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KenSanders
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« on: May 04, 2009, 10:19:14 PM »

Gunnar and Carthage have been discussing some of the older drumming masters and some of the current drumming masters.

The old drumming masters have been written about and seriously studied for decades.  However, even though that is valuable history and also leads to a deeper respect for those drumming pioneers, there are several newer drummers who have taken drumming to even higher levels of excellence.  There is, however, no doubt that they were inspied by....and built upon things originated by the older drumming masters.

I'd like to hear from the readers about which drummer in the new generation drum masters YOU believe have done that.....taken drumming to an even higher level.

There are many, but I'll start by naming three from three different genres that really impress me.  There are, of course, many others......and I'm sure you will discuss them when you post to this thread.

Bill Stewart - a very identifiable jazz stylist.

Dave Weckl - a very identifiable fusion stylist.

Carter Beauford - great imagination and unique patterns


Alright......your turn.......who are, in your opinion, some of the NEW masters.

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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2009, 09:28:35 AM »

Virgil Donati is in my book the drummer who has taken the biggest step after Dave Weckl.

Those two have very litle in common. Dave's style can be divided into a few eras. There is the Dave Weckl that played with Michel Camillo, incredibly strong and mostly linear.

Then there is the Dave Weckl of the Chick Corea Acoustic and Electric band years. By that time his playing had gotten more relaxed and he had turned to playing his rudiments more open. Meaning instead of choosing the fastest subdivision at a given tempo let's say a closed roll at a given tempo is 32's he'd many times opt for the slower (open) triplets instead. This type of playing is in my opinion more rhythmic, calls for greater control and something that to many players never think about.

Dave is remarkeable for the the fact that apart from his obvious overwhelming ability to play solos, he happens to be incredibly well rounded stylistically. From a jazz and Latin perspective there seems to be no limit to his excelence and technical abilities.

When artists defected from Cuba like Arturo Sandoval and Paquito de Riviera their first thing to do was to get Dave Weckl on drums. Today his influences on Cuban drummers is very clear and many of them have adopted to great lengths to his style and sound.

Another thing about him is his attention to nuances which is something that is associated with high level of excellence.

There is the third era in Dave's playing where he changed his style drastically with the help of Freddy Gruber, but I will stop now in order to not make this post to long. 

Virgil Donati   is a different catagory alltogether. Instead of the beat-displacements of Weckl he is using a lot of the god old crossrhythms that where used a lot by the early fusion drummers. Grouping of 5,7,9 ect in 16's or even 8th note meter across 4/4 time is very tipical for him. However he does it very fast which can be cloudy to untrained ears.

Donati is mostly traditional in the sence that his playing is constructed of his beforementioned use groupings and pretty conventional paradiddle coordination patterns that have ben used by advanced jazz players through the years.

So none of this is new of course, but his execution is priceless. However what makes Virgil one of the greatest drummers of all time is the fact that he has mixed all of the before mentioned abilities with his legendary footwork which is groundbraking. He introduced the ability to use that feet at that level and that achievement has not yet ben matched.
   
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KenSanders
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2009, 12:45:59 AM »

A great post!  I'd like to hear some more from Gunnar about some other new drum pioneers.
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2009, 08:46:16 AM »

Thanks Ken, well let me think about that one. There are a few unbelievably gifted drummers around. Thomas Lang, Marco Minneman ect. However in my mind those two Weckl and Donati are the pioneers.

Weckl came out with his stuff in the early 80's, I first heard Donati in '93. So they both set the standards that others follow today. Today there is a new term used for Minneman, Lang and others alike which is "Extreme Drumming".

I allways tell my students that 99% of this has all ben done before and played mainly by advanced jazz drummers, usually they look surprised. The addition that Donati brought in which was not a small thing was his footwork.

I doubt that we will recieve such pioneers as Dave Weckl and Virgil Donati are since it is my feeling that progress and changes from a technical standpoint will come about at a more slow and even rate in the future. The major steps in the evolution of the drumset have ben taken now, growth in nuances will happen in foot technique just as it has for the hands, I still have not heard anyone play a smokin' flam paradiddle on the bass drum but I'm confident it will happen..

But what will allways be exciting and ever changing are stylistic trends and preferences that come up. Interpretation will get better and better and the understanding of the instrument as well. This is an evolution that has allready taken place with the Grand Piano for example over a period of hundreds of years, but the drumset is in a very interesting place with just over a 100 years under it's belt. 

p.s. I would like to add, of course there would be an extended list of drummers who are just as good as the above mentioned Weckl and Donati.

But a Pioneer is in my opinion very rare.

Vinnie Colaiuta is just as an amasing drumming giant and that cannot be challenged. He is a giant. He is more difficult to study though. He will pull 7 - 3 polyrhythms on the fly and a bunch of metrical utter wierdness that is for very few people to find their way around convincingly.

He is not easy to study. But boy, what a drummer! Stylistically one could say that Vinnie's Tony Williams influences are quite evident, also there are a lot of Stewart Copeland influences especially in his hi hat work from the 80's. There is even some Bonham in there, but it's allways Vinnie.

He was a student of Gary Chaffee and Gary's version of the rudiments are the middle eastern version really of standard stickings. Chrossrhythms, polyrhythms and odd time signatures are Vinnie's trademark.

Take a polyrhythm like 5 - 3. Most people tend to play stuff like that like a formula, staying in time, executing it correctly. Vinnie will strech the time feel within that type of meter.
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KenSanders
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2009, 02:40:40 PM »

 I really thought that some of our Forum readers would have mentioned some of the great Prog drummers by now.  I hope this doesn't mean that no one out there believes they have moved the "bar" up with their playing styles.  Shocked

There are also some absolutely amazing drummers like Keith Carlock can literally who can do it all.  It is obvious, to me at least, that he studied the old masters, and used those studies as a springboard for new interesting grooves and more modern musical situations.    Wink

Maybe some more of you will write about some of the new breed of drummers that are pushing the drumming envelope to new directions and new levels of expections.
  Roll Eyes
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2009, 09:23:04 PM »

I like the steamy funky feel that Stanton Moore produces on his (by today's standards) rather minimal kit.

I've already mentioned the great "all around" great groove of Keith Carlock.

David Garibaldi lays down a unique pocket that always amazes me......especially when I sit down and try and learn how to duplicate it.

And Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez sounds like two or three drummers when he performs......totally amazing.

There are quite a few drummers breaking new ground and taking the foundations laid by the original masters to even greater levels of excellence.  You'll be hearing from many of them as they further establish their places in the drumming world's "masters".








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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2010, 11:20:58 PM »

Just gotta add Antonio Sanchez too.
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Ken Sanders
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