Please recommend a definitive record from the classic jazz drummers?

Swissward Flamtacles

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Really hard and I certainly don't know their complete discographies, so just some albums I like - here goes nothing:

1. Tony Williams (early pre fusion): Miles Smiles
2 Max Roach: Clifford Brown
3. Elvin Jones: Sonny Rollins Night at the Village Vanguard, Coltrane - Both Directions At Once
5. Philly Jo Jones: the Miles albums Workin, Steamin,...
6. Art Blakey: Thermo, Moanin
7. Jimmy Cobb: Paul Chambers - Go
8. Shelly Manne: A Simple Matter Of Conviction
9. Sonny Payne: Atomic Basie
 

David M Scott

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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!
No one has mentioned Rufus Speedy Jones and the 1966 Basie album “Straight Ahead” which incidentally was arranged by Sammy Nestico. I’m 80 and have been a Jazz lover since a teenager
and I think it’s the greatest Big Band Jazz album ever recorded.
Rufus is all over the numbers and his work on Magic Flea at 300 bpm + is mind blowing. While I grew up with Krupa and Rich I’d vote for Rufus. And who couldn’t be impressed by Joe Morello King of the “odd time signature” His work on that single ride cymbal was amazing... like his wrists were on rubber balls !
just sayin...
 

Elvis

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Something I don't think's been mentioned yet, is playing along with drummer-less groups and making up your own lines.
Here's an example....

The Original

What one drummer added to the same tune
 
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fpatton

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Night at Birdland, Vol. 2 (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) Art Blakey Quintet
The Drum Battle, Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich at JATP, This is really a Krupa album with Rich appearing only on the drum battle cut.
And an AMAZING Krupa album at that. The Drum Boogie solo is one of the best I’ve heard from him.
 

fpatton

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I haven’t seen mention of Miles Davis’ Porgy and Bess. Philly Joe Jones is great here, and on “Gone” does a some really clever work. My first drum teacher shared it with me to demonstrate that you don’t need to flash heavy chops all the time.
 

Jody Jody

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Any time I see a list of jazz drummers and Billy Higgins is not on that list I feel compelled to add him. Probably one of the most recorded drummers in the history of jazz if not one of the most recorded drummers in history of any genre of music probably as much as Hal Blaine. Check out Billy on the Lee Morgan Sidewinder album. Also, one of my all time favorites is Billy with Eastern Rebellion 2 (with Cedar Walton, Sam Jones, Bob Berg).
 

hawker

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I love Art Blakey. I have also been digging more deeply into the stuff Tony played with Miles. Another great player was Arthur Taylor. He played on a ton of stuff from the 50's-60's.

View attachment 447750
Art was a monster, he played on hundreds of albums. He moved to Europe for seventeen years in the middle of his career and wasn't as visible as some of his contemporaries but when he moved back recorded several albums with his band Taylor's Wailers in '91. Great music and great drumming. Oh, not to mention he was the drummer on the Miles Ahead LP.
 

hawker

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...ask and ye shall receive....


Personnel:

Conte Candoli-trumpet
Dexter Gordon-tenor
Frank Rosolino-trombone
Leroy Vinnegar-bass
Lou Levy-piano
Stan Levey-drums

Recorded 1956
 

ChrisBabbitt

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No one has mentioned Rufus Speedy Jones and the 1966 Basie album “Straight Ahead” which incidentally was arranged by Sammy Nestico. I’m 80 and have been a Jazz lover since a teenager
and I think it’s the greatest Big Band Jazz album ever recorded.
Rufus is all over the numbers and his work on Magic Flea at 300 bpm + is mind blowing. While I grew up with Krupa and Rich I’d vote for Rufus. And who couldn’t be impressed by Joe Morello King of the “odd time signature” His work on that single ride cymbal was amazing... like his wrists were on rubber balls !
just sayin...
Actually, the drummer on the "Straight Ahead" album was Harold Jones, not Rufus, and it was 1968. Rufus was only with Basie for a short time and I don't believe he ever made an album with the band.
 

5 Style

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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...
I get sick of hearing stuff about how "Miles really wasn't all that great," and how people like Freddie Hubbard were so much better players and so much more derving of praise. Don't get me wrong, I like Freddie Hubbard too but Miles Davis was great in ways totally part from whether or not he could play as fast as other trumpeters or hit notes as high. His genius to me was in his unique approach (no one sounds like him!) and the way that he phrased the notes (it's not just the notes you play, but where you play them!). He really understand rhythm and would put the notes where you don't really expect them, creating a sense of drama that was really different than what other folks were doing. All this just touches on his playing but his overall musical concept was maybe even more important and of course he led bands that sounded like no one else...
 

5 Style

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Any time I see a list of jazz drummers and Billy Higgins is not on that list I feel compelled to add him. Probably one of the most recorded drummers in the history of jazz if not one of the most recorded drummers in history of any genre of music probably as much as Hal Blaine. Check out Billy on the Lee Morgan Sidewinder album. Also, one of my all time favorites is Billy with Eastern Rebellion 2 (with Cedar Walton, Sam Jones, Bob Berg).
Billy Higgins is one of my favorites. Someone who really had his own sound and yet could play nearly any kind of music. He did more funky backbeat type playing on Herbie Hancock's albums but also played with more avant guard type players like Ornette Coleman... and everything that he played had such a great relaxed, musical feel. he played with SO many folks, even ones that people don't associate him with. He made good music with both Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane for example. The session that he did with Coltrane too even though it's one of the lesser well known things that he did is one of my personal favorites...
 

Paradiddle

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For Sonny Payne this is where you want to go:

View attachment 447555
View attachment 447556

Sinatra was backed by the Count Basie band on "Live at the Sands”, Sonny Payne is on drums and he absolutely kills it.

The second record is of the same Count Basie band from their opening sets for these Sinatra shows. The drumming on both discs is amazing.

If you want to learn more about Sonny Payne and get some more info on these two records in particular listen to the podcast I have linked below. Drummer’s Weekly Groovecast did a very nice feature about Sonny in this episode. It’s very much worth your time. Discussion about Sonny begins at about 22:45 minutes into the podcast.

Yes. This is the greatest live male vocal album ever recorded.
 

Prufrock

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I get sick of hearing stuff about how "Miles really wasn't all that great," and how people like Freddie Hubbard were so much better players and so much more derving of praise. Don't get me wrong, I like Freddie Hubbard too but Miles Davis was great in ways totally part from whether or not he could play as fast as other trumpeters or hit notes as high. His genius to me was in his unique approach (no one sounds like him!) and the way that he phrased the notes (it's not just the notes you play, but where you play them!). He really understand rhythm and would put the notes where you don't really expect them, creating a sense of drama that was really different than what other folks were doing. All this just touches on his playing but his overall musical concept was maybe even more important and of course he led bands that sounded like no one else...
Totally agree. I'm sure we could think of drummers akin to Miles, who create a mood through touch and timing, and not just through crazy technical chops. Let's put it this way: Hubbard was a great trumpeter, but he wasn't "cool" like Miles.
 

Elvis

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Miles : Hubbard --> Pheeroan Ak Laff : Tony Wlliams?
 
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5 Style

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Totally agree. I'm sure we could think of drummers akin to Miles, who create a mood through touch and timing, and not just through crazy technical chops. Let's put it this way: Hubbard was a great trumpeter, but he wasn't "cool" like Miles.
To me a drummer with a bit of the same kind of mindset as Miles, more into the spaces between the notes than filling up so much space, would be Paul Motion. He started out with Bill Evans playing in a much more conventional, more flashy way but somewhere along the line he changed his concept into something more abstract and where space was more important...
 

Prufrock

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To me a drummer with a bit of the same kind of mindset as Miles, more into the spaces between the notes than filling up so much space, would be Paul Motion. He started out with Bill Evans playing in a much more conventional, more flashy way but somewhere along the line he changed his concept into something more abstract and where space was more important...
Which makes sense, since Bill Evans is a good example of a Pianist that also creates space and uses touch. He was the secret weapon on Kind of Blue in that regard. A perfect complement for what Miles was trying to achieve.
 

thenuge

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The era of lists. I wanted to see his full list and found it https://books.google.com/books?id=yU5EoN3Mms8C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

It’s a good list. Still, it’s a list. We’re not buying groceries here. But ok. So that sends you on your path. You don’t need us. Search and you will find. I was in the same boat as a clueless listener with only a handful of buddy/louie records and one max/clifford brown record which may as well have been japanese. I didn’t get it. Yet. Walk the path. See the sights. Take it in. One record leads to another leads to another. Don’t ask to be spoon fed this stuff. Spoon feeding tends to activate the gag reflex anyway. Instead of a spoon, how bout a crumb? Which you have, since you know enough to ask the question. There’s a million crumbs in the list above. Pick one and go. And, forget the drums...happy listening, because there's beautiful gems everywhere.
 

Seb77

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To me a drummer with a bit of the same kind of mindset as Miles, more into the spaces between the notes than filling up so much space, would be Paul Motion. He started out with Bill Evans playing in a much more conventional, more flashy way but somewhere along the line he changed his concept into something more abstract and where space was more important...
There are some parallels: he led bands that sounded like no other and were innovative. Drumming-wise you could draw the parallel that he pioneered several (drumming) styles, the way he played with Bill Evans was already innovative, then he ufrthered his concept with Keith Jarrett etc.
 

jansara

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The era of lists. I wanted to see his full list and found it https://books.google.com/books?id=yU5EoN3Mms8C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

It’s a good list. Still, it’s a list. We’re not buying groceries here. But ok. So that sends you on your path. You don’t need us. Search and you will find. I was in the same boat as a clueless listener with only a handful of buddy/louie records and one max/clifford brown record which may as well have been japanese. I didn’t get it. Yet. Walk the path. See the sights. Take it in. One record leads to another leads to another. Don’t ask to be spoon fed this stuff. Spoon feeding tends to activate the gag reflex anyway. Instead of a spoon, how bout a crumb? Which you have, since you know enough to ask the question. There’s a million crumbs in the list above. Pick one and go. And, forget the drums...happy listening, because there's beautiful gems everywhere.
This ^

:occasion5:
 


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