not the physical drummer....if I heard it myself I may interpret it completely differently than someone else

yes we can be influenced by history ... techniques, styles, oral traditions....whatever

but to be influenced by a persons playing ...their nuances, thier touch, the way thier playing feels and how they approached a style or tempo can absolutely not happen without hearing them

impossible

I get it ....you are influenced by history and things that were created thousands of years ago.....but im sorry my friend ... what you are being influenced by is a passed down tradition of someones interpretation ....or maybe your own interpretation of a piece you are reading....not the player himself

to be influenced by a certain players emotion on the instrument and how they played it ...you must hear him/her.....period

we are talking about drummers.....not harmonic instruments

a percussion piece can not be interpreted the way Beethoven or Scriabin can ......and even with those we have no idea truly how the piece was meant to be perceived
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
Kenny Clarke is credited as the first player to "drop bombs" with the kick and not just feather quarter notes.

he was the first guy to comp adding the kick according to folks who were around at the time

so anyone who does that.....which is everyone....is directly or indirectly influenced by Kenny Clarke

he is also credited for being one of the first (some say THE first) to take time to the ride cymbal

Clarke was a MAJOR innovator as far as jazz drumming is concerned

his influence is unavoidable if you play jazz
Agreed. But I said a DIRECT influence -- in that others sound like him and copied him. You can say that Baby Dods is an influence to anyone who plays a drum solo because he was the first to do it and that sent the ball rolling. But I'd bet 90% of drummers never heard him play or even know who he is.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
what YOU are not understanding is that we are talking about being influenced by a certain persons playing...... their physical playing

how Tony attacked the kit
how Elvin graced the ride cymbal
how the snare drum sounded when Bonzo cracked it
Vinnies flow
Max and his effortless melodies

if they were never recorded and people who were around to hear them interpreted it we would then be influenced by their interpretation not the physical drummer....if I heard it myself I may interpret it completely differently than someone else

yes we can be influenced by history ... techniques, styles, oral traditions....whatever

but to be influenced by a persons playing ...their nuances, thier touch, the way thier playing feels and how they approached a style or tempo can absolutely not happen without hearing them

impossible

I get it ....you are influenced by history and things that were created thousands of years ago.....but im sorry my friend ... what you are being influenced by is a passed down tradition of someones interpretation ....or maybe your own interpretation of a piece you are reading....not the player himself

to be influenced by a certain players emotion on the instrument and how they played it ...you must hear him/her.....period

we are talking about drummers.....not harmonic instruments

a percussion piece can not be interpreted the way Beethoven or Scriabin can ......and even with those we have no idea truly how the piece was meant to be perceived
I agree that you can't be influenced in that way, but I certainly know that I can. The best way is to hear someone play but failing that, style may be notated, passed along, drawn, described in text, etc. I've dabbled in the violin and there are books devoted to how particular virtuousi coaxed various sounds and nuances out of the instrument and their personal style still influences people centuries later.

I think it's great that what doesn't work for you, doesn't work for you. And what works for me, works for me.
 
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