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elvin gretsch, first 16 bass drum in history?

JazzDrumGuy

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(Taiwanese claws dead give away)
wait. that's a good name for a band.
I like the mini claws. I have real G. T rods and claws but that would add a lot of weight and are worth more than the drum!
 
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dingaling

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Not that this is a show and tell but here’s my 16” Gretsch USA kick.
BA842D96-E0F2-4C5D-A390-85103BF4FCF6.jpeg
 

JDA

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"a little bit after Elvin was seen and pictured with his 16"...

Gretsch SunFrontRb.jpg


ok a Little bit was 1996 30 years later..
truly historic
 

jashoup

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My teacher Randy Gelispie (who's 87 now and still plays his ass off) worked in NYC and on the road with guys like Wes Montgomery and Sonny Stitt back in the 60's. There was a particular hotel that he stayed in when he was in NYC that was near Times Square. Many jazz musicians used that hotel.

Randy tells a story about being on his way out one day when he ran into Elvin in the lobby. This probably would have been sometime in the early 60's, I can't remember the exact year that he told me. Elvin saw him and got quite excited and told him he had something to show him, back in his hotel room. Randy went along, and there in the room was (reportedly) Elvin's first 16" bass drum.

Randy said he thought Elvin was mostly excited about it because it fit more easily into a taxicab, LOL.
 

mtarrani

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Buddy Rich's kit from this 1950 clip sure looks like a 16" (and the rest of the drums are pretty shallow with small diameters.) Fast forward to 3:07:

 
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What It Is

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I absolutely love mine.
 

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stopsign70

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it's interesting. I asked "who the first?"
and most of you answered with your set. including me :)
 

mtarrani

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but that was a kind of joke set :)
It was a pretty serious video, so I do not think it was a spoof of anything. Why the small kit, I am unsure. The film is a classic among we jazz nuts.

 
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drumsforme

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To the best of my knowledge and speaking with several Gretsch people- Elvin played a 12x18" kick and so when I ordered my kit 4 years ago- my goal was to use what Elvin used....

Gretsch Bradkaster1.jpg
 

mtarrani

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To the best of my knowledge and speaking with several Gretsch people- Elvin played a 12x18" kick and so when I ordered my kit 4 years ago- my goal was to use what Elvin used....

View attachment 576939
I agree - he normally did use an 18". That doesn't preclude him from also using a 16" on occasion. Nice looking kit by the way. Bet it sounds killer ... and kudos for getting the 12" depth one.
 

stopsign70

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so don't you think it was a playback session?
with a "rapresentative" drum set? :)
and... in doubt if 16. it looks more 18 to me
to me the 16 hit parade is:
1) chico hamilton '52-'53 (with an assembled set)
2) elvin jones '66 custom set
3) jack dejohnette '68-'69 custom set
4) art blakey '70-71 custom set

maybe max roach too, non sure if/when
 

mtarrani

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so don't you think it was a playback session?
with a "rapresentative" drum set? :)
and... in doubt if 16. it looks more 18 to me
to me the 16 hit parade is:
1) chico hamilton '52-'53 (with an assembled set)
2) elvin jones '66 custom set
3) jack dejohnette '68-'69 custom set
4) art blakey '70-71 custom set

maybe max roach too, non sure if/when
To my eyes it looks like a 16, and another reason why I think so is the smaller toms and snare drums. Not to mention that I play 16 and 18 inch kits almost exclusively and know the difference, which is not subtle when those are your sizes.

That session was shot without sound, and then the musicians added the sound track separately. I don't know what a 'representative' drum kit is, but the fact that one even existed in 1950 is interesting in itself. I cannot imagine the hassle of convincing Buddy to play it, but I am pretty sure he was not happy about it ... and positive that he did not own or subsequently play it.
 

stopsign70

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"what a 'representative' drum kit is... " the set you are watching, not the set you are listening to. no micros at all. they recorded before the video with a real drum set. that's why I say: buddy didn't play the little bass drum (16 or 18, 18 to me)
 

wflkurt

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I saw a FB post of someone's original red sparkle set with a 14x16 bass drum and the paper tag inside had "special" written in pen. Super cool set for sure and super rare. No idea who was the first though.
 

mtarrani

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"what a 'representative' drum kit is... " the set you are watching, not the set you are listening to. no micros at all. they recorded before the video with a real drum set. that's why I say: buddy didn't play the little bass drum (16 or 18, 18 to me)
I think that you missed the point. I was not claiming that Buddy was the first. In fact I claimed that he was probably reluctant. The point, though, is in 1950 there was a drum kit that I firmly believe has a 16" bass drum. The how and why of that drum's existence is a mystery (to me, anyway), but the fact that someone actually ordered it, and a company actually built it is a fairly significant data point in this discussion.
 


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