Larry Kart

Ethan Iverson on "Whiplash," Buddy Rich

118 posts in this topic

FWIW, I like the new Sunnyside CD with Tootie, Ethan & Ben Street.

Don't know what that makes me, but I like the music they make.

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Larry, "these" in "these attempts" refers to "Baraka, Crouch, Early Wynton (or Ken Burns JAZZ), Nicholas Payton" etc.

I do have fun dropping the occasional bomb on DTM. Writing is an exercise in power, and I'm pleased when something has an effect. Even the reaction here means I touched a nerve. Of course, this is how I play music too.

I just realized that I now perhaps have an obligation to stay in this forum? If so, apologies, I'm gonna vanish. Continue without me. I can conceivably be reached on Twitter if need be.

I admire Organissimo as the best jazz forum, and have occasionally learned how to temper my writing on DTM from Organissimo's tough criticism. However I think there needs to be no more back and forth from me and Organissimo about Buddy etc. I will stand by my post and follow-up just above. Carry on!

"Writing is an exercise in power, and I'm pleased when something has an effect. Even the reaction here means I touched a nerve. Of course, this is how I play music too."

Gee, I think you have a great deal in common with your image of Buddy Rich.

As for '"these" in "these attempts" refers to "Baraka, Crouch, Early Wynton (or Ken Burns JAZZ), Nicholas Payton" etc., were you too not being "rather shrill" for calculated effect? What else could your "And making some of the language almost too strong helps the rhetoric, helps the message travel" mean?

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I'm only irritated that you won't continue to post here, Ethan

Fwiw, I'm a later member of this forum - and yes it is the best jazz forum there is today - but I'm often a lone or lonely voice on many matters which is OK with me. I have no "credentials" like some of the above.

Plus I was once a member of what was once the best jazz discussion board that was much less involved in the codification of this music as this forum is - whether it be knowingly or unknowingly.

I still like the movie despite all the philosophies being pretty much in opposition to my own. On multiple levels. Still liked the movie.

Then again, I'm not an "intellectual" like many of the above:)

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Hello

... I said that if you thought he was the greatest drummer ever, you were racist.

Uh, no....what you said was

In light of the Whiplash phenomenon, I have no problem saying that if you think Buddy Rich is the greatest jazz drummer, you are racist.

Two completely different things there, can you not see that?

And as questionable the perspicacity of the original comment, dealing as it does with one aspect of a music that has never had 100% clearly defined parameters (until you kids saw the light), now you're dealing with the whole fucking world, and do you know how many drums/drummers/drummings that takes in?

So ok, Lowell Thomas, you tell me - who has been The Greatest Drummer In The World - and give me an informed opinion based on the finer points of all the known drumming tradtitions all over the fucking world. Don't have that wide a reference, so you're going to default to what you know? What are you, Xenophobic or some shit?

Truthfully, I have no ongoing awareness of Buddy Rich being referred to as The Greatest Jazz Drummer In The World. I don't think that he himself would stand for that, his deep love for Jo Jones & Sid Catlett being on record. If you wanted to find the humility in Buddy Rich, that seems to have been where to aim.

So that leaves us with Greatest Drummer In the World...and that's showbiz, baby, and showbiz is what it is - a means to sell people more of what they already want. On that count, Buddy succeeded tremendously. Problem, officer?

Anybody - anybody - who is truly objective (i.e. serious, not full bore emo) about Buddy Rich will have at least as many reservations as they do feelings of awe, or at lest respect. And expecting "the public" to ever be anything other than The Public is a fool's game.

Sorry, sloppy writing, sloppy thinking, sloppy strategy, just poor work in general. Nobody bats 1.000, except for that one kid, I forget his name. Larry knows.

Again, atone for it by getting to Bruno Carr..

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Gee, I think you have a great deal in common with your image of Buddy Rich.

As for '"these" in "these attempts" refers to "Baraka, Crouch, Early Wynton (or Ken Burns JAZZ), Nicholas Payton" etc., were you too not being "rather shrill" for calculated effect? What else could your "And making some of the language almost too strong helps the rhetoric, helps the message travel" mean?

It means another White Guy still figuring shit out thinking that he's one of the random few who already has figured it out.

Been there, done that, I'm still here, so is everything else, everybody else. The only thing not so musch here anymore is the dogma, I think my karma ran over it.

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I really hope that writing about this music is not an exercise in the kind of capital-P Power that I think Mr. Iverson is referring to. Yeesh.

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You want to make a meaningful cultural reparation, you don't do it by keeping the plate the same size as it was before and clearing some perfectly good food off of it. You do it by getting a bigger plate and putting some MORE good food on it. Plate's not big enough, well boo-hoo, put it on a table, then, build it out, not tear it down.

If the American cultural palate was as absorptional as its culinary palate, we would not be having this discussion, at least not like this.

Y'ALL GO EAT!

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Btw - my wife thinks either Nasheet Waits or Hamid Drake are "The Greatest Drummer in the World"

She usually changes her mind after she sees one or the other

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Nasheet is wonderful. Not sure about 'greatest,' but certainly a fantastic player with a beautiful vibe.

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yay, fuck y'all!

btw, I do like Peterson, quite some, and I don't give a flying shit about "Whiplash", will certainly not go and watch it ... good thing you don't read German (feghers! ;)) or else I'd share an interview held with a local drummer who was pretty negative about the entire circus that "Whiplash" seems to depict (I guess the reality of jazz schools is again, as is Big O's relationship to OP, a bit more complicated though).

Excuse me while I go fuck myself now ...

I like OP too. As for that last bit, well, that sounds kinda painful. Think I'll forego that.

gregmo

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I'm as close to an objectivist as posts here, I think

However, I couldn't tell you the 10 greatest drummers ever or playing today.

I can tell you a few playing today who are among the greatest who ever sat behind a kit, but that would simply raise hackles.

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The greatest drummer was either:

You're all wrong about Thor, Larry. The greatest Thor was:

woody4x.jpg

Allen Woody's ridiculous awe-inspiring 18-string bass that he occasionally used with the Allman Brothers Band. Yes, he called it Thor.

Edited by jeffcrom

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This may be comparing an orange to nectarines, but if you can't tell the difference -- in melodic-harmonic inventiveness, overall subtlety of thought and swing, etc. -- between OP and, say, Duke Jordan or Al Haig or Dodo Marmarosa, you're fucked.

What we're dealing with partly in this thread is the mistrust of virtuosity in jazz, something both Buddy Rich and OP had in common.

While I agree that OP could not achieve the 'overall subtlety' that Haig, Jordan or Dodo had, Haig, Jordan and Dodo could not in their wildest dreams achieve the overpowering swing and drive that OP possessed.

Do you really think that the records Getz made with Haig and Jordan could compare in terms of overt swing, power and drive with the records Getz made in the 50s with OP?

By the same token, OP would have destroyed the wonderful Getz/Raney quintet recordings featuring Jordan and Haig,with his overbearing lack of subtlety.

I love both of them for what they are.

This hatred of virtuosity that lacks subtlety in jazz seems to be behind the animosity players like EI have towards musicians like Buddy Rich and OP.

But along with that hatred, there is a subconscious envy of the superhuman ability of 'freaks' like OP and Rich.

The only way that they can deal with the fact that they can never do what OP and BR could do in terms of the superhuman speed these two artists could create at, is to denounce them (or denounce their followers as racist), or dismiss them, like Fred Hersch and EI did so casually with OP on DTM.

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This may be comparing an orange to nectarines, but if you can't tell the difference -- in melodic-harmonic inventiveness, overall subtlety of thought and swing, etc. -- between OP and, say, Duke Jordan or Al Haig or Dodo Marmarosa, you're fucked.

What we're dealing with partly in this thread is the mistrust of virtuosity in jazz, something both Buddy Rich and OP had in common.

While I agree that OP could not achieve the 'overall subtlety' that Haig, Jordan or Dodo had, Haig, Jordan and Dodo could not in their wildest dreams achieve the overpowering swing and drive that OP possessed.

Do you really think that the records Getz made with Haig and Jordan could compare in terms of overt swing, power and drive with the records Getz made in the 50s with OP?

By the same token, OP would have destroyed the wonderful Getz/Raney quintet recordings featuring Jordan and Haig,with his overbearing lack of subtlety.

I love both of them for what they are.

This hatred of virtuosity that lacks subtlety in jazz seems to be behind the animosity players like EI have towards musicians like Buddy Rich and OP.

But along with that hatred, there is a subconscious envy of the superhuman ability of 'freaks' like OP and Rich.

The only way that they can deal with the fact that they can never do what OP and BR could do in terms of the superhuman speed these two artists could create at, is to denounce them (or denounce their followers as racist), or dismiss them, like Fred Hersch and EI did so casually with OP on DTM.

Good point, but where does that leave fans of Tatum (I'm one)?

As for OP and overt swing, I say Horace Silver, who was not a virtuoso per se but swung more forcefully IMO than OP did. That is, forcefully doesn't involve just sheer force (i.e. speed and percussive intensity), which both OP and Silver possessed, but also a certain sense of judgement as to how that force could be/should be applied. There OP was IMO rather mechanical fairly often, while Silver had a rare sense of space and placement.

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All you cats are wrong: The world's greatest drummer was Animal on the Muppet Show, who took down Buddy in a drum battle, though in fairness Buddy pretty much had him until Animal stepped outside Marquess of Queensberry rules at the very end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJh9W3Gcpmo

Edited by Mark Stryker

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I don't think OP was a true virtuoso because (and I guess this is almost too clichéd and obvious to state) you really cannot separate the rate/speed/intensity of expression from the depth of expression; Dick Katz used to say that OP had facility, not technique. And I know this is a can of worms that has been opened and reopened here, but I find OP offensive, just the most annoying and trite player in all of my listening experience. And I had this same response when I first heard him, and I was only 14.

As for Buddy Rich, I have also tried very hard. The brittleness of his playing, unlike the brittleness of Max Roach, is thin and lacks....resonance? Rhythmic reverberation and reflection? Something is absent, though I have heard some very nice things from him (an AMAZING clip of him playing at the Playboy jazz fest with Dizzy, no idea what year; but he sounded like Dave Tough, and that may be the solution to his somewhat-aimless technical rattling around.)

But I do not think it is racist if you think he was the greatest drummer ever. Tasteless, yes, but in the same way that praise of OP is misguided.

Edited by AllenLowe

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[sMH] Dude, dude, dude... rhetoric ain't reparations. It's attitudes like that holding us ALL back. [/sMH]

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I'll never forget Horace Silver's characterization of a certain pianist as "He plays like a fuckin' faggot!"

There's something about the percussive touch, drive, and placement that pianists like Silver, OP of the 50s and 60s, Eddie Costa(!), and Phineas Newborn(!!) possessed, that just sends me into a type of profound rapture that nothing else comes close to.

I agree that OP could sound mechanical (by the late 70s, he literally became some type of horrible machine!), but on those rare instances when he didn't, and he was burning, it was a thing of joy.

This same criticism of glib virtuosity haunted the great Phineas Newborn to such an extent, that he wound up in Camarillo State for extended periods of time over those accusations, according to some accounts(!).

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I don't think OP was a true virtuoso because (and I guess this is almost too clichéd and obvious to state) you really cannot separate the rate/speed/intensity of expression from the depth of expression; Dick Katz used to say that OP had facility, not technique. And I know this is a can of worms that has been opened and reopened here, but I find OP offensive, just the most annoying and trite player in all of my listening experience. And I had this same response when I first heard him, and I was only 14.

As for Buddy Rich, I have also tried very hard. The brittleness of his playing, unlike the brittleness of Max Roach, is thin and lacks....resonance? Rhythmic reverberation and reflection? Something is absent, though I have heard some very nice things from him (an AMAZING clip of him playing at the Playboy jazz fest with Dizzy, no idea what year; but he sounded like Dave Tough, and that may be the solution to his somewhat-aimless technical rattling around.)

But I do not think it is racist if you think he was the greatest drummer ever. Tasteless, yes, but in the same way that praise of OP is misguided.

I think OP became an annoying, trite player around the time he had that horrible TV show from Montreal on cable, but in the 50s and 60s, in rare situations, he still had that drive, swing and sense of note placement that made for great jazz.

Dick Katz was another under-recognized giant that always made a strong musical statement in a very subtle way; ie- his solo on "Yesterdays" with Tony Scott.

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The "next" movie in which the music will figure is "Miles Ahead" directed and starring Don Cheadle. Hope springs eternal.

I'm pretty sure that however good the Miles movie is it will be the final straw that brings about the jazz-internet-osphere apocalypse.

I understand, I think, that that movie is going to be set in the early 70s, Miles in full-blown bug-eye sunglasses coke splendor and there's going to be a series of flashbacks that make up the "autobiography". If they do it right, it could be all kinds of weird/great, but if not, I'm still hoping for a good Don Cheadle movie. I like Don Cheadle on principle. His innate fuquitousness pleases me.

It's supposed to take place around 1979-81 a sort of fantasy about when he wasn't playing, to when the comeback started, that's what I heard.

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there's percussive and there's percussive - the one being reflective of a non-dynamic pounding, the other very much out of the post-African approach, in which every instrument becomes a drum. Bud P. was extremely percussive, but not like OP - and so was Monk - though there are other ways; Barry Harris told me Hawkins said to him "you play it like it's a piano, not like it's a damn drum." So not everyone agrees; but Bud's percussiveness was less slick, had a resonance that created rhythmic overtones; the sound was rich and implied so much; OP made a sound and that was it.

of course, this is all just my perspective.

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I'll never forget Horace Silver's characterization of a certain pianist as "He plays like a fuckin' faggot!"

There's something about the percussive touch, drive, and placement that pianists like Silver, OP of the 50s and 60s, Eddie Costa(!), and Phineas Newborn(!!) possessed, that just sends me into a type of profound rapture that nothing else comes close to.

I agree that OP could sound mechanical (by the late 70s, he literally became some type of horrible machine!), but on those rare instances when he didn't, and he was burning, it was a thing of joy.

This same criticism of glib virtuosity haunted the great Phineas Newborn to such an extent, that he wound up in Camarillo State for extended periods of time over those accusations, according to some accounts(!).

Silver didn't single out a specific pianist. Rather he said, in Down Beat in 1956, "I can't stand that faggot-type jazz," by which it was understand that he meant the predominant West Coast jazz style of the time.

As for Newborn, it's my understanding that he always was a psychologically fragile person, though the "mere virtuosity" putdowns of his playing probably didn't help.

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