Saturday, June 18, 2016

Buddy Rich - The Drummer as Dancer

© -  Steven A. Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

The following is an excerpt from John McDonough’s detailed and insightful insert notes to The Argo, Emarcy and Verve Small Group Sessions Mosaic MD7-232, another of the miraculous Mosaic boxed sets that have done so much to bring Jazz fans music by many great Jazz musicians that they never knew existed, myself included.

The paragraph from John’s writings is a nugget of perspicacity which helped me understand not only the close affinity between drummers and dancers - something I was already aware of - but also why it is difficult to listen to long drum solos on records as compared to hearing them in person - something which I wasn’t aware of.

The editorial staff at JazzProfiles hopes to have permission from Mosaic Records and from John to publish further sections of these inserts notes in a future piece on Buddy Rich

In the meantime, here’s a small portion of the enlightenment contained in them.

“ … all drummers are dancers, in a manner of speaking, because drumming itself is a kind of choreography. To be a drummer is to be a master of movement and coordination in a way that a pianist or clarinetist can never be. Like a dancer, the drummer visualizes the abstractions of music and imparts to its dynamics the byproduct of a coherent physical beauty that intrigues the eye. When the two are in perfect register, it becomes a fascinating art onto itself. The best drummers are aware of the visual factor in their performances. They not only are aware of how they look; they attend to it with care and at least an instinctive sense of design. This is why the long drum solo can be so compelling in person, but is inclined to wear thin on record. It is also why drummers and dancers often find their skills interchangeable.”

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