Drumming through the years: Jazz

Entertainment Ruinf20 December 9, 2016 0 9
The drumming has a long history behind it. From the twenties of the last century have consistently developments have taken place until today. In this first episode: Jazz.

The 20s

In the twenties of the last century was drummed in the New Orleans style. That style was an amalgam of Folk, Blues and Gospel. Famous drummers at that time were: Warren "Baby" Dodds, Zutty Singleton and Sonny Greer. They played in combos of between 5 and 10 musicians. The basis of the rhythm was when the bass drum and the cymbals were used for accents.
When listening examples can be used recordings of:
  • Louis Armstrong
  • King Oliver
  • Duke Ellington

The 30s

Gradually developed the New Orleans style toward the Swing jazz. Orchestras became larger and the rhythm section formed the backbone of this. In this period arose the big bands with elaborate horn sections. The Swing drummers had a more prominent role than that of their predecessors from the twenties. However, the bass drum was still the base and the basins were used for rhythmic accents. But that would change in the forties. Famous drummers are from this period: Gene Krupa, Chick Webb, Jo Jones, Big Sid Catlett and Buddy Rich.
When listening examples can be used recordings of:
  • Bennie Goodman
  • Chick Webb
  • Count Basie
  • Fletcher Henderson
  • Tommy Dorsey

The 40s

In the early years of this period was the biggest change in drumming place. The basic rhythm was moved from the bass drum to the pelvis. The bass drum was used for accents. It was changed as it were of place. This change represented a new revolutionary style in jazz bebop. Bebop was played mainly in small ensembles. The first drummer who played this way was Kenny Clarke, soon followed by Max Roach. Max Roach was associated with the term "bomb dropping". These were syncopated accents on the bass drum. Other well-known drummers are from this period: Roy Haynes and JC Heard.
When listening examples can be used recordings of:
  • Charlie Parker
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Dexter Gordon

The 50

In these years, the bebop was further developed in styles like: Cool Jazz and Hard Bop. The first subtle and the second more accessible than bebop. The style changed in essence, not so much. Cool jazz was lighter in style as the bebop and hard bop was a bit rougher. Famous drummers in this period are: Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey, Louis Hayes and Jimmy Cobb.
When listening examples can be used recordings of:
  • Miles Davis
  • Horace Silver
  • Cannonball Adderley

At the end of the 50s was a new phenomenon that would dominate the '60s: the Free Jazz.

The 60s

In the early 60s alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman came out with an album called Free Jazz. On this album, he used a double quartet, including two drummers, namely: Billy Higgins and Ed Blackwell. They play on this album no two quartz 3kwarts or four-beat rhythm, but a kind of pulse. So here is the measuring scale fully released and asks, in this case, the drummer a totally different approach. He must respond very well to the rest of the musicians. His role is as important as theirs.
Nice to hear that both drummers play together perfectly, despite the fact that Billy Higgins has a hard bop background and Ed Blackwell plays in a style dating back to the New Orleans jazz from the twenties. The circle is complete again.
Simultaneously with Ornette Coleman developed also tenor saxophonist John Coltrane himself, except that he still persisted a fixed size format in the beginning. Elvin Jones was the drummer of Coltrane and the most influential drummer of the sixties.
After 1965 did Coltrane still the measuring scale release. On the album Meditations he used alongside a second drummer Elvin Jones, Rasheed Ali, who played much freer than Elvin Jones. Which therefore stepped up.
In this row of drummers Sunny Murray should also not be missed. He played as a single drummer, saxophonist Albert Ayler with both as pianist Cecil Taylor. At the end of the decade there was, in protest at the Free Jazz, a new trend: the Rock with Jazz pioneer, Tony Williams.
When listening examples can be used recordings of:
  • Ornette Coleman
  • John Coltrane
  • Albert Ayler
  • Cecil Taylor

The 70s.

Tony Williams was a drummer in the Miles Davis quintet from 1963 to early 1969. After the album In a Silent Way he got up and started his own group, Lifetime. Tony Williams belonged to the category of hard bop drummers. But he mixes his style with rock influences. His followers included: Jack DeJohnette, Lenny White and Billy Cobham.
As a listening example can be used recordings of:
  • Tony Williams
  • Miles Davis
  • Mahavishnu Orchestra

The rock jazz was the first hybrid with the existing rock. Yet there remains a significant difference between the sheer rock drummer and jazz, rock or jazz drummer.
In one of these articles I continue the developments of drumming from the 80s.