Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rock Drummers and Jazz

Mitch Mitchell, the drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was, to my mind, the best of all rock drummers. This is because of his sophistication. sense of swing (even in rock--listen especially to the last several minutes of "Third Stone from the Stone," especially), innovation, subtlety, and fire.
I've been listening to him since I was a teenager, and still cannot get over it.

My general thesis is that the closer a rock drummer is to jazz, the better he is. This why I place Ginger Baker in the number two spot of rock drummers: he was very influenced by jazz. Further, the the live improvisations of Cream were very jazz like. This thesis also puts some famous rock drummers low on the list, particularly John Bonham, who had no finesse at all.

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