Why Is There Such An Anti-Jazz Vibe Here?

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Don't forget lambswool beaters, for dropping "jazz bombs".
Hahaha, nice one HC. I'm surrounded by the real thing complete with legs & clingons (not a star trek referance). With 26" kicks, I'd have plenty of room to attach the real thing. So many potential textures, from bleat/thud at one end to splat at the other. All with jazz style syncopation as the legs flail on the reso head. A whole new product concept. We could call them "Kick Drum Bleaters"!! I'm off to catch a couple of them right now (please, no Welsh, New Zealand jokes).
 
W

wy yung

Guest
This thread became a bit of a pain for me. I was attacked, only through a misunderstanding mind you. But it did highlight the feelings amongst drummers. Mike, who is a great bloke, thought I was whining about being a pro drummer. I can see his point in many ways. Although I did not have that idea behind any posts.

So, what am I here to say? I am here to bare my soul through an embarrassing story in the hope I will never be so misunderstood again. It is a frightening tale of blood, swelling, death, a long tour in a cramped van, a razor and mirror and a bath tub.

Do you think you can handle it?

Mind you, I have performed 3 operations on myself. So to me it is nothing.

Collin, the guitar player runs to me and says "OH MY GOD KURT COBAIN JUST TOPPED HIMSELF!!!!!"

"Really?"

"YES THAT BASTARD MADE IT AFTER I HAVE BEEN TRYING FOR YEARS AND THEN KILLS HIMSELF!!!"

"wow mate, sorry. I have to take this shower."

Now Prior to this I had visited the local country chemist. I bought a make up mirror, a razor and a female sanitary pad.

I was suffering from severe piles from the long tour.

So after the guitarists meltdown I went to the hotel bathroom. Squatted down, arranged the mirror and sliced what had been an unbelievable swelling that had made the tour a living Hell. I then squeezed and squeezed until all the clotted blood was gone. I then had a shower, affixed a female sanitary pad and played a 4 hour gig.

And loved it! All the pain was gone.

I ask you, am I pretentious?
 

Strangelove

Gold Member
This is a reprint of what someone posted here a short while ago thats deserves another go:

A slippery bar of soap, this jazz business...

Interviewer: Can you explain jazz?

Yogi: I can't, but I will. Ninety per cent of all jazz is half
improvisation. The other half is the part people play while others are
playing something they never played with anyone who played that part.
So if you play the wrong part, its right. If you play the right part, it
might be right if you play it wrong enough. But if you play it too right, it's
wrong.

Interviewer: I don't understand.

Yogi: Anyone who understands jazz knows that you can't understand it.
It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it.

Interviewer: Do you understand it?

Yogi: No. That's why I can explain it. If I understood it, I wouldn't
know anything about it.

Interviewer: Are there any great jazz players alive today?

Yogi: No. All the great jazz players alive today are dead. Except for the
ones that are still alive. But so many of them are dead, that the ones
that are still alive are dying to be like the ones that are dead.

Interviewer: What is syncopation?

Yogi: That's when the note that you should hear now happens either
before or after you hear it. In jazz, you don't hear notes when they happen
because that would be some other type of music. Other types of music can be jazz, but only if they're the same as something different from those other
kinds.

Interviewer: Now I really don't understand.

Yogi: I haven't taught you enough for you to not understand jazz that well.

...
OMG - sounds like Angus Young trying to do an interview after a hard night of drugs and alcohol. Shades of Spinal Tap!
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Okay, alright, yes I'm Jay, Jay Norem.

Last year my wife gave me a bodhran as a gift because she knows that I've always wanted one. I didn't ask her to do that, she did it on her own.

I have no idea how to play it. I can't get anywhere with it. I'm not even lousy at it. I just can't play the thing.

I was indeed banned from this forum for being disruptive. And I was being disruptive and I said some things that were stupid. Really stupid. But I didn't see that at the time.

So I went for months without being able to even see what was going on here,

One day I found that I could actually get into the Drummerworld site, I don't know why, and I could read the discussions taking place so I decided to register under an alias, "Con Struct." I decided to call myself Conrad.

See, I've always liked talking about drumming and all things related. Drums excite me. I know about drums and drumming and this is the best place to come to for discussing drums and drumming and what makes us tick as drummers, thank you Bernard.

I am actually a drummer. I'm fifty-six years old now and I started playing professionally when I was eighteen. I'm basically retired now, but I'll still play if people ask me to.

So there it is. I am Jay Norem. I'm a drummer with a lot of experience and, yes, a big mouth.

I need to say that I respect this site, I think it's an excellent example of what can be expressed on the internet and I hope that I am allowed to stay here.
Jay,

I for one appreciate this initial step, and would like to bury the hatchet after some mandatory air clearing.

FYI, many of us knew who you were the moment you started posting. In my case, I just played along when the trolling con struct persona showed up to agree with posters you normally would spit roast at your real home the allboutjazz forum, where you have close to 7000 posts, and are popularly regarded as one of the most zealous jazz snobs in Internet history. It was the hypocrisy here that made me roll eyes, to say nothing of unprovoked attacks you leveled at me and others at both sights. And yes this was why you were IMO yet another in a long series of trolls who were old enough to know better.

I also remember my dad saying he had a nice conversation with you about his North Korea jazz thing. Ironically it was me who asked the State Department people through dad to play your music once all that came together/ an event that still will occur, and one where I will be the drummer.

I mostly remember you getting banned here, then slamming DW in big time ways at aaj again and again, while invoking the name of Monk when you couldn't think of something more clever to say/ an old jazz snob tactic. Despite all that I secretly pulled for you as you persevered to put that forum jazz band into a New York jazz club for that gig last summer, and hoped that the Atlanta scene would pick up enough to give you more to do, while at the same time watching you squander incredible time on the Internet attacking people who attended jazz/popular music school programs, people's drum sets, chops that you implied weren't dirty enough, people with endorsements, and young players who all supposedly sounded the same when you actually couldn't name all that many working young players with any clarity.

I remember last summer your trying to imply I wasn't playing a gig one Saturday night because I wouldn't identify what Atlanta club you figured I was lying about, when several here knew I was one of the Smashing Pumpkins auditionees in LA, and I didn't know how to even explain such a thing to you. And even if I had I done so, what would have been the point?

Frankly I didn't understand all the attention and wondered how many others you were also playing this game with. I took care of my Atlanta gigging problems by leaving Atlanta. I would assume the same opportunity is also available to you. But then that would mean less time doing this stuff, and putting your playing where your mouth is without having 1000 different excuses. That to me was why your attacks against Steamer Stan were so silly. He's out there sticking his neck out while you complain.

But I think what surprised me most about this whole schtik was the number of older DW posters who embraced this Jay/con struct thing, as if bad form received a pass when you get older.

Yep, there are jazz snobs. I was attacked by some here when I was a speed drummer champion. Personally I just used those Internet guysto improve my debating skills and thought it funny how they would preach this silly naive high road when I was up to my neck in very serious jazz. And yes they were really silly people.

Contrarily I have never ever seen anything that came close to the reinventionist jazz hating minimalist who moves heaven and earth to prove a musicality issue in clumsy awkward terms, based on a career of surrounding themseleves with erratic players, while convincing themselves they were hearing something else, to the point of actually labeling their POV and attacking others who don't say they're hearing what they're actually not hearing either. And don't tell me that never happens. The worst anti WFD people I ever saw weren't jazz guys by a long shot. It was those guys.

So yes in a perfect world it would be great to all join hands in a big tub thumping sing along, but that's just not real life. Forums especially have people from every sector of the music world, all yabbering at each other in configurations that would never exist in real life. I think after all these forum years, I've learned that the object is take what you can use, discard the rest, and let the ones who are just talking post and post and post while everybody else plays gigs in a real world situation. And by saying that, none of it is an indictment. It only is what it is.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
What I've seen so far is that elements of modern metal are being absorbed into other genres, as has happened with rap. The moment I started thinking this was when someone talked about Don Caballero, a band I'd not heard of before. I checked out the YouTubes and 1) thought they were fabulous and refreshingly original and 2) their drummer incorporated some rather metalesque double-kick drum passages into the music to good effect.

Does that seem a reasonable guess?
good band. There are so many talented souls out there, aren't there? I just got an offer from a very talented singer/songwriter, so see where that goes.

The amazing things about the jazz players mentioned is that often they were coming up with the most innovative harmonies by ear. When music becomes too academic, then you are going to lose the creative, intuitive aspect of music making. But on the other hand, "you have to assimilate to innovate." that's John Riley, not me :). I'll add you cannot just imitate. Well, you can, and you can make a lot of money doing it. . I teach piano as well as drums, and one of the things I teach the students to do is harmonize a melody. That happens pretty early on too. It's important that they can hear the music, or else you can play I-V7-I, over and over again never realizing by ear what is going on.

That's improvisation; but as we have said before, you have to be able to recreate I-IV-V-I, in the music biz. I was watching a Nashville drummer talk about session work in TN and he was saying that when you get in there they give you no chart but the progression 41-41-41-5 . . .41-41-45-1, and you have to know what is going on. I used to do that with my band, and when I write a song, is usually on a napkin, I write out the rhythm and then the numbers below it. Made sense to me as a drummer. A lot of players don't understand the significance of the progression; but it's very simple. As well, if you see B-b5 or Ab7 - D7, you have to understand the harmonic implications of that when reading a jazz chart. Then hopefully, once you know the language, you can do something creative with it. And if you want to have any kind of leadership and respect in a band, you better understand what everyone is doing harmonically. A was playing with this guy a few weeks ago and he said, "I don't care what you think." I'm the drummer after all. Then when I asked him what the problem was and told him how to voice lead it. He changed his tune; after first being really pissed at me for it, you know, cause I'm the drummer.
 

jon e rotten

Senior Member
This thread became a bit of a pain for me. I was attacked, only through a misunderstanding mind you. But it did highlight the feelings amongst drummers. Mike, who is a great bloke, thought I was whining about being a pro drummer. I can see his point in many ways. Although I did not have that idea behind any posts.

So, what am I here to say? I am here to bare my soul through an embarrassing story in the hope I will never be so misunderstood again. It is a frightening tale of blood, swelling, death, a long tour in a cramped van, a razor and mirror and a bath tub.

Do you think you can handle it?

Mind you, I have performed 3 operations on myself. So to me it is nothing.

Collin, the guitar player runs to me and says "OH MY GOD KURT COBAIN JUST TOPPED HIMSELF!!!!!"

"Really?"

"YES THAT BASTARD MADE IT AFTER I HAVE BEEN TRYING FOR YEARS AND THEN KILLS HIMSELF!!!"

"wow mate, sorry. I have to take this shower."

Now Prior to this I had visited the local country chemist. I bought a make up mirror, a razor and a female sanitary pad.

I was suffering from severe piles from the long tour.

So after the guitarists meltdown I went to the hotel bathroom. Squatted down, arranged the mirror and sliced what had been an unbelievable swelling that had made the tour a living Hell. I then squeezed and squeezed until all the clotted blood was gone. I then had a shower, affixed a female sanitary pad and played a 4 hour gig.

And loved it! All the pain was gone.

I ask you, am I pretentious?

I once played an entire gig with a nasty case of the sniffles.
 

Fiery

Silver Member
There's certainly some common ground here between metal & jazz. A new genre possibly? Death jazz, might be the next big thing. Get to it guys.
There was a trio of death metal bands heavily influenced by jazz/fusion in the early nineties:
- Atheist (for example the 1993 album Elements);
- Cynic (with their seminal 1993 work called Focus);
- Pestilence (again 1993, the album's name is Spheres).
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I find the quickest way to change the sound of any kick. Change out the beater. I have a box of 7 or 8. Way faster than changing a BD head. Faster than changing out the BD, also. (But I plan on always having my 22x14 and my 26x14). Those "fluffy" wool beaters sound amazing on my 26" kick.​
The only thing quicker, is when I'm on the e-kit. Change the kick drum sound with the push of a button.​
 

Average

Senior Member
I recently switched out the stock beaters for my DW pedal to their big felt beaters. Very cool sound. I might try to find one of those vater beaters just to see what it sounds like.

I find the quickest way to change the sound of any kick. Change out the beater. I have a box of 7 or 8. Way faster than changing a BD head. Faster than changing out the BD, also. (But I plan on always having my 22x14 and my 26x14).​
The only thing quicker, is when I'm on the e-kit. Change the kick drum sound with the push of a button.​
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
The amazing things about the jazz players mentioned is that often they were coming up with the most innovative harmonies by ear. When music becomes too academic, then you are going to lose the creative, intuitive aspect of music making. But on the other hand, "you have to assimilate to innovate." that's John Riley, not me :). I'll add you cannot just imitate. Well, you can, and you can make a lot of money doing it. . I teach piano as well as drums, and one of the things I teach the students to do is harmonize a melody. That happens pretty early on too. It's important that they can hear the music, or else you can play I-V7-I, over and over again never realizing by ear what is going on.
I have no idea what extent this this affects others but I've often found difficulty reconciling concepts and intuition - getting the balance right. I suspect this tension plays out at all levels of playing. Ideally, we would be like some of the great composers, mapping things out verbatim - the perfect musical solution to our ears - and reproducing it each time. That might work in some settings but for a small group playing the same songs many times over, it's impossible to retain the original feeling that created the "perfect lines". You have to compromise the "perfection" and wing it somewhat because the fresh imperfection is more pleasing than the "perfect" jadedness.

I know precious little about harmony. How do you see harmony affecting what drummers play? On a broader level it's about knowing standard song forms - a 12-bar, 16-bar or 8-bar blues etc and on a more micro level we tend to be intuitive, knowing that "this cymbal" or "this tom" will send better at a certain point in a song than "that cymbal" or "that tom". However, you seem to be taking it further than that ... ?

Pavlos said:
the quickest way to change the sound of any kick. Change out the beater.
I agree. As a computer-head, I like to think of it as varying my "input devices" :) On a PC I will bounce between keyboard, mouse and graphics pen. On a kit I bounce between sticks, brushes, hands and mallets. The Bomber has to stay, though because a hard beater on a 16" kick drums is a bit meh ...

Average, one thing about the Vater Bomber, I find I have to keep turning it because it flattens out after a while.

Does anyone have tips for freshening up a fluffy beater when it flattens out to extend its (fluffy) life? I say "fluffy life" because it's cork underneath, which is fine in itself but I want fluffy :)
 

Average

Senior Member
Average, one thing about the Vater Bomber, I find I have to keep turning it because it flattens out after a while.
Man that thing sounds awesome. I'm going to have to get one now. I've got an old Leedy BD and pedal somewhere in the basement. I've got to dig it out and see what the beater is like.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
Don't mean to make a big deal about it but thank you, and I mean THANK YOU, to the very cool folks who've sent me PMs. You've made this a very happy day for me. There's love happening in me and it's because of you all. WOW!!!

We're drummers, man!
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
I have no idea what extent this this affects others but I've often found difficulty reconciling concepts and intuition - getting the balance right. I suspect this tension plays out at all levels of playing. Ideally, we would be like some of the great composers, mapping things out verbatim - the perfect musical solution to our ears - and reproducing it each time. That might work in some settings but for a small group playing the same songs many times over, it's impossible to retain the original feeling that created the "perfect lines". You have to compromise the "perfection" and wing it somewhat because the fresh imperfection is more pleasing than the "perfect" jadedness.

I know precious little about harmony. How do you see harmony affecting what drummers play? On a broader level it's about knowing standard song forms - a 12-bar, 16-bar or 8-bar blues etc and on a more micro level we tend to be intuitive, knowing that "this cymbal" or "this tom" will send better at a certain point in a song than "that cymbal" or "that tom". However, you seem to be taking it further than that ... ?)
Well, we all deal with our own imperfections don't we? I always like to think about those imperfections as the uniqueness of the creative process. Beethoven didn't, couldn't, write in an Italianate style very well, so he created his own.

The balance between reason and creativity is a hard one. In the act of creation you have to set apart that critical apparatus that is always gong to tell you how much your idea sucks. :) But once you have that idea, you can do with it what you will, and that function of knowledge is an important part of composing. In contrast, when you are playing something live, you really want that critical mind to be a rest, which can be hard. I have that problem with solos because I never really liked them,. But now in a jazz setting, I've been working on soling more so I get my turn at bat. I do like to have ideas that I can work from, ideas that work rather than just winging it. I even remember reading Louie Armstrong saying that what they were doing in the early days was a very controlled improvisation because when you are on the Riverboats playing 10-12 hours a day, you learn what works in a song. and what doesn't . So the question then is one of getting/writing new and more adventurous material.

When you are doing covers, and covers that you have probably heard many times, it is a different story. It really becomes a question of arranging and finding new ways to present the material, Reggae Pink Floyd or Led Zep, Bon Jovi done as a mambo.:) That is fundamentally what jazz is about, the idea of making the tune totally your own, even presenting the tune or head in an original manner.

When it comes to harmony it is nice to have some kind of working apparatus; but like you said it is just a matter of hearing it. If the band is hanging on a dominant, the drummer should know that by ear. When you are playing fusion, there are more examples where the harmony is being used functionally to add to the drama of the piece. So you may be circling around a a chord waiting for a landing and it's good for the drummer to hear that, so he or she can play accordingly. Other wise you are just not playing 100 % with the band, and the detracts from your respect.

It is very hard for other members of the band to really know what the drummer is doing. If a sax player detracts from the melody and then comes back to it, you know where he is. If the drummer detracts from the melody, people have no idea where he is even though you come back to it. I had an experience where we were playing a tune we hadn't played in a while and I had always wanted two plays through the form for my solo; but I never got it. Then one night, after three hours of playing, no one knew when to come in and I played though that form at least five times until I finally yelled at I wanna go home.. :)
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Well, we all deal with our own imperfections don't we? I always like to think about those imperfections as the uniqueness of the creative process. Beethoven didn't, couldn't, write in an Italianate style very well, so he created his own.

The balance between reason and creativity is a hard one. In the act of creation you have to set apart that critical apparatus that is always gong to tell you how much your idea sucks. :) But once you have that idea, you can do with it what you will, and that function of knowledge is an important part of composing. In contrast, when you are playing something live, you really want that critical mind to be a rest, which can be hard. I have that problem with solos because I never really liked them,. But now in a jazz setting, I've been working on soling more so I get my turn at bat. I do like to have ideas that I can work from, ideas that work rather than just winging it. I even remember reading Louie Armstrong saying that what they were doing in the early days was a very controlled improvisation because when you are on the Riverboats playing 10-12 hours a day, you learn what works in a song. and what doesn't . So the question then is one of getting/writing new and more adventurous material.
Sorry Ken, I missed your post until Matthias's excellent video brought the thread back up ... "You hate jazz? You fear jazz" - lol

Well said. As a self-taught player (if there is such a thing) I relate to Beethoven's approach of doing his own version when he couldn't do the "official" version. I guess it's the time-honoured approach for those whose tastes and abilities don't line up.

It seems to me that when I play the critical faculty flows in and out. Maintaining that relaxed awareness (probably not unlike the alpha brain wave state during meditation) is the hard part for me. Some days are better than others. Do you have any tricks to get in the right frame of mind or do you just take it as it comes?

As I read your description of Louis Armstrong's experience and approach I thought about Bill Bruford's determination to never play anything the same twice because it made him feel like a performing monkey. He was always looking for a fresh take on things. Yet, as you play a song over you do find that some things that crop up are optimal for you, although being able to re-iterate with the same level of conviction can be hard.

When you are doing covers, and covers that you have probably heard many times, it is a different story. It really becomes a question of arranging and finding new ways to present the material, Reggae Pink Floyd or Led Zep, Bon Jovi done as a mambo.:) That is fundamentally what jazz is about, the idea of making the tune totally your own, even presenting the tune or head in an original manner.
This is very much what my current band is into. Generally, I don't see the point in playing a less good copy of a great song. Well, I do in a way, but I'd rather leave that to skilled copyists. I think the trick is to find a song that is thoroughly unsuitable for your band in its original form. All Along the Watchtower comes to mind. Or Money by The Flying Lizards. When my band decided to play Sunshine of Your Love we had no choice but to mess with it. Either that or have it stick out like a sore thumb in our set. Now we're learning Tracks of My Tears and we seem to be aping the original (almost).

I dare not mess with it from my end when the others are following the original so it's a bit frustrating. Our singer said "we need to know the rules before breaking them" in regard to learning the song, but if we learn it as per the original, that's how it will stay - a weak copy of the original. The "rules" will never be broken with that one. Much more fun to cover classic songs than classic performances IMO


When it comes to harmony it is nice to have some kind of working apparatus; but like you said it is just a matter of hearing it. If the band is hanging on a dominant, the drummer should know that by ear. When you are playing fusion, there are more examples where the harmony is being used functionally to add to the drama of the piece. So you may be circling around a a chord waiting for a landing and it's good for the drummer to hear that, so he or she can play accordingly. Other wise you are just not playing 100 % with the band, and the detracts from your respect.

It is very hard for other members of the band to really know what the drummer is doing. If a sax player detracts from the melody and then comes back to it, you know where he is. If the drummer detracts from the melody, people have no idea where he is even though you come back to it. I had an experience where we were playing a tune we hadn't played in a while and I had always wanted two plays through the form for my solo; but I never got it. Then one night, after three hours of playing, no one knew when to come in and I played though that form at least five times until I finally yelled at I wanna go home.. :)
I imagine they had a laugh at that :) If a sax player or other lead voice detracts from the melody, then it's reinterpretation. If a drummer does it, it's a screw up - the joys of being an accompanist ...

A nice lyrical touch after your five-times solo. I take it they picked it up on the sixth time :)
 
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