Art Blakey Wash?

JayT

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What kind of cymbals is Art Blakey playing here? Such great wash!
 
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mlvbs

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Yep, old K's, from the 1950's. No substitute for that sound, I don't care what people say. Even the later 60's and 70's K Zildjians don't sound like the 50's ones. Back then they completely hammered out the bell, which had a large effect on the sound of the cymbal, and which no one does anymore.

A better pic!

I love that picture. I wonder what that finish is...probably either Cadillac Green or Black Nitron. There's other pics of Blakey playing that kit, so I assume it was his. It's unusual sizes...20-13-14.

That famous old K also has another row of smaller holes at the very edge, without rivets, that you can barely see. People back then would often drill a circle of holes not necessarily meant for rivets...they were drilled to dry out the cymbal some. Check out this auction: http://cgi.ebay.com/21-5-THIN-K-Zildjian-Istanbul-OLD-STAMP-2120g_W0QQitemZ280435339303

Here's another pic of Blakey in the studio, same set and swiss cheese K:
 

4164SB

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I love that picture. I wonder what that finish is...probably either Cadillac Green or Black Nitron. There's other pics of Blakey playing that kit, so I assume it was his. It's unusual sizes...20-13-14.
According to this Gretsch ad, "Burgundy Sparkle"
http://www.africanafrican.com/negroartist/RECORD%20ALBUMS8/slides/1963%20Art%20Blakey.jpg

And this pics seems to bear that out:
 

gryphon

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Say what you like about 50's K's, but Art's cymbals just don't sound right. Wish I could put my finger on what the problem is.

jim
 

JayT

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It's gotta be the 20 rivets that doesn't sit well with you!

But for me, that wash is just so alluring. And it really makes the music what it is.
 

royal ace

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Say what you like about 50's K's, but Art's cymbals just don't sound right. Wish I could put my finger on what the problem is.

jim
Jim, Could the problem be the sound quality of that youtube posting? I sure wouldn't judge the great Art Blakey's cymbal sound from that! :unsure:

View attachment 58773
with Jay McShan; circa 1945
 

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Since that is in Paris, I would bet that those are rental drums. Of course, Art was a long time Gretsch player, but if the snare drum wasn't right, he would just go on to another one. All of The Jazz Messenger recordings in N.Y. during that time, (with Rudy Van Gelder,) are the Gretsch sound, not a Ludwig snare drum. The best example of the difference between the Ludwig metal drums and the Gretsch wooden snare is on Rich vs. Roach. Max playing the Gretsch drum, and Buddy playing the Ludwig SuperSensitive that he played in that era. They neven took a picture for the cover, and in those days, the cover picture for a jazz album was usually taken same day at the studio, somewhere..... not sure if that's the case here, but it's likely. They spent the smallest amount of money possible on jazz records in the early 60s. Recorded directly to 2 track, no mixing, you walk out with the master tape after recording for a day at most, on most of those projects. Then, of course Miles and Teo Macero changed that routine when Miles signed with Columbia and started recording hours of music for each album. As opposed to Miles in the 50s, when they recorded all of "Workin", "Cookin", Steamin" and "Relaxin'", in 2 sessions.
 

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Now I know what the problem is. Why didn't I see it sooner? (slaps forehead).














Those cymbals are shiny without the 50 year layer of crud they need to sound "jazzy".

jim
 

rondrums51

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Yep, old K's, from the 1950's. No substitute for that sound, I don't care what people say. Even the later 60's and 70's K Zildjians don't sound like the 50's ones. Back then they completely hammered out the bell, which had a large effect on the sound of the cymbal, and which no one does anymore.
I agree. I know because I've played many of the old original K's. The hammered bell made the difference.

The closest thing today, in my opinion, is Bosphorous--the Traditionals or Masters. They do hammer the bells, but I don't know if they hammer them from scratch like the old K's. They also have the low profile and the thinner bell like old K's.

To me, it's ironic that the Zildjian company has never made one single cymbal that really sounds like an old K. The 80's and 90's K's were especially terrible. The Constantinoples are all well and good, but they still don't get it--different profile and different hammering.

I think Zildjian decided that the real old K sound is from a bygone era, and not that many drummers are interested in it nowadays. They're probably right.
 

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The best example of the difference between the Ludwig metal drums and the Gretsch wooden snare is on Rich vs. Roach. Max playing the Gretsch drum, and Buddy playing the Ludwig SuperSensitive that he played in that era.
Yeah, Tommy. That's a very weird album. Max is trying to play music and Buddy is showing his ass and trying to cut Max technically.

In his second book, Drummin' Men: The Be-Bop Years, in the chapter about Max, Burt Korall says Buddy shredded Max on that record. I disagree.

Max won, in my opinion. His concept was much further advanced than Buddy's.

But I still love Buddy.
 

mlvbs

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Yep, old K's, from the 1950's. No substitute for that sound, I don't care what people say. Even the later 60's and 70's K Zildjians don't sound like the 50's ones. Back then they completely hammered out the bell, which had a large effect on the sound of the cymbal, and which no one does anymore.
I agree. I know because I've played many of the old original K's. The hammered bell made the difference.

The closest thing today, in my opinion, is Bosphorous--the Traditionals or Masters. They do hammer the bells, but I don't know if they hammer them from scratch like the old K's. They also have the low profile and the thinner bell like old K's.

To me, it's ironic that the Zildjian company has never made one single cymbal that really sounds like an old K. The 80's and 90's K's were especially terrible. The Constantinoples are all well and good, but they still don't get it--different profile and different hammering.

I think Zildjian decided that the real old K sound is from a bygone era, and not that many drummers are interested in it nowadays. They're probably right.
Yes, Bosphorous are nice. I've also heard some Spizzichinos and Dirils that came close to the old K sound. Most are closer to the new stamp, 60's/70's K sound than they are to the really old, great ones.

No current company fully forms the bell through hammering. The bells are pre-formed, and then hammered. To my knowledge, no company has fully hammered the bells since K Zildjian stopped in the 50's. However, I heard from a very well-known endorser that Istanbul Agop are soon going to release a cymbal with a fully hammered bell, like the old K's. It will be interesting to see how it sounds, and how much it costs. It's very cost prohibitive and labor intensive to make cymbals that way, which I think is a big part of why Zildjian won't do it any more. There are a lot of drummers interested in the sound, as evidenced by the many companies making cymbals in the old K tradition.

Here's a couple of quotes from Mehmet Tamdeger, who was an employee of K Zildjian Istanbul. These were translated by a current employee of Istanbul Mehmet:

"In early times, Mikael Zilcan told me there is no electric in a factory ,or limited electric,but they using the lathe machine(whells) but this machine is a working with Fridge horse,one horse is rolling the diameter and lathe machine (whellss) are rolling..."

"...during the my join the company 1949,there is no cylinder machine for cymball bells and profile, for producting the one cymbal bell , 4 man is a hold the cymbal with hook and same 4 man is a hammering same time cymbal body and bell."
It's like something out of Lord of the Rings!
 

JayT

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I think Zildjian decided that the real old K sound is from a bygone era, and not that many drummers are interested in it nowadays. They're probably right.
In some ways you're right. To me, there's a certain appeal to that washy sound, but I still need a cymbal that cuts over top distorted guitars and huge stages. Certain things that didn't exist back in the day of the Jazz Messengers.

I've been playing Sabian Legacy HHXs, and they are the closest cymbals I could find to a constantinople that didn't cost the price of my future first born. I personally love the old crashy, splashy, washy sound of yore, but the practical aspect of it all forces us to kind of move on from 4 guys holding sheets of metal and clanging away on them.
 

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When Gretsch was in Brooklyn, they would tell Blakey and Max and Elvin, etc. when the shipment of Ks came in and those guys would go through all of the cymbals and take the ones they wanted. Then the rest got shipped to the music stores. So the big Gretsch guys got most of the really good ones right from the start. I loved Max's ride cymbal on all the Max Roach and Booker Little stuff in the 50s and early 60s, then i thought that Tony had the coolest ride cymbal sound in the mid to late 60s,(Miles, and solo stuff,) before he went heavier.... Then I found out that Max gave Tony that cymbal. It's the same one! I don't know where that cymbal is now, but that is the cymbal, to me, that just says, this is the sound of jazz. Wallace Roney has one of Tony's old K rides, and lenny White used it for the proto-type for his ride cymbal, but I don't think it's the one I'm thinking of. I think it's more like one of the early 70s ones. Just guessing......
 

royal ace

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Yep, old K's, from the 1950's. No substitute for that sound, I don't care what people say. Even the later 60's and 70's K Zildjians don't sound like the 50's ones. Back then they completely hammered out the bell, which had a large effect on the sound of the cymbal, and which no one does anymore.
I agree. I know because I've played many of the old original K's. The hammered bell made the difference.

The closest thing today, in my opinion, is Bosphorous--the Traditionals or Masters. They do hammer the bells, but I don't know if they hammer them from scratch like the old K's. They also have the low profile and the thinner bell like old K's.

To me, it's ironic that the Zildjian company has never made one single cymbal that really sounds like an old K. The 80's and 90's K's were especially terrible. The Constantinoples are all well and good, but they still don't get it--different profile and different hammering.

I think Zildjian decided that the real old K sound is from a bygone era, and not that many drummers are interested in it nowadays. They're probably right.
rd51, Once again, we are in agreement, with one exception. I believe more young drummers are becoming interested in that old K sound... at least the ones I know... which may be at least one reason for the success of the Bosphorus line.
I would add, as one who owns and treasures a few A. Zildjians from the 50s, that they have their own superb, possibly unique, qualities.
Ron
 


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