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Mitch Mitchell - Drum Solo Artist

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GunnarWaage
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« on: May 31, 2009, 05:02:49 PM »

Are there Mitch Mitchell fans out there? He was a huge influence on me and many others.

from Wikipedia;

Early life and The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Before joining The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Mitchell gained considerable musical experience touring and playing as a session musician. He also had an acting background, and had starred in a children's television program, Jennings and Derbyshire, when he was a teenager.Pre-Experience bands included Johnny Harris and the Shades, The Pretty Things, The Riot Squad, and Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. He had also worked in Jim Marshall's (creator of the Marshall amplifier) music shop in London.

Mitchell was praised for his work with The Jimi Hendrix Experience on songs such as "Manic Depression", "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", "Fire" and "Third Stone from the Sun". Mitchell came from a jazz background and like many of his drummer contemporaries was strongly influenced by the work of Elvin Jones, Max Roach, and Joe Morello.

Mitchell played in Hendrix's Experience trio from October 1966 to mid-1969, in his Woodstock band in August 1969, and also with the later incarnation of the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" in 1970 with Billy Cox on bass, known as the "Cry of Love" band. Jimi Hendrix would often record tracks in the studio with only Mitchell, and in concert the two fed off of each other to exciting effect.

In December 1968, Mitchell played in the band The Dirty Mac assembled for The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus in 1968. Other members included John Lennon as vocalist and rhythm guitarist "Winston Leg-Thigh"; Eric Clapton as guitarist, and Keith Richards as bassist. The group recorded a cover of "Yer Blues" as well as a jam called "Whole Lotta Yoko".

Another noteworthy musical collaboration in the late sixties was with the Jack Bruce and Friends band featuring Mitchell along with ex-Cream bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce, keyboardist Mike Mandel and jazz-fusion guitar legend and future The Eleventh House frontman Larry Coryell. Mitch took part in this band during late 1969 and early 1970, during which time Hendrix was working with the Band of Gypsys.


Post-Hendrix

After Hendrix's death, Mitchell (along with engineer Eddie Kramer) finished production work on multiple incomplete Hendrix recordings, resulting in posthumous releases such as "The Cry of Love" and "Rainbow Bridge". In 1972, he teamed up with guitarists April Lawton and Mike Pinera (who came from Iron Butterfly) to form the quite innovative act Ramatam. They recorded one album and were Emerson, Lake & Palmer's opening act at a number of concerts. Interestingly, Mitchell had been offered the drum spot in ELP during 1970, but turned it down in favour of playing with Hendrix. Ramatam never achieved commercial success and Mitchell left the act before their second LP release. Mitchell also performed in some concerts with Terry Reid, Jack Bruce, and Jeff Beck (substituting for drummer Cozy Powell, then sick).

According to Eddie Kramer's book Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight, Michael Jeffery, Hendrix's manager, an innovator in getting Hendrix promoted and established, relegated both Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding to the status of mere paid employees without an ownership share in future revenues. This limited their earnings to a very low rate and led to Mitchell and Redding being largely excluded from sharing in future revenues generated from their work with The Jimi Hendrix Experience. This arrangement pressured Mitchell in the mid-1970s to sell a prized Hendrix guitar. In addition, he sold his small legal claim to future Hendrix record sales for a sum reported to be in the range of $200,000. In 1974, he auditioned for Paul McCartney's band Wings, but was turned down in favour of drummer Geoff Britton.

For the rest of the '70s through to the '90s, Mitchell continued to perform and occasionally record although essentially doing so under the radar of most of his previous fans. He kept reasonably busy doing occasional session work (such as Junior Brown's "Long Walk Back" album) as well as participating in various Hendrix-related recordings, videos, and interviews.

In 1999, Mitchell appeared on the late Bruce Cameron's album Midnight Daydream that included other Hendrix alumni Billy Cox and Buddy Miles along with Jack Bruce, with whom Mitchell had worked after Hendrix's death. Mitchell, seemingly in an attempt to satisfy the most enthusiastic fans of his drum work with Hendrix, even played a series of live shows with the Hendrix emulator Randy Hansen. Most recently, he was part of the Gypsy Sun Experience, along with former Hendrix bassist Billy Cox and guitarist Gary Serkin. He entered semi-retirement living in Europe.


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KenSanders
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2009, 08:07:38 PM »

There was some discussion about Mitch Mitchell of this other DSA thread also.

http://www.drumsoloartist.com/live/drumforum/index.php/topic,662.0.html

You may want to review it and then continue your thread with some more about his style his approach to rock drumming. 

He was certainly one of my influences too.
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2009, 08:11:03 PM »

HEAR HERE!
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GunnarWaage
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2009, 10:52:46 PM »

Well Ken, I checked out the other thread and I can see that you also used a quote from Wikipedia, I probably should have continued with that one Grin

Anyway, there is an album that I was brought up listening to at an early age and at the age of 12-13 I guess I learned to play it note for note, and of course the lyrics, apart from looking at the picture of his awesome Gretch double bass kit on the album cover.



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Tomm
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2009, 11:04:47 PM »

That is one sweet Gretch kit.  I don't know why...but it looks to me that they are playing "Minic Depression" in that pic.
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GunnarWaage
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2009, 11:23:36 PM »

Well come to think of it, that 3/4 shuffle feel with the kind of Philly Joe Jones tom part in the left hand. Could be, hadn't thought of that Huh
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KenSanders
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2009, 10:39:43 PM »

All VERY COOL.  THANKS FOR SHARING.

The first tune from his playing with Jimi that stopped me "dead in my tracks" was FIRE.

How about you?
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Ken Sanders
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GunnarWaage
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2009, 09:43:35 AM »

Well I was born 1965 and my dad had this album and I started listening to it around the age of 8 or 9 I suppose. So this was after Jimi's death and this is the reason why my Hendrix listening starts out in a somewhat peculiar order.

Allthough I later listened to ewerything Hendrix did and heavily, the tracks from the "Cry of love" album stay with me as my favorites.

Freedom - Straight Ahead - In From The Storm - and just the whole album.

But this album is not the usual Jimi Hendrix album, it was actually made after his death by Mitchell from old bits and peaces and old tapes that he arranged and made an album out of. So there's actually a somewhat distinct personality of Mitch Mitchell on the "Cry of Love" album. I think I remember correctly from an interview with him many many years ago where he described the production process, that he tracked the drums last. This was very unorthodox for it's time. Itīs only a few years ago really that drummers started coming accustomed to recording the drum last, it was usually the other way around. Today this is allways done to click track, but in this case it was a different animal alltogether with the time feel drifting.

Note; I hope my memory is delivering this info ok.

His playing is more structured with thought out hits and some really kool stuff happenin'. Allthough I later got to appreciate his normal blowing and wailing which was his trademark, this one has an energy and flare to it that just blows my head of ewerytime.
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KenSanders
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2009, 11:39:35 PM »

Gunnar's information about the CRY OF LOVE album is very interesting.  The old school recording methods actually did often result in capturing a lot of very intense human emotion although they were not studio perfect by today's standards and expectations. 

I'm posting onto this thread instead of the DSA Forum's RECORDING SECTION because of Gunnar's comments about the various drum track methods.  He's absolutely right...... it has kind of become reversed in the sequence of what's recorded first and what's recorded last now.

Which brings up the following that may be of interest to some DSA Forum readers.

I'm currently recording a new CD with ten old R&B tunes.  I have laid down the acoustic drum tracks FIRST.  No one was in the studio but me and the engineer.  I'm doing it this way to see if it makes a difference for the other instruments to play to MY groove instead of to a click.  I played what I was hearing in my memories of the way the tunes made ME feel. 

I'll be adding guitar, bass, and keyboards on Thursday.  I'll put down some scratch vocals as they play.

 Then I'll sdd some additional keyboard work on a few of the tunes (mainly B-3).  Then "keeper" lead vocals.  The last will be backing vocals. 

The ten tunes selected were hits in the late sizties and early seventies . Bernard Purdie played drums on a lot of the big R&B tunes back then.  He used an 18" bass drum on those recordings, which I also have done on this project.   I believe that should give the bass drum a unique voice in the lower register rather than blending in with the bass.  I want this CD to have the "recorded live vibe".  I'll let everyone know how this process goes.


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Ken Sanders
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GunnarWaage
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2009, 08:28:48 AM »

I look forward to hearing the album Ken, I think it's great that drummers make their own albums. Drummers often have great taste and ear for nuances in music which makes them ideal for production.

Yeah it used to be that one would play the drum tracks to scratch guitar-bass-vocals, then I would go home and wait for the music to be made in my abcense. Then sometimes people would play something totaly different over a certain section from what I had in mind when I played it.

Although the outcome would be interesting at times, I would have preferred having played a different part or groove over that section knowing what they would end up layering on top of it.

In your case it's different though since you are making the album and you will be there for the whole process controling the situation. In some cases I could have stayed, sometimes I was encouraged to go home when a guitar player for example preferred the privacy with the enginer, and sometime a producer would simply send you home.

This thing about the 18' bass drum sounds very interesting, look forward to hearing it!

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KenSanders
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2009, 09:46:23 AM »

Thanks for the comments Gunnar.

I'll close this detour for now and encourage the readers to get back on your original topic of MITCH MITCHELL.
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2009, 06:09:24 PM »

Back to Mitch...I was listening to the tune..."Let me Stand Next To Your Fire" and one thing that came to mind...and this is not a new thought by any means...Power trios have been the best thing to happen to the recognition of our greatest drummers since the invention of the snare drum.  In that tune, Mitch has as much solo time as Jimi, and I must say he does a splendid job of it.  I have played in a lot of groups that seem to strive to oppress drum excellence, Jimi didn't do that.  In fact it is obvious he relied on Mitch to carry the "Experience" as much as possible.  I think we owe Jimi a posthumous vote of thanks.
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KenSanders
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2009, 08:45:55 PM »

Tomm,

Hear, hear.  I agree.
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Ken Sanders
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GunnarWaage
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2009, 06:33:35 PM »

I agree Tomm!
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