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Mike Schwartz

Donald "Duck" Bailey RIP

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Lived in the SF Bay Area for years....

Was on all the original Jimmy Smith Trio records, Hampton Hawes, Carmen McRae,Dizzy Gillespie,Harold Land, Jimmy Rowles, Harold Land, Bobby Hutcherson, Buster Williams, Joe Sample, Grant Green, Red Mitchell, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae ,Odean Pope, Mark Murphy, George Benson, Blue Mitchell, Pete Christlieb, Red Norvo, Charles Tolliver.

3

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Former neighbor, casual friend, great drummer and nice guy. I spent many hours enjoying his work in Bay Area clubs. Thanks, Donald.

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Damn........ one of my fav. drummers.

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He had the most unusual setup with his drum kit.....extreme angles on snare drums & cymbals... never did see anything quite like it....a wonderful player.

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Sorry to hear this...

he was great on those Jimmy Smith BN recordings (and other dates)!

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I made some minor contributions to the research on this article, and, I think, posted a link at the time.

Link

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Sad news. RIP.

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One of the most original drummers I ever heard - to me he belongs to the top drummers. Very light touch, unorthodox ideas - I would have liked to meet and ask him how he did some things ..... R.I.P., and many thanks for the inspiration.

I highly recommend this to get a glimpse of his unique ideas:

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very sad news - r.i.p.

here's the earlier thread:

that late disc is fine, and the trio with Rowles and Mitchell is mighty good, indeed (thanks brownie)!

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I loved his work with Jimmy Smith, but it was George Braith's 'Two souls in one' that really made me realise that he was SERIOUSLY typecast as a drummer. His playing on 'Mary had a little lamb' was sensational, but the real gem was the jungle of sounds he created for Braith to wade through to get home in 'Braith-a-way'.

RIP Donald.

MG

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Big fan of his work with Braith and Smith. Sorry to hear this - RIP.

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RIP. Thanks for all the great music.

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Ah man, another good one gone. Thanks for all the music Mr. Bailey.

RIP, and may your spirit continue to soar!

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Sad News - Rest in Peace.

Edited by Peter Friedman

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Ethan Iverson has a great write-up on Bailey on his blog:

http://dothemath.typepad.com/dtm/2013/10/donald-bailey.html

Some very interesting observations there, for instance these:

The organ trio was great for drummers wanting to let loose. With an acoustic piano you had to keep it down, but all that voltage coming out of the Hammond B3 meant you could leave your brushes at home. Indeed, it is arguable that much wonderful rock and fusion comes straight from the classic organ trios of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Don Patterson, Baby Face Willette, John Patton, and others. It's interesting that Tony Williams got an organ trio with Larry Young and John McLaughlin for his innovative Lifetime group; also, John Bonham played a lot of "organ trio + vocal" onstage with Led Zeppelin.

I don't know if Donald Bailey was the first person to put the hi-hat (with foot) on the skip beat or not, but I'm pretty sure he was the first to highlight it. A good place to hear it is on Jimmy Smith's "Back At the Chicken Shack." This Bailey version of a shuffle beat has the skip hi-hat, a snare smack on two, and "uh huh" on tom-tom in mid-bar.

Probably he couldn't have played that beat with a piano trio of the era, but surrounded by organ and guitar, it fits perfectly. What really makes it work is the feel, which is casually undulating and "local" in intention. You can't take that beat, put in the hands of anyone else, and expect to get the same situation.

Then there's a great story on "The Sermon" ...

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Wow! so Trane wanted him as the quartet's drummer?

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I'm not as familiar as I would like to be with Bailey's playing, but I love his only album as a leader, Blueprints of Jazz, Vol. 3 (the last volume in an excellent series that also included albums by Mike Clark and Billy Harper). Bailey's album has Odean Pope, Charles Tolliver, George Burton and Tyrone Brown, with Bailey playing harmonica on one tune and powerfully driving the band from behind the kit on the rest. The album also features 'Blues It' by Hasaan Ibn Ali, a tune that doesn't appear to have been recorded elsewhere, which is a shame.

Rest in peace, Mr. Bailey, and thank you.

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A friend linked that Iverson article on my FB page and I wrote the following:

I wish I could leave a comment. I played a jazz festival years ago that bassist Victor Bailey was on. He is Donald's nephew. He said the Jimmy Smith Trio used to rehearse at his house (his father being Donald's brother) and that Coltrane used to stop by. Can you imagine?

Iverson should get in touch with Victor. That would probably confirm the Coltrane/Bailey connection.

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i swear to god, you don't have James Brown without Donald Bailey. RIP.

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