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#3210939 04/21/22 04:44 AM
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When I hear a recording of a drummer playing solo "accompaniment" , I always think: who the heck is he accompanying for?

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Nahum #3210979 04/21/22 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
When I hear a recording of a drummer playing solo "accompaniment" , I always think: who the heck is he accompanying for?

Do you have one or two specific examples of what you're referring to ?

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Originally Posted by indigo_dave
Do you have one or two specific examples of what you're referring to ?
Maybe a thousand or two thousand?


Nahum #3211071 04/21/22 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
When I hear a recording of a drummer playing solo "accompaniment" , I always think: who the heck is he accompanying for?
I don't understand your question Nahum. Could you clarify please?

Nahum #3211073 04/22/22 12:12 AM
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The guy in the video explains it in his first sentence, doesn't he?

Nahum #3211099 04/22/22 08:43 AM
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I think that John Riley, assumes this is for a Jazz rhythm section. Seems like you'd have to have horns to get over the loudness. You'd really have to have horse of a piano to get above. Still talking strictly acoustic.


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Originally Posted by Cdbaksu
The guy in the video explains it in his first sentence, doesn't he?
I don't understand.

Nahum #3211186 04/22/22 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by Nahum
When I hear a recording of a drummer playing solo "accompaniment" , I always think: who the heck is he accompanying for?
I don't understand your question Nahum. Could you clarify please?
Having been in the jazz education system for over 40 years, the problems of the rhythm section and especially the drummers have always been our focus, and were initially subjected to fierce criticism - also from visiting artists such as Dave Liebman, Eddie Daniels, Dewey Redman, and others. Since then, the situation has changed radically for the better; however, the issue of comping on drums is still on the agenda.
What does a jazz drummer course usually include, besides technique and reading music? Learning rhythm patterns, styles , grooves, different solos and accompaniments, transcribed recordings. As for the skills of performing melodies - I have doubts that this is the case. All this creates the drummer's baggage before or outside of the situation participation in the group. In a situation of accompaniment by ear, a comping war begins within the rhythm section and between it and the soloists. The great Jewish writer Sholom Aleichem wrote: "The wise men said:" Other people's opinions are like nails! "I say:"Other people's opinions are like nails "- everyone comes with his own nail and his hammer!"
If the drummer has not acquired the skills of comping on the piano or guitar, then his comp will be based at best on guessing, at worst - on the performance of memorized patterns that are not specifically related to what is happening around. This does not mean that the drummer only tags along; he is obliged to listen and perceive, but also to offer his own. And then the result will be significantly different from student accompaniment - it will become concrete, which is not seen or heard on endless training videos.
Otherwise, it will not be clear why certain soloists prefer certain drummers (or the entire rhythm section).
For whom does the drummer on the video accompanied, to heck?

Last edited by Nahum; 04/22/22 05:11 PM.
Nahum #3211214 04/22/22 08:58 PM
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Thank you for the clarification Nahum. One of the challenges is that drums really are just rhythm, so devoid of the wonderful melodies and harmonies of other instruments.

IMHO, most drummers do best keeping a solid rhythm, leaving space and controlling the background; that creates opportunities for the band to explore. The rare drummer can stretch his wings and bring everyone along, but those are few and far between.

Nahum #3211225 04/22/22 10:40 PM
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Massive respect to drummers. My journey has been as journey of strings. Being able to fill in for a no show musician, was my goal. I'll say it greatly depends on the situation, if the goal gets fulfilled.
So my curiosity eventually went to drums. Forget it. The expense of a kit, alone. It's nothing to dabble/experiment with. The commitment alone makes it so difficult. I only have so many years left.


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Nahum #3211270 04/23/22 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by newer player
One of the challenges is that drums really are just rhythm, so devoid of the wonderful melodies and harmonies of other instruments.
This is simply not true; listen only to Art Blakey, Max Roach, Shelly Manne, Elvin Jones. For me, Jack De Johnette is the most musical jazz drummer; he specifically emphasizes that he plays the drums like a piano (his first profession). There are moments in the recordings with C. Jarrett where he supports the harmonic modulations of the pianist.






Nahum #3211283 04/23/22 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by newer player
One of the challenges is that drums really are just rhythm, so devoid of the wonderful melodies and harmonies of other instruments.
This is simply not true; listen only to Art Blakey, Max Roach, Shelly Manne, Elvin Jones. For me, Jack De Johnette is the most musical jazz drummer; he specifically emphasizes that he plays the drums like a piano (his first profession). There are moments in the recordings with C. Jarrett where he supports the harmonic modulations of the pianist.






It’s true enough - first and foremost, drums provide rhythm to support the rest of the ensemble..not melody.

The examples you cite are specific, relatively obscure, and don’t relate to the normally supportive role of drums and drumming which are non-melodic.

Your three examples.

1) Shelly Manne has set up a kit with an unusually generous complement of tom-toms and tuned them to make a melody. Drummers who lead have big egos and kit's to match. It happens, it's unremarkable and not the drummers primary function. Many drummers use just BD/Snare/hi-hats and crash. If lo and hi toms are added these are almost invariably used to provide dynamics in drum fills. Very common in pop.

2) Elvin is asked about a drum solo so it’s a SOLO, not the supportive non-melodic grooving that drummers lay down behind the rest of an ensemble. In fact he doesn’t even claim to be playing melody. He’s playing the RHYTHM of the melody…to quote the man himself; "so the melody being…in terms of rhythm…" IOW he’s only attempting to reflect the rhythmic component, not the melodic .

3) It’s a solo again - see my comments regarding example 2.

4) When a drummer "accompanies" lead instrument/s, with few exceptions, he is providing non-melodic rhythm.

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Originally Posted by dire tonic
4) When a drummer "accompanies" lead instrument/s, with few exceptions, he is providing non-melodic rhythm.
I try not to play with such nailers.
The African talking drum, which is a symbol of the traditions of African culture, combines rhythm and language; as such, it infiltrated (first) into American culture. European history took a different path: percussion instruments were brought by the crusaders from the Holy Land and along the way (Turkey, etc.) Hence the historical backwardness in European rhythmic culture. For example, in the history of Russia, where I was born and raised, common percussion instruments were the board, which was beaten with sticks, wooden spoons (slightly reminiscent of the washboard in New Orleans orchestras) and the Idiophone. Since there were no African-American drummers in the Soviet Union, it is not surprising that the most famous local drummer was Latsi Olah, a Hungarian gypsy by origin, and he belonged to another ancient rhythmic culture - in India, no less developed than in Africa.
After all, African-American musicians laid the foundation for drumming in blues, swing, and other styles of jazz, as well as rhythm and blues. This is not a matter of any physical features, but exclusively traditional cultural ones. In other words, the African American drummer initially, consciously or unconsciously, brings the entire community's past into contact with the drummer; which is insanely far from hammering nails - even if he doesn't put it into words!

Nahum #3211310 04/23/22 10:18 AM
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To me, an overly aggressive drummer sucks when you're soloing.
I played with someone in the Elvin Jones style overly using the crash cymbals during a solo and the result is the overall sound level of the band goes up with little regard to dynamics.
Give me Mickey Roker, he knew how to accompany and not get in the way.

Nahum #3211312 04/23/22 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by joggerjazz
To me, an overly aggressive drummer sucks when you're soloing.
I played with someone in the Elvin Jones style overly using the crash cymbals during a solo and the result is the overall sound level of the band goes up with little regard to dynamics.
This is where the problem lies: your drummer heard him with Coltrane, but apparently never heard Elvin playing softly brushes.

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Nahum #3211386 04/23/22 08:44 PM
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As a jazz player, the top three things I want from a drummer are:

1. Mesh with the bass player and create a tight pocket.
2. Mark the form, which generally means subtle fills when you move to the bridge and go to the top of the form.
3. Respond to what I'm doing in my solo, or even feed me a rhythmic idea. I don't want a metronome when I'm soloing, I want someone to have a conversation with.

I'm not sure if this qualifies as "comping" or not, but it's what I look for!

jjo #3211433 04/24/22 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jjo
I'm not sure if this qualifies as "comping" or not, but it's what I look for!
Yes, these are the necessary qualities of a drummer. In short, it can be summarized that the drummer, like the bassist, must understand the pianist's phrasing, merge with it, support it, and offer from himself. So, Jack DeJohnette fully understands Keith Jarrett's phrasing - he is able to reproduce it on the piano.

Nahum #3211455 04/24/22 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by joggerjazz
To me, an overly aggressive drummer sucks when you're soloing.
I played with someone in the Elvin Jones style overly using the crash cymbals during a solo and the result is the overall sound level of the band goes up with little regard to dynamics.
This is where the problem lies: your drummer heard him with Coltrane, but apparently never heard Elvin playing softly brushes.

You are probably right. He only used sticks. He also gave me a recording of his to listen he made with him playing with others. The drums volume was predominant over everyone else. I played one gig with him and that was it.
Interestingly though how peoples ego playing with others can get in the way, when they don't seem to listen to others. I just heard a live performance of a song with a vocalist and quartet. There was a flute player besides the pianist, but the pianist just over played during and between the vocalists phrasing. Never letting the flute a chance to add color.

Nahum #3211462 04/24/22 10:50 AM
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Hi

jjo has it spot on and it's not only Jazz drummers it's all musicians, as joggerjazz just mentioned.

I remember an interview ("Contemporary Piano" which I still own it on VHS - available on YouTube now) with the great New York session Pianist Richard Tee. He talked about doing sessions and how he would phrase to fit in with a vocalist and with other instrumentalists. Worth checking out the whole interview he had a lot of interesting ideas, and demonstrates them, and his unique style on Piano.

I started playing with a group of musicians back in 2017 in an informal jam once a week in a bar, and it included an alto Sax player. He was a beginner Jazz player and for an adult who hadn't been playing long had made good progress. But he would not shut up! He'd have his solo spot, which would go on too long and then would blow over the top of other people while they were playing their solos. In the end one evening before we started I had to tell everyone to listen to what other people were doing. He got the message!

The ability to listen to what other people are doing is a fundamental part of being a good musician. As is often stated what you don't play is as important as what you do play.

Cheers


Simon

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Nahum #3211608 04/24/22 09:05 PM
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I recently heard the necessity of listening, apparently taken from acting, but equally applicable to music, succinctly stated as follows: "In order to be interesting, you must be interested." In other words, in order for your playing to be interesting, you must be genuinely interested in what your fellow musicians are playing. Those who don't listen are not really interested in what others are doing.

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