[Dixielandjazz] Question !

Charlie Hooks charliehooks at earthlink.net
Sun Feb 23 09:10:50 PST 2003

on 2/22/03 6:52 PM, SIngram520 at aol.com at SIngram520 at aol.com wrote:

> What talent does it take to play the Drums....????

IMHO:  A really fine drummer (in my city, Chicago, I think of Rusty Jones,
of Charlie Braugham) must play (in his mind at the least, and at best at the
most) ALL the instruments!  He must master their possibilities; and, if he
is as great a drummer as, say, Charlie Braugham, he will know what they are
going to play before they know themselves. [ I regard Charlie Braugham as
some sort of mental wizard--but then, so do Clark Terry and Marian
McPartland and others who demand Charlie when they come into town.  Rusty
was with Marian for years, and with George Shearing for far longer.]  Dear
friend, favorite player!

    There are others here: Paul Wertigo, for one, who is a drummer's dream
technician post-bop player.  I don't enjoy him; but I insist that this is my
fault, not Paul's.  Fantastic player!  Just not for me.

    What am I saying here?   Great drummers are enormous talents!  They can
create a band!  Without one, you can have a good band; but you have no
chance at a great band.  Horn players like me can come and go, shooting up
stars and Roman Candles.  But the deep boot, the beam of the band, is the
drummer.  [And, for me, the bass player--but I won't get started on that!]

    Oh, man!  I have played with some of the greatest!  And I guarantee that
if you haven't, then you can't really imagine them!  Barrett Deems.  Butch
Miles.  Jerry Mackinzie.  Jay McShann.  They project enormous strength that
is under total control, plus an incredible quickness both of mind and body.

    "How much talent does it take to play drums?"  A lot.



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