Friday, March 25, 2011

Gone Are the Days of Drummer

All this talk of Max Roach led me into conversation with a drummer friend about the apparent dearth of great drummers. I wondered if “the drummer” disappeared with the golden age of jazz. The sixties and seventies gave us great guitarists. (Yes, there have been great country and classical guitarist; I know I'm especially way out of my depth on that one. I have in mind Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Eric Clapton.) But the last notable drummer I recall was Carl Palmer of ELP. I haven’t heard a drum solo since jean jackets were a staple in my wardrobe.

My friend referred me to Thomas Pridgen. Join half a million others in watching this:

I'm told that the great drummers are spread out in that vast musical diversity that has developed since the 1970s. But I’m not saying no one can play the drums nicely. I’m just saying that everyone knows who Buddy Rich and Max Roach were. But any great drummers there are today are hidden in the tall grass, or so it seems to me.

I case you don't know who Buddy Rich (1917-1987) and Max Roach (1924-2007) were, watch this. The friend who sent me the link said: "If you listen to the album in stereo, Buddy is on one channel, Max on the other. But you can tell the difference because Buddy's playing is more precise and bombastic, while Max's is looser, more be-bop."

As usual, whoever posted this on YouTube gives no information on the what, when, where of it.

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