Peter Erskine VFJam

BlackPearl

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I don't know if this video was discussed at the time it came out, but I just rewatched it and really enjoyed it.

Then I made the mistake of reading the comments. Most were very positive, but then there was this :

Actually I completely disagree. It's really lacking solid enough feel. It's something that has plagued Peter for years now. Two things would make this sound like it's trying to sound: 1) The interpretation of the percentage of swing in a 16th note grid is not locked in across the entirety of the ensemble. 2) That percentage needs to be cranked up a little bit in Peter's interpretation for it to really sound like it's in the pocket, and he needs to play more aggressively and many more ghosted notes to get the real feel the song is trying to accomplish in terms of the swing pocket.

I don't hear any of these problems in the performance. Are my ears just not suble enough to hear what he's talking about, or is this guy just full of it ? Does anyone else feel this way about Peter's playing in general ?

Bill
 

MntnMan62

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I just finished listening to the video and I'm with you. I don't hear what that poster is saying. Erskine has always been one of my favorite drummers. Love his playing with Weather Report, the Breckers, Steps Ahead, Joni, etc. etc. Not only is the guy full of it, he's full of himself. I'm sure the guy wishes heh was half the drummer Erskine is. I thought the feel of the tune was spot on, thought he was swinging his butt off. I'd also be curious to hear what others have to say. Are BlackPearl and I missing something here?
 

Grooovepig

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That's rich. Some Internet keyboard loser telling PETER FRICKIN' ERSKINE!!!! that he doesn't know how to swing!!!! Peter is a master of time feel and I'm sure isn't losing a wink of sleep over this comment.
 

Tracktuary

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The challenge for me is that I don't enjoy the tune. I've always had a hard time getting into a lot of the more fusion-esque drummers because the music just doesn't speak to me (sometimes too cerebral; hate the timbre of the various instruments). And this isn't a knock on the musicians at all--especially Erskine.
 
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Tornado

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I don't know if this video was discussed at the time it came out, but I just rewatched it and really enjoyed it.

Then I made the mistake of reading the comments. Most were very positive, but then there was this :

Actually I completely disagree. It's really lacking solid enough feel. It's something that has plagued Peter for years now. Two things would make this sound like it's trying to sound: 1) The interpretation of the percentage of swing in a 16th note grid is not locked in across the entirety of the ensemble. 2) That percentage needs to be cranked up a little bit in Peter's interpretation for it to really sound like it's in the pocket, and he needs to play more aggressively and many more ghosted notes to get the real feel the song is trying to accomplish in terms of the swing pocket.

I don't hear any of these problems in the performance. Are my ears just not suble enough to hear what he's talking about, or is this guy just full of it ? Does anyone else feel this way about Peter's playing in general ?

Bill
I don't know why I never learn. I know the comments are going to be bad, but I go ahead and read them anyway.
 

Rock Salad

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I heard him vary the time feel on each section. It was a great lesson in control from a master. That's my critique.
 

Joe61

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I don't play this style of music but I am always blown away when I listen to it. He makes it look so easy and plays effortlessly. Hell they all do! Thanks for the post.
 

Kcmcc

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I think —in the abstract— that criticism, even of the greats (maybe especially of the greats) is totally valid and positive. It's a way to engage in active listening and understand your own tastes/ proclivities and find either things you want to learn to enjoy, or at least understand the things you don't.

ALL THAT SAID. I don't know what the hell he's talking about. The tune really isn't swing to begin with, Peter is right in the pocket with the whole band playing that jazz-latin fusion thing, and the only thing that is really in a traditional "swing" vein is the bass walking in half time relative to the rest of the band, which is intentionally playing a different pocket (it doesn't really work for me but both he and Peter are clearly nailing their stuff) and "he needs to play more ghosted notes?!" What?! A. Says who? and B. He is playing more or less all the ghost notes he possibly could - like every gap in the main part is filled in with beautifully ghosted left hand.
 
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MrDrums2112

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Peter Erskine is one of the true masters of the instrument and has been for a long time. That’s what I hear in his playing.
 

pwc1141

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It's always fun to read comments like the one referred to ... yeah, Peter Erskine is lacking feel hahahahahahahahah ......
 

Soulfinger

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It's always fun to read comments like the one referred to ... yeah, Peter Erskine is lacking feel hahahahahahahahah ......
That would be a cool tagline: "Peter Erskine - lacking feel on over 600 albums" :-D

Great playing nonwithstanding, I do think the tune is pretty lame and generic, but that´s not the fault of the musicians.
 

Rick

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No, that guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Peter kills it on this! Great feel... musical playing. Totally in the pocket! His drums and cymbals sound fantastic. Not my favorite tune ever, but I can't imagine anybody playing that any better.
 

hawker

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Like most here, I think Peter nails it...like always. However, the tune isn't all that memorable and for many people that's a big part of whether you like something or not. Also, I "think" what the guy isn't hearing is more of a straight ahead, in the pocket feel that allows you to hear and feel where ONE is most the time. Also more of a well defined ride cymbal pattern than the "dancing"figures Peter is using most of the time on this tune. But this is not that kind of tune or feel. Purely subjective and Peter could probably play this arrangement fifteen different ways if he wanted to.
 
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