Topic: Genius Drummers  (Read 5793 times)

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Tony

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Re:Genius Drummers
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2004, 07:41 PM »
"Money" is really considered in 7/4 due to the equal emphasis of the pulse.  Pluse you won't find many 7/8 tunes where the 8th=100bpm.   :P

Thanks, you beat me to the punch!

Larry Lawless

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Genius Drummers
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2004, 09:10 PM »
OK. I've gotta add my two cents.

Some of those "unschooled" people, such as Thomas Edison were homeschooled by a parent who believed in them when traditional education had given up on them.

BTW, the thought that has gone into this thread is incredible. I think the drummercafe has a lock on all the Genius Drummers!!

Matt Self (Gaddabout)

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« Reply #22 on: February 29, 2004, 02:23 AM »
Too often, people cling to the idea of being "natural" or "unschooled" mostly out of laziness. At least that's been my observation. None of the people I see so stridently defending the notion of being unschooled show anywhere near the genius of a Buddy or a Hendrix. YMMV.

This is so true. I'm so sick of New Age philosophies, particularly the hokey positive thinking stuff that encourages people to ignore some honest introspective study. Jimi Hendrix didn't need to convince himself he was a genius. He just did it, and the world confirmed him ... and from what I know of him, he didn't have a clue what he was doing was groundbreaking until much later in his career.

Chris Whitten

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« Reply #23 on: February 29, 2004, 02:38 AM »
There you go you see....
Jimi Hendrix was not a genius. He was a very good guitarist, a brilliant songwriter and visionary. Beethoven and Mozart may have been geniuses.
How anyone can compare a rock guitarist or any drummer for that matter to a guy who can make great art and simultaneously invent the aeroplane hundreds of years before it became actuality is beyond me.

JeepnDrummer

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« Reply #24 on: February 29, 2004, 03:07 AM »
As for innovation...there's much written on it since it's a field all unto its own.  It's late and I don't feel like pulling my book or notes out, but most innovation comes from necessity.....the need to make things that work better.  And, it's true most innovations do not come from highly educated people, but rather from the lower ranks.  You might be surprised to learn that a fair number of innovations come about serendipitously, as well.

As for education being an exercise in conformist thinking.....lol, some people do believe this is true, especially during the K-12 grades.  There are pros & cons to this approach, though.  Attending college is when things rapidly change in this regard.  And adult education, for the most part, is exactly opposite to conformist thinking.

Quote
The knowledge will eventually set you free.
I prefer, The truth will set you free. ;D

Mister Acrolite

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« Reply #25 on: February 29, 2004, 06:51 AM »
There you go you see....
Jimi Hendrix was not a genius. He was a very good guitarist, a brilliant songwriter and visionary. Beethoven and Mozart may have been geniuses.
How anyone can compare a rock guitarist or any drummer for that matter to a guy who can make great art and simultaneously invent the aeroplane hundreds of years before it became actuality is beyond me.

I think we're getting hung up on semantics.  My point was that Jimi had a gift when it came to playing guitar - a VERY conspicuous gift. People like Jimi, Buddy, Michael Jordan, Mozart, Jaco Pastorius, etc. - they all had gifts (or talent, or genius, or whatever you want to call it) that FAR exceed those of the "average" person.

So the point I was trying to make was that unless you have as much talent as say, Hendrix, Buddy, etc., the argument that you don't need schooling because they didn't need schooling just doesn't hold water.

It seems you take umbrage at applying the term genius to an artist or entertainer, and that's fair enough. I don't claim Jimi's contributions to society rival those of Michelangelo or Einstein. But they have made a lasting impression on the arts, and that's the area we were discussing. In my eyes, somebody like Mozart was a genius. But I probably use the term much more loosely than you.

Now Rikki Rockett - there's a genius.

NOT.  :)

Matt Self (Gaddabout)

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« Reply #26 on: February 29, 2004, 10:22 AM »
There you go you see....
Jimi Hendrix was not a genius. He was a very good guitarist, a brilliant songwriter and visionary. Beethoven and Mozart may have been geniuses.

It seems to me the difference between Hendrix and Beethoven and Mozart is a lot of time and culture. I wish we could hold this argument for another 200 years to see how Jimi's remembered.  :P

How anyone can compare a rock guitarist or any drummer for that matter to a guy who can make great art and simultaneously invent the aeroplane hundreds of years before it became actuality is beyond me.

So you have to be stellar at more than one thing to be a genius? I don't know if Einstein would be considered a genius, then, and I don't know how you can't include him.

There are some people I cringe at when people annoint them genius. Prince, for example. I do think there are some musicians doing things so awesome -- technically far advanced, aestethically pleasing to the ear, emotive -- it's hard NOT to put that label on them. I could practice for 100 years, but I do not think I would even begin to sound or play like Vinnie. The way he thinks and computes music, it's revolutionary IMO. He and a handful of other drummers from the 20th Century might qualify for that title.

Again, IMO ...

Chris Whitten

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« Reply #27 on: February 29, 2004, 12:19 PM »
Of course it's all a matter of opinion and as Mr A rightly points out I'm getting into 'semantics' and probably diverting the topic away from an interesting discussion on whether it takes schooling to be a genius or not.
By the way, I'm a huge Hendrix fan, I do think it's possible for an entertainer to be a genius and I don't think you have to be good at more than one thing.
Gaddabout,
Maybe you could name the handful of drummers who warrant the title 'genius'? I can't think of any.
I agree with you though, it would be interesting to have this debate in 200 years time. If past history is anything to go by we'd most likely be celebrating someone none of us today have even heard of.
A friend in television is making a documentary, with a popular-music academic, about the three musical entities he guesses will make the most impact on future generations.
The three are:
The Beatles (no surprise there),
Bernard Herrman (slightly surprising)
and Leonard Bernstein (great though West Side Story is, I'm shocked at that).
By the way, McCartney is very anti musical education. Although I think it's quite obvious at least three of the Fab Four were studying other forms of music (like avant garde classical and ethnic music) during their latter period.


Monk Man

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Genius Drummers
« Reply #28 on: February 29, 2004, 12:34 PM »
Maybe you could name the handful of drummers who warrant the title 'genius'? I can't think of any.


Chick Webb
Papa Jo Jones
Benny Benjamin


Chris Whitten

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« Reply #29 on: February 29, 2004, 02:43 PM »
Just for fun I decided to see who the genius drummers are as declared by those who use the internet. So I googled 'genius drummer'.
You'll be pleased to know just about every band that has a website declare their drummer to be a 'genius'.
But here's a list of the first ten to come up (gleaned from 10 google pages and with the part time 'genius' drummers removed).
Ginger Baker
Les DeMerle
Paco Sery (Zawinul Syndicate)
Johnny Vidacovich
John McEntire (Tortoise)
Dave Grohl
Brock Avery (some LA dude)
John Bonham
Buddy Rich
Mike Portnoy
So there you have it....the net has spoke.....pretty much the 'usual suspects' too.
Funnily enough, there is a band called 'Super Genius'. Their drummer is described as a 'journeyman'. Some insult, especially as the guy in question is UK session maestro Dave Mattacks.  8)

Matt Self (Gaddabout)

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« Reply #30 on: February 29, 2004, 02:49 PM »
Gaddabout,
Maybe you could name the handful of drummers who warrant the title 'genius'? I can't think of any.

First, allow to me suggest you don't have to have your name recorded in a World History book to be a genius or be remembered. Les Paul won't be in one in 200 years, but if there are guitarists in the future, I don't doubt they will be crediting his accomplishments to their craft.

My suggestions for "genius" label? I'd guess Tony Williams, Vinnie Colaiuta and Trilok Gurtu. They are/were technically superior drummers who offered groundbreaking *music* in a wide variety of genres. I believe they will be considered mandatory study topics well into the future. Of course, that's just my opinion and time is the true test, but I don't feel the least bit bashful in my consideration of them as true geniuses of their profession.

Chris Whitten

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« Reply #31 on: February 29, 2004, 03:07 PM »
Sorry to disagree.
I guess it comes down to personal opinion.
I hope I'd be impartial enough though to label a certain drummer a genius even if I didn't like his style or music he played on.
I'm a big fan of Tony and Trilok. I also admire the accomplishments of Vinnie.
But genius? Maybe Tony....but honestly I just think he was a very, very good drummer.

Mister Acrolite

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« Reply #32 on: February 29, 2004, 03:22 PM »
I think guys like Buddy, Tony, Gadd, Vinnie, and maybe Elvin would qualify for my unofficial "genuis" label - they all made literally transcendent steps forward with their playing.

Buddy was simply a freak of nature. I saw him live several times, and have never seen anybody match his taste, speed, power, or sheer aggressiveness.

Tony did stuff at 17 and 18 that I can only barely get my head around now - and that's my head, not my chops. I'll NEVER be able to play some of Tony's stuff.

Gadd's approach found a new way to marry groove with technique. His playing literally changed the face of drumming.

Elvin found some mystical forward motion with his playing that I don't think anybody has matched, before or since. His drumming truly warrants the word "hypnotic." Dave Liebman told me that every major musician who has ever played with Elvin went on to buy themselves a drumkit to experiment with - that's how much he inspired them. You should hear Liebman play drums - he's VERY cool, and obviously influenced by Elvin.

And Vinnie has a complex rhythmic grasp and and spontaneous improvisational ability that I think exceeds any other drummer I've heard, although Trilok Gurtu and Steve Smith come close.

Are they geniuses? Who knows? But are they FAR beyond the concepts and abilities of  the average really good professional drumer? I'd say definitely.

You can't say that just any drummer with good training and a good work ethic will become as good as Steve Gadd, or Vinnie Colaiuta, etc. It's just not true.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that some people gots more of da cereal than the rest of us.  ;D

nudrum

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« Reply #33 on: February 29, 2004, 03:58 PM »
I think guys like Buddy, Tony, Gadd, Vinnie, and maybe Elvin would qualify for my unofficial "genuis" label - they all made literally transcendent steps forward with their playing.

Buddy was simply a freak of nature. I saw him live several times, and have never seen anybody match his taste, speed, power, or sheer aggressiveness.

Tony did stuff at 17 and 18 that I can only barely get my head around now - and that's my head, not my chops. I'll NEVER be able to play some of Tony's stuff.

Gadd's approach found a new way to marry groove with technique. His playing literally changed the face of drumming.

Elvin found some mystical forward motion with his playing that I don't think anybody has matched, before or since. His drumming truly warrants the word "hypnotic." Dave Liebman told me that every major musician who has ever played with Elvin went on to buy themselves a drumkit to experiment with - that's how much he inspired them. You should hear Liebman play drums - he's VERY cool, and obviously influenced by Elvin.

And Vinnie has a complex rhythmic grasp and and spontaneous improvisational ability that I think exceeds any other drummer I've heard, although Trilok Gurtu and Steve Smith come close.


I don't claim to be a drum historian but if we look at who changed drumming as we know it; did Krupa set the stage for Buddy making Krupa the "genius" of those 2?
And Gadd seems to have reinvented the groove the way Mr. A describes.
I don't know who gets credit for all this polyrhythm that is happening (Vinnie?), but I bet somebody here does.   :)

Anyway I am thinking of the innovators.
who else fits this description?

DrumerFromSysinoid

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« Reply #34 on: February 29, 2004, 08:10 PM »
i'm even ruder: i say, "i can smell your breath from here, man. move it!" ;D


i can't handle space invaders. it makes me loony, really loony!




and to follow up 563's post -- here is an interesting tale on the education front:


my boyfriend attended berklee as a composition major. i guess for their big-deal final project, they had to write some piece of music for a full orchestra. the students had to play it back.

at the end, when they played it, they told him what an awesome piece it was, and how much they loved it.



the teacher, on the other hand, gave him a C, because he said, "it breaks all convention and shows nothing of what you've been taught here."




go figure!

elvis got given an F for music once

bilkay

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Genius Drummers
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2004, 09:00 AM »
Bill Bruford

smoggrocks

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« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2004, 09:24 AM »
This is so true. I'm so sick of New Age philosophies, particularly the hokey positive thinking stuff that encourages people to ignore some honest introspective study.


this has been one reason why i've avoided "drum circles."

i'm sure there are some genuinely excellent ones, but the ones i encountered were run by a bunch of space cases who just liked to make noise. there was nothing academic at all in what they were doing.

i can rattle my tambourine at home for that.

random

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« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2004, 08:34 PM »
i don't know what it is, but that lack of coordination/physical awareness seems to translate to the kit.
heh.. i kind of wreck your theory.  i didn't really notice it until high school but i'm always really close to people when i talk to them.  when communicating, i don't connect without being physically close to someone.  now, i don't communicate like that all the time, because i'm not very social.  it kind of translates into my playing, i like to be close to my instrument.  music is just another way of expressing myself (my favorite.)  every piece of my setup is right under my nose, and when i play a note, i try to really connect with the instrument.

 

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