Favorite Jack DeJonette cymbal set?

JDA

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when I said I think Jack is a 50/50 cymbal/drum player maybe I meant not a measure anda half goes by until the the right hand comes off the cymbal and..hits a drum.. Vistalite should be made aware...one if not the greatest what's he call it? Noodly -woodly drummer evah..
technically he's breaking up the ride rhythm all around the set most all the time.. So hard to pinpoint him as a "cymbal" player or his "cymbal", in the many traditional sense's.
I kind of understand that way of playing it's like half jazz half rock/avant garde. Cymbals no more important than the drums it's like a 50/50 approach compared to say the old swing Kenny Clarke example (or even Tony williams) approach.
Jack usually doesn't play the ride longer "than a bar and a half" before he drops (substitutes) a hi hat beat or tom tom roll in..

: )
 
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tkillian

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when I said I think Jack is a 50/50 cymbal/drum player maybe I meant not a measure anda half goes by until the the right hand comes off the cymbal and..hits a drum.. Vistalite should be made aware...one if not the greatest what's he call it? Noodly -woodly drummer evah..
technically he's breaking up the ride rhythm all around the set most all the time.. So hard to pinpoint him as a "cymbal" player or his "cymbal", in the many traditional sense's.
I kind of understand that way of playing it's like half jazz half rock/avant garde. Cymbals no more important than the drums it's like a 50/50 approach compared to say the old swing Kenny Clarke example (or even Tony williams) approach.
Jack usually doesn't play the ride longer "than a bar and a half" before he drops (substitutes) a hi hat beat or tom tom roll in..

: )

Since I did my master thesis/lecture recital on the drumming of jack D I might be able to offer some input and support your observation.

I accumulated 14 interview/articles for my research. That was back in 1991.

To summarize in Jack's own words from various interviews....

He looks at the drums and cymbals from a piano player point of view. You may or may not know he is a piano player.

So he looks at the cymbals and drums and options/notes/colors.

He also is heavily influenced by the play of Paul Motian who broke up the time in the traditional sense.

I could go on and on but that is the main point. Jack is really open minded
 

Seb77

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Tom, might be a good occasion to ask you about your ideas of some of his concepts.
Jack has always been a mystery to me in a way. There is a big thesis by Tozzi, do you know this one? Amazing transcriptions, it was overwhelming to me when I read the book in conservatory. There's also the method book by Charly Perry, need to lok into that agin, but back then I thought it had very little in common with what he played. Then there are some things in the Beyond bop book by John Riley, the 3-way comping in particular seems to make sense.

It seems to me like Jack , when playing time, changes between various concepts (that "washing machine" approch he mentions somehwere), which among many other things includes using ostinato in either right hand or left foot. There are practically no ostinato patterns in bass or snare (maybe an occasional samba ostinato with both feet, but I don't recall an example). Would you agree?
So, it seems like a good idea would be to practice three way comping with either the RH or the LF playing an ostinato, in addition to the classic swing ostinato of RH and LF with snare and bass (RF, LH) comping. Any thoughts?
The actualy comping in the 3-way comping would be another topic. Is it more or less linear, or would you say the comping itself can consist of multiple layers, so he has altogether 3 or even 4 independent layers going on sometimes?
 

JDA

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mistake to try and put it into a conscious category or breaking into categories.


he's constantly playing unwaveringly off one internal theme unwaveringly

changes between various concepts
not not various. I think he has one.

And like a Water spigot turns on incrementally according to depending on situation place in the song/music/
None of it conscious just differing conscious degrees of one Way


like it's all one big drum solo to him which is true in a way. Depending to what degree You Open the spigot..

The water Spigot.



every drummer (since time began? yes..) it could be said is constantly playing a solo
It is just the degree we allow to
release 'it'..

lol
 
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JDA

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And I think that one thing I think he believes in is a circular motion. Entire circular. You can hear his feet play the bass drum and hi hat pedal often- as if- playing a double bass - back and forth RLRLRLRL - when he really gets down to it. He's going for One Circular/ Sound/ Motion.

Round. Even. Like a '5 split in '2. Or whatever number split evenly in half.

he's going for circular. he talked of circular breathing on the horn. He's attempting that with the his rhythm.


Yea I do that all the time ; ) I try that myself
Kidding Elvin and then he made it famous. The most unknown famous thing never discussed ever...
 

paulwells73

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I would say that I hear Jack’s approach change from context to context. He’s much more of a cymbal player in the Keith Jarrett Trio, especially when they are playing in more live, boomy rooms. The records "Tribute" and “Standards In Norway" sound like they were recorded in more boomy concert halls (typical in European cities) and Jack sticks a bit more to cymbal time on those. But the concert from 93 I posted earlier is from an outdoor amphitheater in Tokyo, and he plays a bit busier on the drums, maybe because the sound was deader (typical for outdoors.)
 
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Seb77

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mistake to try and put it into a conscious category or breaking into categories.
Thanks Joe for the toughts. All on purpose. I consciuosly try to put things in categories, in order to practise/teach drums. That's how we learn. Agree afterwards you can forget about this and make it all one whole.
 

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DeJohnette
DeJohnette

DeJohnette
DeJohnette

DeJohnette
DeJohnette
DeJohnette
DeJohnette

Forgot the h.

thanks Mark
 

JDA

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Thanks Joe for the toughts. All on purpose. I consciuosly try to put things in categories, in order to practise/teach drums. That's how we learn. Agree afterwards you can forget about this and make it all one whole.
Not sure thats how the body (and mind) work's; Take walking.

you walk, you don't analyse ever step of the action.
When you learned to walk. It took.... how long? About 20 seconds right..
And haven't gone over it since....until the other end of life (around 80; )

You could Teach deJohnette to Students but it would (I would)...take the holistic rather than the partial breaking down of compart-mental- i- zation-ing

He's Going for one Thing it seems- at all times
and uses the faucet method

there you owe me 5$ ; )

He's not (as if anyone is) your traditional drummer.
Where he plays the traditional roles of sitting back. And waiting. He does but he's always eager to lead.
He Leads.

with few exceptions
He's playing a different picture than most drummers.
Not subservient, really much,
 
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Seb77

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Here's something I found today while looking for some Jack stuff.
From Jon Christensen's Modern Drummer feature in the early 80s:
MD: What makes a drummer interesting to you? What do you look for?
JC: Having watched a lot of drummers over the years, you can tell that some of them play very correctly and that they are schooled drummers. But in some instances, that seems to have resulted in a stiff and not very interesting feel, at least in my opinion. I have always been more influenced by drummers with a more naive, spontaneous way of playing. You might even call it an amateurish way of hitting the drums, as opposed to all the drummers who play correctly.
If you look at Jack DeJohnette, who definitely knows his rudiments inside out, he has been able to incorporate all that knowledge—you might even say camouflage it so that his playing still sounds fresh. With some other players, it is too obvious that they are playing things they already know—things they have been practicing.
Note the last paragraph: "knows his rudiments [I'd add coordination etc.] inside out, he has been able to [...] camouflage [all that knowledge] so that his playing still sounds fresh."
I think you're talking about the latter, and I'm talking about the first. Agree I'm not interested in playing "things I have been practicing" with a "stiff feel". Now, that being out of the way, let's talk about some of those "rudiments", which in this case means 3-way coordination etc. It's not basic like walking, and it's not just "constantly playing a solo".
 

JDA

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I think you're talking about the latter
I am Seb.

let's talk about some of those "rudiments"
They're the same Rudiment's since time immemorial for everybody.
You want to find them in his playing? hmm.......double strokes in 6,7,8,9,and 10..for sure.

And with that and those you enter the portal of Circular Rhythm.
Which I hear he is going after most always.

Sort of an extension of Elvin's (9's) but Jack or nobody had Elvin's foot hand and possibly eye coordination ; )

the way Jack plays double-stroke rolls sounds different from the next guy. Almost sounds as if he's starting in a different meter. Like he's pushing or spacing them or starting or ending them with that goal to achieve that circular- sound goal.

feel free go ahead.
 
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Seb77

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And I think that one thing I think he believes in is a circular motion. Entire circular. You can hear his feet play the bass drum and hi hat pedal often- as if- playing a double bass - back and forth RLRLRLRL - when he really gets down to it.
Defeinitely something more going on than can be captured in a set of exercises.
Alternating feet is a good point. Like comping between snare and bass, but replacing the bass with hh foot every few beats.
No question about his feel/phrasing being unique. I recently read he was entirely self-taught on drums.
 
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When I interviewed Vinnie we were talking (and laughing) about transcribing Elvin, and trying to "cop" Elvin, and one of us said, "Yeah but once he starts grunting, forget it!"

I think the same can be said about Jack, if you try and break it down into "exercises" you are missing the forrest for the trees. Although I guess that could be an "entryway."

I interviewed Jack a while back. I actually got the chance to spend AN ENTIRE DAY with him. I parleyed our four hours of conversation into a few interviews. One was more of a conceptual interview for the PAS, it appeared in June of 2009. I asked Jack about all this stuff, and all of his Chicago predecessors that he grew up listening to (Gerald Donavan, Dorel Anderson, Steve McCall, etc etc etc...)

Here is a small snippet...

MG: Alvin Fielder played drums on the first Roscoe Mitchell recording, Sound, and he was integral in the early AACM. How did his very free and unique approach affect you?

JD: Alvin is a monster. He lives in Mississippi now. He was always great for writing
stuff down and transcribing drummers. But drummers like Andrew Cyrille and Milford Graves were some of my favorite drummers with that approach. Paul Motian and Rashied Ali are two of my favorites as well. These guys all showed us that time didn’t always have to be a steady continuum. There are all different kinds of time. There is round time, square time, spiral time. When those guys played time they were creating motion. That motion would allow the soloist to go in any direction that he wanted. They were creating a wave of energy or a soundscape for the soloist. That’s where the freedom lies, in that kind of playing. I have absorbed that into my approach a great deal, and I think that is what you are asking about.

MG: How did you meld that approach with a more traditional timekeeping approach?

JD: I would just mix the different approaches for different situations, or sometime for different soloists within the same tune. Sometimes I will even play something really abstract just to break up the monotony of what is happening. Fortunately, I am always in the company of musicians who are growing, so it never really gets stale. The most important part of being a great drummer and a great musician is learning how to become a great listener. You have to learn to have patience, and you never want to force anything. If you wait for it to come, you can just ride the wave of the creative consciousness.

You might want to read that a few times. There's some good stuff in there.

If I don't say so myself, it is an outstanding interview, and worth seeking out. Sorry if that sounds obnoxious. It was also one of the best days of my life. Jack and I talked for about three hours. I spent the rest of day hanging, playing, and talking with Chick and Jack (Bobby McFerrin was really late!) I saw Chick give Jack (and me, sort of) a piano lesson, played with Jack playing piano, and played with Chick as Jack listened to his new cymbals from afar. Heard Chick "practice," talked to Chick about The Beatles (of all things, he was going through a Beatles obsession) over dinner, and I was the only other guy in the room, as they discussed "what music they were going to play."

Another part of our talk appeared in Modern Drummer as a part of a short series of mine called "What's in your iPod?" or something like that. Someone can look up when that appeared. That interview was Jack and I listening to music, and Jack talking about the music as we listened.

Like I said, a magical day to remember, and thankfully I have almost 4 hours of Jack and myself talking on tape.

Lucky!
MSG
 

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My first Jack record was a compilation called ‘Works’ that ECM did in the 80s. It’s got stuff from the mid 70s to early 80s. I think that’s all Paiste. Even though it’s a sampling of a lot of different things he did, it holds up as a complete record and I still love it. It ends with the tune ‘Blue’ from the record Gateway 2. Jack wrote that tune, but it doesn’t have drums on it. Instead he only plays piano. It’s one of my favorite things he’s ever done and doesn’t have any drumming on it. ! It’s funny to think of him recording that, with his great Sonors and Paistes sitting quiet in the corner, and that they sound great even then.
 

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if you try and break it down into "exercises" you are missing the forrest for the trees. Although I guess that could be an "entryway."
Thanks for your thoughts. Always great to get insights into the background, the cultural context etc.

However, in the statement I quoted above I would prefer a wording such as “it’s easy to miss out on the whole picture when focusing on technical exercises”, or “there’s a certain danger in..” because I don’t think this necessarily happens when looking at a certain aspect. You can go back and forth between the details and the whole, just like with a picture.
The works of great musicians, composers or improvisers have been subject of analysis for centuries: Bach, Beethoven, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane etc. I’m sure you don’t mean to negate the value of the works of all the scholars, teachers, musicians etc. that have dealt with details of their heroes’ music.

Tom, i would like to hear more about your work on Jack. Do you still have it? Any chance you could send it in a digital format?
 

tkillian

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Thanks for your thoughts. Always great to get insights into the background, the cultural context etc.

However, in the statement I quoted above I would prefer a wording such as “it’s easy to miss out on the whole picture when focusing on technical exercises”, or “there’s a certain danger in..” because I don’t think this necessarily happens when looking at a certain aspect. You can go back and forth between the details and the whole, just like with a picture.
The works of great musicians, composers or improvisers have been subject of analysis for centuries: Bach, Beethoven, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane etc. I’m sure you don’t mean to negate the value of the works of all the scholars, teachers, musicians etc. that have dealt with details of their heroes’ music.

Tom, i would like to hear more about your work on Jack. Do you still have it? Any chance you could send it in a digital format?
Ill try.
 

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