Please recommend a definitive record from the classic jazz drummers?

5 Style

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7. Jimmy Cobb - Along with Kind of Blue, another near contemporaneous masterpiece, Coltrane's Giant Steps
Great albums all, but Giant Steps has Art Taylor on it not Jimmy Cobb.

Another good album other than Kind of Blue with Cobb is Wes Montgomery's Smoking at the Half Note.
 

Prufrock

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LOL. Stirring the pot is what I do best. I completely agree that Miles in a league of his own, head an shoulders above the rest. No argument there. But I find myself enthralled by the technically brilliant playing of guys like Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Chet Baker, etc.

No doubt Hubbard had better chops than Miles. Totally different feel, though, when he is included on a date than when Miles is. Apples and oranges in terms of playing, but Miles obviously was a giant of the music and cultural scene, not just of the trumpet.

Oh, and let's not forget the tragic Booker Little. Far Cry with Dolphy and Little is probably the Dolphy album I've listened to the most. Just really beautiful.

Okay, back to drummers...
 

Prufrock

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Great albums all, but Giant Steps has Art Taylor on it not Jimmy Cobb.

Another good album other than Kind of Blue with Cobb is Wes Montgomery's Smoking at the Half Note.

Someone else already mentioned that the only track Cobb played on Giant Steps was Naima, with the rest being the awesome playing of Art Taylor. I'll make this note in my original post just to clarify. Thanks again for catching this.
 

toddbishop

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I don't have definitive records for all those guys, but here are mine for Lenny White's "magnificent seven", anyway:

Kenny Clarke - Thelonious Monk / Plays Duke Ellington
Max Roach - Clifford Brown & Max Roach
Art Blakey - Jazz Messengers / A Night In Tunisia
Philly Joe Jones - Miles Davis / Milestones
Roy Haynes - Chick Corea / Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
Elvin Jones - John Coltrane / Live at the Village Vanguard
Tony Williams - Miles Davis / Nefertiti
 

JDA

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1. Tony Williams - 2nd solo album " Spring" (1965)
*2 Max Roach - Max Roach Quintet-Max (CADET 623). Recorded early (1958)
3. Elvin Jones- "Mr. Jones"
4. Papa Jo Jones- "Main Man"
5. Philly Jo Jones- "Blue Trane" John Coltrane
*6. Art Blakey- Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers-Tough (CADET 4049). Recorded Spring, 1957.
7. Jimmy Cobb- "Jazz At The Plaza" Miles Davis quintet
8. Shelly Manne- "Essence" 1977
9. Sonny Payne- Ralph Gleason's Jazz Casual Count Basie

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https://www.discogs.com/Max-Roach-Art-Blakey-Percussion-Discussion/release/1465051





 

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I don't have definitive records for all those guys, but here are mine for Lenny White's "magnificent seven", anyway:

Kenny Clarke - Thelonious Monk / Plays Duke Ellington
Max Roach - Clifford Brown & Max Roach
Art Blakey - Jazz Messengers / A Night In Tunisia
Philly Joe Jones - Miles Davis / Milestones
Roy Haynes - Chick Corea / Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
Elvin Jones - John Coltrane / Live at the Village Vanguard
Tony Williams - Miles Davis / Nefertiti
KLOOK! (Kenny Clarke) Another great album he was on was The Miles Davis album from the 1949 Paris Jazz Fest.
...also, a notable Art Blakey album that doesn't get much mention, but definately worth a listen, is Ugetsu.

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Johnny K

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Art Taylor was (the) "Steve Gadd" before Steve Gadd was...; )
Notes And Tones is a great book. I recommend to everyone to read it. I also love the story about how Art B had to get Art T's drums back from a loan shark. I think Wynton Marsallis told that story on Ken Burn's Jazz.
 

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Someone else already mentioned that the only track Cobb played on Giant Steps was Naima, with the rest being the awesome playing of Art Taylor. I'll make this note in my original post just to clarify. Thanks again for catching this.
No, it was me that was wrong! I didn't realize that Cobb played on one track. I thought it was Taylor and Googled it and it said that it was indeed Taylor. If I had bothered to look at my LP though I would have seen that it's Cobb on one track. Lots of jazz LPs are like this, the same band for most tracks but a substitution or two for a few of them...
 

multijd

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I don't have definitive records for all those guys, but here are mine for Lenny White's "magnificent seven", anyway:

Kenny Clarke - Thelonious Monk / Plays Duke Ellington
Max Roach - Clifford Brown & Max Roach
Art Blakey - Jazz Messengers / A Night In Tunisia
Philly Joe Jones - Miles Davis / Milestones
Roy Haynes - Chick Corea / Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
Elvin Jones - John Coltrane / Live at the Village Vanguard
Tony Williams - Miles Davis / Nefertiti
Nice list! Add:
Vernell Fournier- Ahmad Jamal “Live at the Pershing”
Billy Higgins- Jackie McLean “Let Freedom Ring”
Shelly Manne- Sonny Rollins “Way Out West”
Mel Lewis- Art Pepper “Plus Eleven”
Jack DeJohnette, Lenny White, Don Alias- Miles Davis “Bitches Brew”
Airto Moreira- Return to Forever “Light as a Feather“
Billy Cobham- Mahavishnu Orchestra “The Inner Mounting Flame”
Steve Gadd- Chick Corea “Three Quartets”
 

Seb77

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Paul Motian - Bill Evans: Protrait in Jazz, Complete Village Vanguard 1962

Once you cross the line of 60s/70s or the rock influence coming in, you need a whole lot more recommendations. Start with some Tony (OP did say pre-yellow kit though), some later Paul Motian, a lot of Jack Dejohnette, Jon Christensen (I think non-US drummers are missing completely from the Spagnardi book the OP mentions), Jeff Tain Watts etc.
 

Soulfinger

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Adam's Apple - Joe Chambers * This guy wasn't on your list, but this album is really great and the drumming is perfect! It'll make you wonder why this Chambers guy isn't a bigger name.
Had to make sure this doesn´t get overlooked. Essential listening IMHO - I love Chambers´ playing and sound on that album, impeccable. Classic Shorter compositions, too.
 

itsjjp

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1. Tony Williams (early pre fusion) - Miles at the Plugged Nickel
2 Max Roach - anything with Clifford Brown
3. Elvin Jones - any Coltrane Impulse! or (A Love Supreme)
4. Papa Jo Jones not sure
5. Philly Jo Jones - Milestones (Miles)
6. Art Blakey - any Jazz Messengers
7. Jimmy Cobb - Kind of Blue (Miles)
8. Shelly Manne - Shelley Manne and his Men live at the Manne Hole
9. Sonny Payne - not sure

Mike B
This is solid. For a couple alternatives to 1 and 2:
Miles Smiles
Percussion Bitter Sweet
And while not mentioned, MJQ Dedicated to Connie double CD is amazing. Connie Kay had a sweet touch and that album is mesmerizing.
 

DavedrumsTX

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i have great admiration for the place that the legends hold in drum history. But I was never more than an admirer from a distance. I have Gene and Buddy albums and Joe Morello with Brubeck but never ventured much further.

Recently, while reading the Modern Drummer tribute to Elvin Jones issue after his death in 2004, I decided it was time to remedy that gap.

I have been rereading Ron Spagnardi‘s book The Great Jazz Drummers for suggestions.

So while I’m embarrassed to say these are missing from my music collection, I’d welcome your suggestions for the definitive album for each of the names below to help me appreciate these greats:

1. Tony Williams (early pre fusion)
2 Max Roach
3. Elvin Jones
4. Papa Jo Jones
5. Philly Jo Jones
6. Art Blakey
7. Jimmy Cobb
8. Shelly Manne
9. Sonny Payne

I know I left lots of people out, so if you’ve got other recommendations please share them.

Thanks!
Skeet’s list is very good. Start there and start expanding. Also listen to these great Drummer’s contemporaries. Two recommendations, Jack Dejohnette on Michael Brecker’s Nothing Personal record and Steve Gadd on Chick Corea’s Friends album.
 

tkillian

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There are hundreds of recordings to check out. You have to take one step at a time. If you were my student, which you aren't and Im not trying to be teachy or anything, I would start you out very focused and slow.
I would pick one drummer and one recording and suggest you "wear out" that recording.
The other approach is getting one recording from each drummer you listed in the OP and taking all that in.

Both approaches have merit.

Anyway im going to suggest the following recordings.

Milestones-Miles Davis
Workin and Steamin, Cookin and Relaxin- Miles Davis

Listen to those recordings only for two months and your life will change.

Don't listen to any other jazz recordings. Just those.

I guarantee it will have a life changing effect on you.

Its just one approach. Might not be for you and others might disagree.

Ive used this approach with great results. Ive also done the opposite where you check out all the drummers you listed..and others you didnt list.

And also maybe just a few.

Its just one mans opinion.

Cant go wrong either way and there are tons of great responses in this thread already.
 

richardh253

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I am so appreciating the responses i this thread, thank you to all. I know I left out so many great drummers, so thanks for all the additional suggestions as well. I like the idea of going deep with one at a time, and the diverse suggestions in this thread are helpful in assembling a must-listen list for each of these greats.
And as a side benefit....so cool to tap the diversity and tastes and expertise of so many DF friends. I used to think I was a tolerable amateur in what I knew about great jazz drummers. It's great "going back to school" here. Thanks again!
 

DavedrumsTX

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I am so appreciating the responses i this thread, thank you to all. I know I left out so many great drummers, so thanks for all the additional suggestions as well. I like the idea of going deep with one at a time, and the diverse suggestions in this thread are helpful in assembling a must-listen list for each of these greats.
And as a side benefit....so cool to tap the diversity and tastes and expertise of so many DF friends. I used to think I was a tolerable amateur in what I knew about great jazz drummers. It's great "going back to school" here. Thanks again!
Don’t neglect to take your listening to the practice room. Play along to the recordings and you will quickly realize how special these cats were.
 


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