Neil Peart, Greatest Drummer Of All Time

JDA

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After-dinner thoughts .
Yes it seems to be more his peers;

Ritchie Cole Herb Ellis..Don Menza, Art Pepper

Buddy might have done better over the arc of his career IF he had stuck with older seasoned----well they were his match------well but- he couldn't holler at them! (that'd be the non-benefit to the Bud..
but musically he might have been able to say something more +/-
 

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JDA

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Drum Forum!
We Got Challenged.. Looking For an ODD Meter!! maybe here
 

JDA

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Diabolus is in 5!
....sort of. still in Morse code
 

DrummerJustLikeDad

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It is almost like you guys forgot who this thread is about. :blink:
Diabolus is in 5!
....sort of. still in Morse code
Morse Code. Got it. YYZ.

There, I brought it back.

"YYZ is the IATA airport identification code of Toronto Pearson International Airport, near Rush's hometown. The band was introduced to the rhythm as Alex Lifeson flew them into the airport. A VHF omnidirectional range system at the airport broadcasts the YYZ identifier code in Morse code. Peart said in interviews later that the rhythm stuck with them. Peart and Geddy Lee have both said "It's always a happy day when YYZ appears on our luggage tags."

The piece's introduction, played in a time signature of 10/8, repeatedly renders "Y-Y-Z" in Morse Code using various musical arrangements."
 
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JDA

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Could Buddy Rich be Romantic Mood Music? Film at 11
 

5 Style

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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....
No, I get that, for the kind of thing that the man did, there's really no comparison. I'd even go as far to say that for that kind of chops heavy, big band drumming and just for the athleticism that he's got, that he has few, if any peers. If I listened to music to purely to appreciate the virtuosity of the drummer of the band, no doubt that I would be a bigger fan. I'm actually a fan of jazz music, but admittedly not so much big band, but even within that, I prefer to listen to Krupa, Bellson and Jo Jones far more than Buddy. I've heard BR play in other contexts too, like small band ones, on Charlie Parker records and even with that stuff I prefer the recordings done with several other drummers (and BR isn't spotlighted as a soloist on those records).

I certainly understand why Buddy Rich and for that matter, Neil Peart was such an icon, I just get a little tired of hearing the whole, "Oh, you're into jazz - you're into prog rock, you must be into..." Even within their respective genres, I just have other favorites. I think that the whole thing for me is that there's an inclination that some folks have to rank musicians like sports figures, which is something that I don't relate to at all. My enjoyment of music comes very little from what the raw ability if of the person performing may be and has everything to do with whether or not the sound of it strikes a cord for me. It's all about taste I guess and as I so often say: there's really no accounting for taste...
 
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dcrigger

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No, I get that, for the kind of thing that the man did, there's really no comparison. I'd even go as far to say that for that kind of chops heavy, big band drumming and just for the athleticism that he's got, that he has few, if any peers. If I listened to music to purely to appreciate the virtuosity of the drummer of the band, no doubt that I would be a bigger fan. I'm actually a fan of jazz music, but admittedly not so much big band, but even within that, I prefer to listen to Krupa, Bellson and Jo Jones far more than Buddy. I've heard BR play in other contexts too, like small band ones, on Charlie Parker records and even with that stuff I prefer the recordings done with several other drummers (and BR isn't spotlighted as a soloist on those records).

I certainly understand why Buddy Rich and for that matter, Neil Peart was such an icon, I just get a little tired of hearing the whole, "Oh, you're into jazz - you're into prog rock, you must be into..." Even within their respective genres, I just have other favorites. I think that the whole thing for me is that there's an inclination that some folks have to rank musicians like sports figures, which is something that I don't relate to at all. My enjoyment of music comes very little from what the raw ability if of the person performing may be and has everything to do with whether or not the sound of it strikes a cord for me. It's all about taste I guess and as I so often say: there's really no accounting for taste...
And I appreciate all of that completely - but why speak of athleticism (because frankly there's few feats of pure technical prowess than negotiating the upper bop tempos at those volumes) and it's "just about the solos" - when from a musical analysis standpoint, it clearly isn't. Why go there as opposed to the reasons why big band music probably doesn't appeal to you - it's constant pre-conceived structure, it's tendency to go big more often than small, or whatever.

Because well, those aren't insulting and belittling, where "it's just about the solos" kind of is.

Personally I find most small group jazz to small and introspective in its approach - with more avoidance of structure than I prefer. One of music and jazz's biggest thrills for me is hearing player's negotiating structures.... with complex structures that can still interpreted if the player is nimble enough being more than welcome.

With small group ensemble's choosing to avoid too much composition, as if to put nothing in the way of getting right to the noodling! But I would never characterize that music as being "an excuse to noodle". Because I know better... I have appreciation for what really is going on with it - even though it's not the center of my world musically.

I mean everyone's situation's different - but I've needed to be able to play lots of music that wasn't the center of my world. And I early on learned, that I would never be able to pull that off without searching some legitimate appreciation for whatever it was. There was no way I was going to successfully pull off a country music session with my teen year's "I Hate Country Music" frame of mind. So it was always a process of figuring what the point of the music was, what the challenges were, what the priorities are. And with doing that I found I could engage fully when trying to lay down a country track just like I would when playing a demanding odd meter fusion thing.

I really get the fusion thing and feel it in my bones - but I now at least feel like I'm able to "play the role of country drummer" - like an actor believably playing a doctor on TV.

Anyway - I'm rambling - back to work...
 

mydadisjr

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I find all the comments about "Neil played in odd time sigs" and "Buddy couldn't (or didn't) play in odd times" kinda pointless and silly.

Give me a break, how many drummers here have played TAKE FIVE or any number of jazz waltzes (My Favorite Things? Someday My Prince Will Come?) or Pink Floyd's MONEY? Odd times are no big deal. It's kinda like saying "MY FAVORITE DRUMMER IS THE GOAT CUZ HE COULD READ CONCERT SNARE CHARTS REALLY WELL AND YOUR FAVORITE GOAT DRUMMER CANNOT!"

Being able to play in odd times is something any drummer worth his or her salt can do, or could do if practiced on for a few months.

Face it, there is no GOAT, or there are hundreds of GOATS...
 

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Neil didn't have to be versatile because he had a solid prog rock gig that he did for over 40 years. I would also say that a lot more people know about Neil Peart than they do about Billy, so I would say Neil had a much larger impact on people than Billy did which heavily adds to Neil Peart being the greatest of all time.
According to people that don't know anything about the other amazing drummers in the world who would be able to jump into any number of musical situations, and demonstrate how much better they would be able to perform in them than Neil Peart!
 

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Where do some more modern players, Ike Larnell Lewis, Benny Greb, Chris Coleman, Matt Garska, JD Beck, etc relate to Rich, purely in the chops realm? Maybe I'm missing something but the way he's discussed, as being in his own class, untouchable even, without even a mention of Tony Williams, has always puzzled me. I feel like some of the chops stuff has progressed even further since his passing. Call me a blasphemer if you must.
 


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