Neil Peart Plays Buddy Rich

Steamer

Platinum Member
I would like to put things this way. I have seen and heard both Neil Peart and Buddy Rich lay down things on a drum kit that made my mouth drop open and I was humbled in awe at what both of these men, and many others that are in their league could do with rhythms!

I have been playing for many years, I know a great drummer when I see one! I will not sit quietly on the sidelines while people criticize drummers that are truly worth honorable mention.

You seem to miss the point of the whole discussion Bob. No matter who you are if you miss the mark by a country mile due to not knowing the language being spoken the jig is up clear and simple... that's the blunt truth which applies to ALL drummers regardless of fame or fortune in whatever genre they choose or have their claim to fame in.

Here's another way of looking at from a perspective/psychological human perception standpoint. If you only heard the early clip without the visual footage up to and minus the solo {and here's the important part} not knowing who the drummer actually was could you say in all honestly the drummer in question was really swinging, playing or phrasing like a pro level seasoned Big Band drummer from what you heard in the audio track? Most people who know this particular jazz language intimately by ear by listening to that music for years or having actual experience with playing that drum chair firsthand would say not a chance in Hell "whoever" it was nailed it for real within that common known jazz language.

After this first go I believe Neil himself had this humble "moment" of understanding and decided to find a good teacher to do the much needed "homework" required to honor the Big Band jazz craft in a better way the next time around. Good on him for doing that......

THAT'S the point from my side of the tracks my friend and will remain unchanged.... no hate or slamming just plain simple reality for doing the given task and job it's proper due respect.
 
Last edited:

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Here is the Cottontail that Neil recorded on the original Burning for Buddy CD. I loved it! I found it to be unique and different! I have numerous versions of this song in my collection. I like all of them. i don't think that Neil was better than others. I just like his version also. You guys decide!
 

Attachments

  • Cottontail.mp3
    6.4 MB · Views: 246

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Here is Duke Ellington's version of Cottontail. I love this one also!
 

Attachments

  • My Song.mp3
    3.9 MB · Views: 208

Steamer

Platinum Member
Here is the Cottontail that Neil recorded on the original Burning for Buddy CD. I loved it! I found it to be unique and different! I have numerous versions of this song in my collection. I like all of them. i don't think that Neil was better than others. I just like his version also. You guys decide!

Sounds very heavy to me Bob and not very swinging in the true sense of the word musically speaking. Has some of the problems I listed in detail in the much earlier #15 post in the thread.

Chops are fine but it's not about chops for me it's about having a certain concept and delivery I need to hear to call it swing based drum performance. The syncopated ensemble figures aren't very well set up to my liking to give the phrases a forward push in this Big Band ensemble setting, they always seem to be placed way behind {slowing down} the pulse making it loose it's forward motion for the overall ensemble performance of the tune. The time, swing feel has a heavily emphasis on the down beats making it feel well..... heavy...... instead of a emphasis on syncopation, floating light on top of the beat {bouyant}. In other words some actual swinging going on.

My opinion and ear........
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Here is The New York Voices performing Cottontail. I also play this one all the time and I enjoy it each Time!
 

Attachments

  • My Song.mp3
    4.3 MB · Views: 218

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Sounds very heavy to me Bob and not very swinging in the true sense of the word musically speaking. Has some of the problems I listed in detail in the much earlier #15 post in the thread.

Chops are fine but it's not about chops for me it's about having a certain concept and delivery I need to hear to call it swing based drum performance. The syncopated ensemble figures aren't very well set up to my liking to give the phrases a forward push in this Big Band ensemble setting, they always seem to be placed way behind {slowing down} the pulse making it loose it's forward motion for the overall ensemble performance of the tune. The time, swing feel has a heavily emphasis on the down beats making it feel well..... heavy...... instead of a emphasis on syncopation, floating light on top of the beat {bouyant}. In other words some actual swinging going on.

My opinion and ear........
Exactly, I appreciated the song slowed down, after hearing it many times, by many bands played fast. The song felt soothing to me, Not hurried, like other performances that I have heard. It relaxed me a bit more and I liked it!
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Exactly, I appreciated the song slowed down, after hearing it many times, by many bands played fast. The song felt soothing to me, Not hurried, like other performances that I have heard. It relaxed me a bit more and I liked it!

That's not what I was saying or the point I was getting at. It's not about the tempo it's about what is played within any given tempo in swing based music which in the faster tempo example had all the elements in place to swing in spades. In Neil's one of the same tune he sounded back and behind and heavy on the beat with his playing at THAT TEMPO loosing the forward moving swing feel REGARDLESS OF THE TEMPO of the tune being played.

Sorry i'm a real sticklier for this kind of stuff {the devil's in the details} since this is what I do in life as a veteran jazz performer and instructor. Take no prisoners........
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
That's not what I was saying. It's not about the tempo it's about what is played within any given tempo in swing based music which in the faster tempo example had all the elements in place to swing in spades. In Neil's one of the same tune he sounded back and behind and heavy on the beat with his playing at THAT TEMPO loosing the forward moving swing feel REGARDLESS OF THE TEMPO of the tune being played.

Sorry i'm a real sticklier for this kind of stuff since this is what I do a in life as a veteran jazz performer and instructor. Take no prisoners........
Stan, I understand the concept of playing ahead of the beat. It was probably Neil's heavy playing on the beat that prompted the band director to slow the song in the first place. It still sounds good that way to me. It is just another take on the song. That is what I have been getting at. I can tell the diff between playing in Swing style and that of playing in a modified style. I can appreciate both of them.
 
M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Stan, I understand the concept of playing ahead of the beat. It was probably Neil's heavy playing on the beat that prompted the band director to slow the song in the first place. It still sounds good that way to me. It is just another take on the song.

That's just it though. Is it?.

Another take on the song is a re-arrangement or drastically changing it for artistic reasons. This is a change because the drummer couldn't play the tune properly. That's not re-arrangement or artistic. That's just compensation.
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Stan, I understand the concept of playing ahead of the beat. It was probably Neil's heavy playing on the beat that prompted the band director to slow the song in the first place. It still sounds good that way to me. It is just another take on the song. That is what I have been getting at. I can tell the diff between playing in Swing style and that of playing in a modified style. I can appreciate both of them.



If it's a classic swing tune played within a classic Big Band swing setting it has to swing to work for me Bob...... that's my bottom line.
 

Average

Senior Member
I think a lot of people must not understand what it is to swing. Here's to hoping NP learned what swing is in the years since 93.

Here is the other thing about playing jazz ... REAL jazz, not your highschool jazz band bullcrap ...

It is improvised. There is no set part that you can memorize and play over and over again. I think a major problem with NP's performance is that he doesn't seem to improvise at all, or even understand what the purpose of the improvisation is. In jazz, the improvisation is a conversation between the members of the band and the audience. I don't know, maybe I am beating my head against the wall trying to explain it. People just don't seem to get it. Oh well. That is why I am not a writer.
 
Last edited:

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Stan, I understand the concept of playing ahead of the beat. It was probably Neil's heavy playing on the beat that prompted the band director to slow the song in the first place. It still sounds good that way to me. It is just another take on the song. That is what I have been getting at. I can tell the diff between playing in Swing style and that of playing in a modified style. I can appreciate both of them.

I find it hard to compare Neil and Duke with the differing tempos and sound quality. Neil's playing sounded good to me and I enjoyed the way he played the kicks. Maybe that's due to my rock background - I like a bit of oomph! Still, I can see the need for subtlety because that could become tiresome over the course of a full concert.

Stan, I'm not sure I understand your comment about playing the downbeats. Gene Krupa hit a lot of heavy downbeats and his playing swung like crazy to my ear. Not disagreeing, just trying to understand from someone in the know.

Re: NY Voices, I've never been a fan of ensemble jazz singing, maybe because it reminds me too much of the annoying music Mum used to have on the radio :) It always seemed pretty square next to Sgt Pepper - even for an under-10. The exception is Manhatten Transfer's version of Birdland, although I still much prefer the original.

The differing opinions could be that some are coming to this as jazz drumming connoisseurs whereas I'm happy with a cheap bottle of red (even a drop of Chateau de Cardboarde at a stretch) - just as long as it doesn't taste like vinegar :)
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Stan, I'm not sure I understand your comment about playing the downbeats. Gene Krupa hit a lot of heavy downbeats and his playing swung like crazy to my ear. Not disagreeing, just trying to understand from someone in the know.

It's the difference with the older style of swing you hear with Gene that along with a bigger emphasis on the beat yes but also the element of the right syncopated degree of emphasis on the weaker parts of the beats Polly especially with setting up ensemble figures in the music that gave the music the right "lift" of flowing swing not making it too heavy or "weighed down" as i'm hearing in Neil's first attempt at Big Band swing playing.

Myself i'm VERY curious how he sounds playing Big Band charts years later after his studies with Peter Erskine. Anybody have a recent video clip to share?
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
It's the difference with the older style of swing you hear with Gene that along with a bigger emphasis on the beat yes but also the element of the right syncopated degree of emphasis on the weaker parts of the beats Polly especially with setting up ensemble figures in the music that gave the music the right "lift" of flowing swing not making it too heavy or "weighed down" as i'm hearing in Neil's first attempt at Big Band swing playing.

Myself i'm VERY curious how he sounds playing Big Band charts years later after his studies with Peter Erskine. Anybody have a recent video clip to share?

Thanks Stan, that helps. Listening again, there does seem to be a bit of a lumpiness in the kicks rather than a sense of skating along. Closer?
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Thanks Stan, that helps. Listening again, there does seem to be a bit of a lumpiness in the kicks rather than a sense of skating along. Closer?

Yes Polly. Also instead of feathering the bass drum during the swing time sections and saving the louder kicks for the syncopated setup ensemble hits he seems to play the bass drum pretty heavy throughout the entire track {time and figures} giving the feeling of weighing it down {too heavy}. Lacks the swing "lift" you can get from better bass drum dynamics in jazz swing playing when playing the bass drum softer traditionally in a Big Band setting for time playing [feathering on the 1/4's} and using it more effectively to punch out the accents be they on or off the beat only for the big hits.
 

GruntersDad

Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
In his own words, Even Neil didn't think he was very good. all is well that ends well.

In 1992, Peart was invited by Buddy Rich's daughter, Cathy Rich, to play at the Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concert in New York City. Though initially intimidated by the request, Peart accepted the offer and performed for the first time with the Buddy Rich Big Band. Feeling that his performance left much to be desired, Peart decided to produce and play on two Buddy Rich tribute albums titled Burning for Buddy: A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Rich in 1994 and 1997 in order to regain his aplomb.

Peart wrote on his personal website that "And yet...I still had a nagging feeling that when I played in that style, I was just imitating it, not really feeling it properly. As the old Duke Ellington standard goes, 'It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing', and I didn’t think I did."[17]

In early 2007, Peart and Cathy Rich again began discussing yet another Buddy tribute concert. In response, Peart decided to once again augment his swing style with formal drum lessons, this time under the tutelage of another pupil of Freddie Gruber, Peter Erskine, himself an instructor of drummer Steve Gadd. On October 18, 2008, Peart once again performed at the Buddy Rich Memorial Concert at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I think that PART of the answer is that A rock drummer does not understand the left hand of a Swing, Bop, and Jazz drummer. I do because I am a lefty that plays righty. I never had trouble understanding the left hand of a Swing drummer. I have to hold back my left hand while playing rock so that I don't play to many grace notes and drive the song ahead. I like both styles because I can play both styles. I can play Cottontail like Ellington's version. I can play ahead of the beat and lead with the left hand. I find it harder to play the tune like Neil because I don't think like a Rock drummer. That is why I like Neil's way of playing the song. It is something that I would have trouble doing.
Buddy's left hand was faster than mine of course, but I always understood what he was doing with it.
I will frequently play ahead of the beat with the musical morons that I am forced to play with only to find that they just don't understand what I am doing. If I try to play behind the beat they are also easily lost. This is the scourge of a drummer that understands Jazz and improve who plays with Rock orientated musicians.
That will explain why I like both of the versions of Cottontail.
 

LinearDrummer

Silver Member
In the clip played, NP wasn't that good. If you don't want criticism on a 6 year old clip, don't post a 6 year old clip. No one was criticizing the man only the performance. Time to get over it.

But its more like 16 years ago!
Talk about beatin a horse to death...

In his own words, Even Neil didn't think he was very good. all is well that ends well.

In 1992, Peart was invited by Buddy Rich's daughter, Cathy Rich, to play at the Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concert in New York City. Though initially intimidated by the request, Peart accepted the offer and performed for the first time with the Buddy Rich Big Band. Feeling that his performance left much to be desired, Peart decided to produce and play on two Buddy Rich tribute albums titled Burning for Buddy: A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Rich in 1994 and 1997 in order to regain his aplomb.

Peart wrote on his personal website that "And yet...I still had a nagging feeling that when I played in that style, I was just imitating it, not really feeling it properly. As the old Duke Ellington standard goes, 'It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing', and I didn’t think I did."[17]

In early 2007, Peart and Cathy Rich again began discussing yet another Buddy tribute concert. In response, Peart decided to once again augment his swing style with formal drum lessons, this time under the tutelage of another pupil of Freddie Gruber, Peter Erskine, himself an instructor of drummer Steve Gadd. On October 18, 2008, Peart once again performed at the Buddy Rich Memorial Concert at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom.

Thats was my point!
Why didn't the thread starter post a recent/more updated version of NP...if the experienced jazzers still say it doesn't swing then so be it.
 
Top