Neil Peart, Greatest Drummer Of All Time

StatesboroBlue

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I'm not so pro-Neil as much as I'm anti-Buddy. In my opinion Buddy was a real douche-bag at a concert that I saw him at in Lakewood Ohio in 1975.

No feathers ruffled.
I've got my own personal Buddy experience, and yes it did take him down a few pegs for me. That didn't diminish his playing ability. I was a teen then and figured everyone is due a bad day or two. It's one thing if an offensive outburst is an outlier; it is something entirely different if cantankerousness is a base part of your personality. While being an ass may not detract from one's playing, it definitely made it more difficult for me to enjoy his playing especially in juxtaposition to players like Louis Bellson and Ed Shaughnessy.

There is no GOAT. There is a galaxy of great players past and present, and trying to single one player out as GOAT is a pointless exercise in mental masturbation. Greatest at what: time, taste, musicality, creativity, chops, technique, influence, contribution to the art and craft of drumming ...? Maybe it is hit records or number of records sold.
 

cruddola

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Why do you seem to assume that I don't see it that way??? Because it seems all I've done is disagree with you... you say Neil is important these reasons - that I disagree with. You state all these things about Buddy (and about Neil for that matter) - that I know to be factually wrong - so I disagree with you stating them as true.

Even here - you say you didn't title the thread??? Then who did? The editors of MusicRadar didn't start a thread here - they may have chose this GOAT nonsense for the title of their article - but you chose it for the topic of a thread that you wanted to be about Neil. How did that go? Your title choice insured that the thread is about the article, which is specifically about whether Neil is the GOAT.

So that's what's been discussed.

Even now you're berating me for having not read the article - I've been discussing Neil (which I thought you said was the point of this). And of course I didn't read the article. I mean, I just skimmed it now, but no. I previously haven't. Why?

Because if countless Vistalite Black have taught me anything, it's that any article published by MusicRadar.com that starts with the words... "It's Official" is a surefire exercise in inane clickbait, light weight music journalism that is never, ever worth the time it takes to click on it's link, then 10 seconds in, smack the back button, while cursing my stupidity for once again subjecting myself to their tripe.

So I'm absolutely fine that we disagree. And generally don't care one way or the other about these pointless "my favorite player is the absolute GOAT" discussion. Until someone really leaves to land of opinion and really starts misrepresenting others to justify their allegiance to their "favorite play, the GOAT.

In this thread - you hooked me with your "Neil had the balls to play other styles of music. Buddy didn't. He played one style and that was it." line.

This is the problem with GOAT discussions - for someone to be crowned, others invariably need to be torn down. Because, not surprisingly, no can just win the title on their merits - because.... there is no greatest player of all time. There is no best. We are artists, not high jumpers. Our greatness cannot be sure measured with a simple tape measure.

Frankly from everything I've read of Neil Peart - I think he would be appalled that you feel the need to tear down, to diminish another players accomplishments (particularly one Neil so admired) in order to defend the desire to search Neil solely on some pedestal.

So that's what we really disagree about - I could care less what music rocks your boat, which player you hold as your gold standard - we all have our personal choices. We should feel secure in this choices - so secure that we have no reason to validate them with consensus.

Anyway - sorry for any ruffled feathers.

David
If anyone wants to knock another drummer, for whatever reason, start with the one you see in the mirror. Your frigging self! Kinda like saying there's a best color on the Mona Lisa painting. Well put!!
 

Shawn Martin

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Houndog is so correct. Neil had the balls to play other styles of music. Buddy didn't. He played one style and that was it.

I don't ever recall hearing Buddy playing anything in odd times. Neil did it quite frequently.

Buddy was criticized for not being able to play double bass. So, he put out a video of himself doing so. Really? That was the only thing he played, and it wasn't even in a song.

Then, there is the video of Buddy denigrating matched grip when he obviously used it himself.

Yes, Buddy was a very good drummer. But, there are other things that caused him to lose my respect, and the respect of other drummers.

As a man and as a human being, Neil earned so much respect. Buddy...not so much.
Every time someone criticizes Buddy, they inevitably criticize him for things that aren’t true. He never played anything other than Jazz...try listening to more. Never played odd time signatures...try listening to more. And on what video did he play double bass?
 

Shawn Martin

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And, Buddy was the Greatest Drummer of all Time for......?

Oh yeah, Buddy never had a band. I don't blame fellow musicians, I wouldn't be able to stand his temper either.
Thanks for continuing to prove you know nothing about Buddy
 

Deafmoon

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This became a Neil Peart versus Buddy Rich debate and the funny thing is Neil was Nick’s godfather. So Buddy knew Neil and the two never fought about any of the stupidity being talked about here. The next debate will be was Jerry Lewis a better godfather to Cathy Rich than Neil was to Cathys son Nick. Get over it, they were people.
 

Matched Gripper

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As far as I am concerned, I have a simple view of "the best drummer ever"

There are extremely good drummers who drum so well that the level at which they play will never be attainable for 99.9% of the drummers. And that gift to drum at such a high level has several drummers, and in the past several drummers have drummed at that level. But EVERY drummer at that level has their own musical preference, interpretation and style. These differences mean that it is a matter of taste and experience of the person who listens to his favorite music will assert his SUBJECTIVE preference influenced by his favorite style and drummer.



WHO was the best COMPOSER ever ?: Bach-Mozart-Beethoven- Handel-Schubert- Vivaldi-Tchaikovsky or Haydn?

You got my point of view, it's a matter of taste.
Debussy!
 

bigbonzo

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Every time someone criticizes Buddy, they inevitably criticize him for things that aren’t true. He never played anything other than Jazz...try listening to more. Never played odd time signatures...try listening to more. And on what video did he play double bass?

And perhaps you can provide an example of him playing odd time signatures.
 
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stuart s

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Seriously, maybe there should be a Buddy's the greatest drummer thread, feel free to make one, But dont expect me to go there and say its someone else and start a debate, Ill probably get clobbered.

WE all have our own opinions.
 

DrummerJustLikeDad

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Excuse me while I slip into this debate just to say
+1 for the Schoolhouse Rock reference.

That was the Greatest-Of-All-Time, Saturday morning, between-programming content ever!

(That is, unless you “CBS In The News with Christopher Glenn” people want to take me on.)

B37D19AD-3791-40FC-96E4-516F8D632955.jpeg
 

5 Style

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My mother, who is definitely not any kind of authority on jazz music, but who came up at a time when Buddy Rich was popular, hates the guy's music! She says that it "just sounds like noise." Though I have a greater appreciation for what goes into all that; I realize that he isn't always soloing and does some challenging, interesting stuff when he's comping, I do kind of understand my mom's criticism. Buddy is all about the solo and the solos to my ears, as insanely amazing as they may be from a technical perspective, just strike me as a chops fest; I get bored of that kind of thing very quickly. There are lots of jazz drummers who went the opposite direction and rather than showing off insane chops at every opportunity are more interested in creating space and providing a smoother ebb and flow to the texture of the music. I'm talking about folks like Jo Jones, Billy Higgins, Ed Blackwell and the like. Folks would probably be right in saying that none of these players can get close to when BR could do as far as technique and yet these are the players that I like to listen to. If drumming was a sport BR would be it's Usane Bolt, leaving everyone else in the dust; I relate to music as an art though and for that, technique isn't necessarily so important...
 

cruddola

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Understood. I scratch my head when I see heated exchanges among drummers insisting their favorite drummer is the greatest.
@ Houndog, I'd rather hear heated Q & A drum battles instead, kinda like the famous Krupa and Rich! Lots better than opinions. Put 'yer sticks where yer mouth is! My sisters at the piano would tell me. The most I will ever say is that I suck at the drums but I have the most fun at them. Second to that I will refer to my favorite drum performances (which vary with my mood) and wouldn't be caught dead saying they're the best. Nah, not me. At this time Charlie Adams' solo doing "Marching Season" with Yanni is my favorite. That will probably change tomorrow. Drum on!
 
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Scott K Fish

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And perhaps you can provide an example of him playing odd time signatures.
Listen to the Buddy Rich Band's "West Side Story Medley." That's one example. I think, but I'd have to double-check, Buddy played odd-times on his album with Indian tabla drummer Alla Rakha.
 

paulwells73

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This became a Neil Peart versus Buddy Rich debate and the funny thing is Neil was Nick’s godfather. So Buddy knew Neil and the two never fought about any of the stupidity being talked about here. The next debate will be was Jerry Lewis a better godfather to Cathy Rich than Neil was to Cathys son Nick. Get over it, they were people.
I don’t think Buddy knew Neil. Neil became close to Cathy Rich when they worked together on the Burning For Buddy projects in the 90s. I’m sure Neil would have spoken or written about his personal encounters or interactions with Buddy if there has been any.
 

mebeatee

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This became a Neil Peart versus Buddy Rich debate and the funny thing is Neil was Nick’s godfather. So Buddy knew Neil and the two never fought about any of the stupidity being talked about here. The next debate will be was Jerry Lewis a better godfather to Cathy Rich than Neil was to Cathys son Nick. Get over it, they were people.
A little off topic....but maybe some comedic relief is needed from all this myopic fanboy stuff.....
Besides....in a past life my partner ran a Goat farm......400 of them.....that would be about the number of folks mentioned here for a “goat”.........
She knows.......in drumming there are no GOAT(s).



bt
 

dcrigger

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My mother, who is definitely not any kind of authority on jazz music, but who came up at a time when Buddy Rich was popular, hates the guy's music! She says that it "just sounds like noise." Though I have a greater appreciation for what goes into all that; I realize that he isn't always soloing and does some challenging, interesting stuff when he's comping, I do kind of understand my mom's criticism. Buddy is all about the solo and the solos to my ears, as insanely amazing as they may be from a technical perspective, just strike me as a chops fest; I get bored of that kind of thing very quickly. There are lots of jazz drummers who went the opposite direction and rather than showing off insane chops at every opportunity are more interested in creating space and providing a smoother ebb and flow to the texture of the music. I'm talking about folks like Jo Jones, Billy Higgins, Ed Blackwell and the like. Folks would probably be right in saying that none of these players can get close to when BR could do as far as technique and yet these are the players that I like to listen to. If drumming was a sport BR would be it's Usane Bolt, leaving everyone else in the dust; I relate to music as an art though and for that, technique isn't necessarily so important...
To each his own of course.

But for me so many of these criticism so often boil down to folks that really don't or have much appreciation large ensemble playing... more specifically big band drumming. To me, comparing Buddy to Ed Blackwell makes only a teeny more sense than comparing him to Alex Van Halen. First there's the generational thing - but mainly there's ignoring that large ensemble jazz playing and small ensemble jazz playing are two very different beasties.

And of course, a great large ensemble player should be able to play much like a small ensemble player we appropriate. And Buddy did do that - though in the context of a player from the 40's playing in the modern world. But by and large, few if any drummers have ever made the "best of the best" lists in both categories.

So while I get that "Buddy is all about the solo and the solos to my ears" is your perception, and that's fine. But the fact is - it's not that hard to show all of the ways that isn't true. Thus my point about appreciation and understanding directly affecting how we perceive and evaluate.

Anyway - I wrote on this (once again) about a year ago - so excuse the cut and paste - but here's my thoughts "Buddy is all about the solo" and the idea that this kind of playing is best reduced to a sports analogy rather than being analyzed in musical terms.

<<<<...the thing so many guys don't get is that big band playing connects far more directly to rock drumming - than combo jazz drumming ever can.

Both are more demonstrative - requiring broader strokes...

And again always keeping an eye on historical context - Buddy was applying a musical background far older than his 1970's big band peers - Ed Soph, Peter Erskine, John Riley, even Mel Lewis - were younger. Mel by only 12 years - but the rest by whole generations. Bebop as part of the jazz language happened before they were born - but for Buddy - this was new music that came to be in the middle of his adult career.

And then there's the "he was only about soloing" dismissal.... a number of years back I went through the first few Pacific Jazz albums from the mid-60's (the launch of the band that would be Buddy's chief means of expression for the rest of his life) for a similar thread on DFO... so the first album... Swinging New Band... from this band leader drummer that just "all about soloing.... how much soloing was there on this album?

"Swinging New Band" has just about 90 seconds of featured soloing in West Side Story and 12 whole bars - broken into 2 and 4 bar breaks spread across the entire rest of the album. And the next run of albums were not that different.

Heck - I've had more soloing time than that on albums where I was just a sideman!!!!

To me, it always boils down to folks that haven't really sat down and listened to - the way he shades the curve of the arrangement, how he treats background figures, how he negotiated shout choruses... (2012 added note - and how much this "catching the figures" ensemble playing is required by the music - something barely ever required in a small group setting - it's technical, challenging, demonstrative and required by the music, not the ego or choice of the player) how his internal balances allowed for everything to be heard and how that balanced with the band acoustically. As a kid, I sat 5, 6ft in front of the band many times - not hearing any PA at all - and hearing a band totally in balance... almost like how the band sounded like on the records... all by themselves, acoustically. Needing mics pretty much only to allow soloists to sit a bit more on top of the band.

There are sound musical reasons that Louis Bellson, Ed Shaughnessy, all of those guys, spoke of him with such great praise and admiration... and it wasn't his soloing, that's for sure. It's for the killer way he drove the bus.

And there are huge parts of that translates to today's playing.... just not directly. Not in a try to sound like Buddy Rich way - but in an "approaching the music as Buddy would emotionally" way.>>>>

With tons of it, applying more to rock playing than small combo jazz playing. Because rock is not "intimate" the way small group jazz. It is more demonstrative.... like big band jazz. Again explaining why so many guys like Bonham spoke so highly about Buddy... Most all great players get the solo thing is only what it is... not that important. IMO all these great players were not just focused on the solos as they spoke so reverently about Buddy. It was about driving the bus - with command and style and flair... how to sell an arrangement... push a band....
 

dcrigger

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Listen to the Buddy Rich Band's "West Side Story Medley." That's one example. I think, but I'd have to double-check, Buddy played odd-times on his album with Indian tabla drummer Alla Rakha.
Yes - "Rich ala Rakha"

Plus I believe the Allyn Ferguson chart "Diabolus" from "The New One" album from '68.
 

JDA

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(best song Bud ever did..)

wow. I want to say two things about the song @dcrigger just 'hipped us to.

1) couldn't discern meter on first pass thru; that's ok but a larger observation here:
2) if that was 67-1967- I wonder Buddy was still (assembled) his "peers"-in the band- in other words the studio cats he once complained could read the charts and with the other hand be reading the newspaper; I have a Hunch that cut that tune that (album?) was with Peers....not the college out-of-college etc age guys- he later formed his bands around. Outstanding tune. Outstanding era for him.
Need to investigate
 
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JimmySticks

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let's go! then we can eat supper.


Man, lovin' that ride cymbal! It's usually lost in much of his music. And that snare work is just plain killer. A lot of cool changes in this one to. Buddy, drive that bus man...wow!!!:blink:

Oh, and those horns were alright to! :icon_lol:

Geez, now I have to calm down for supper!
 
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