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Topic: Jazz Cymbal Setup  (Read 5247 times)

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Offline Steve "Smitty" Smith

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Jazz Cymbal Setup
« on: March 07, 2011, 02:47 PM »
I’m at an age where I can see myself eventually transitioning from playing rock gigs on a semi-pro basis to playing jazz gigs for fun.  My love for jazz has been growing steadily for the past 10 years and I’m starting to explore getting my jazz drumming abilities together in preparation for this eventual shift (which could be 10 years down the road).  I’ve started by working through John Riley’s The Master Drummer DVD.  I’m really excited about this new project. 

Anyway, I’ll need appropriate drums and cymbals for this eventual pursuit, and the first thing I want to get recommendations for is a good cymbal setup for straight-ahead and bebop jazz playing.  I’m a lifelong Paiste player, but I think I’d like go with Zildjian for the jazz cymbals.  Can I get recommendations for a basic set up?  I’m thinking hats, a cymbal that can serve as a crash and a ride, and a ride. 

BTW:  They don’t have to be Zildjian, but it seems to me that the vast majority of jazz players play Zildjian, so that’s the direction I’m leaning. I’d also appreciate recommendations for cymbals that are currently in production and available to buy new.

Thanks!

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 04:04 PM »
I'm sure there are some stunning Paiste cymbals appropriate for jazz.

Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 07:35 PM »
Paiste, "Silver Mellow" would be great for jazz.  ;)
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Offline Steve "Smitty" Smith

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 08:45 PM »
I'm sure there are some stunning Paiste cymbals appropriate for jazz.

Well, Paiste does have the "Traditionals" line, which is made mainly for jazz.  I should check those out.  I know Steve Jordan likes them, but I haven't seen many other players use them.  I know it's all about what sounds good to my ear, though.

Offline David Stanoch

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 10:33 AM »
Hi Smitty,

Well on one hand there's the whole question of what makes a "jazz" cymbal? You know, many folks clamour for the Tony "K sound" from his work w/Miles, and that sound is promoted as the standard (no matter who makes them), certainly with good reason as they tend to blend well with acoustic instruments at lower volumes. 

There are, of course, also "jazz" scenarios they may not be the best suited for as well. Buddy, Louie & Max all preferred A's, many players in the 60's including Roy Haynes, Billy Higgins, Ed Blackwell, Joe Morello & even for a hot minute, Buddy Rich, went with the sound of the Paiste 602's, which are just now back in production. I saw Art Blakey & Jack DeJohnette playing on 2002's and they sounded very jazzy to me... I believe that at the end of the day, it's in the hands of the player as much as the instrument.

On the other hand, it's great to have the sounds you want, need and like. If you've preferred Paiste, I suggest you simply pay a visit to their website and see what's new: http://www.paiste.com/

I think you'll be amazed and pleasantly surprised. At NAMM they not only reintroduced the 602's but also an entire cache of new ride cymbals in the Twenty series (being marketed as "Twenty Masters") which I had the opportunity to play quite a little bit at NAMM which are stunning in their sound and range. They should be on hand any day now at a music retailer somewhere near you.

I do believe you'll be seeing some new additions to the Paiste roster as well as they have come to re-embrace and further their commitment to the jazz direction.
"You are only in competition with yourself" ~ Max Roach

Offline David Stanoch

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 10:43 AM »
BTW, there are a host of currently available Paistes you can check out that are perfectly suited for classic jazz sounds. Some of the ones I regularly use include: 22" Traditional Medium Light Ride (w/6 rivets), 21" Dark Energy Light Dark Ride, 22" Traditional Swish (w/6 rivets), 18" & 17" Traditional & Dark Energy Crashes, 13" Twenty HH. And the beat goes on...  Good luck & enjoy.
"You are only in competition with yourself" ~ Max Roach

Offline Steve "Smitty" Smith

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 02:05 PM »
Thanks, David. I always appreciate your thoughtful and helpful responses.  What a treat.

Yes, like millions of other drummers, I love the Tony ride sound.  His ride work is downright mesmerizing to me.  His playing on Miles’ Nefertiti and Herbie Hancock’s  Maiden Voyage are two of my favorites.

I had no idea Buddy played Paiste – even briefly.  I’d love to hear more about that.

Yep, I’m a total Paiste geek. I even worked as a warehouse grunt at the Paiste America offices in Brea, California back in 1990-91.  I was like a kid in the candy store at that job.  Interestingly, the other two guys who worked in the warehouse were not drummers and did not share my enthusiasm when new shipments from Switzerland arrived.  :o  As far they were concerned, we may as well have been receiving boxes of hammers.  In any event, I’m really eager to check out the revived 602 line and the new Twenty Master series rides.

Thanks again!

Offline Todd Norris

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 11:03 PM »
There's lots of great "jazz" cymbals from all the major manufacturers.  Also check out Bosphorus, and Istanbul Agop.  I have a few of those that are just sublime. 

But like some others above, It's more the player than the equipment.  If I had Tony's ride, I couldn't begin to make it sound as nice as Tony did. 

Offline Susan Wood

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 04:16 PM »
I like Istanbul Agop ......

Offline Sean J. Kennedy

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2011, 01:41 PM »
My standard small group jazz set-up is:

from left to right...

14" Bosphorus Antique Hats
20" Bosphorus New Orleans Ride...with the rivets
22" Bosphorus Turk Ride
22" Bosphorus Turk Flat Ride...with two rivets

For louder stuff I use Bosphorus's Stanton Moore Signature Series.
14" Bosphorus Fat Hats
22" Bosphorus Trash Crash
20" Bosphorus Wide Ride
22" Bosphorus Pang Thang

In case you were wondering.

Offline Bob Dias

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2011, 07:11 PM »

14" Bosphorus Antique Hats
20" Bosphorus New Orleans Ride...with the rivets
22" Bosphorus Turk Ride
22" Bosphorus Turk Flat Ride...with two rivets


Very nice. Love love love the turks and the NO series. Bos make some of the tastiest cymbals I have heard.  Cannot go wrong with that lineup.
"It's O.K. if you only know three chords, but for God's sake, play'em in the right order" (H. Hill)

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2011, 08:42 PM »
I've been very impressed by the Paiste Twenty series, so I bet their "Twenty Masters" line will be nice, too. 602's are great, too. So if you're wanting to stay with that brand, I think you'll find lots of options.

And if you're open to other brands, there's an amazing array of choices out there. Happy hunting!
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Offline Tim van de Ven

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Re: Jazz Cymbal Setup
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2011, 11:13 AM »
To be honest, it's the player, not the cymbal that makes it "jazzy". There are videos on YouTube that have Tony Williams playing a mix of 2002 and 602s at a show in Switzerland in the early 70s...and guess what; it still sounds like Tony.

Use your ears and try to find cymbals that are "appropriate" both in tone and volume. I've done jazz gigs (mainly American Songbook stuff) with various Paiste cymbals that fit the sonic requirements of the night. On my stands at various times have been Sound Creation, 2002, Giant Beat, Dark Energy, Twenty, 602, Traditional and I've even dropped in a "lowly" Alpha Crystal Crash (18") into my set-up one night because I knew that it was perfect for the evening.

It is all about your ears and your touch.

 


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