[Dixielandjazz] Drummers - was easiest instrument.

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Feb 23 23:02:15 PST 2003

List mates:

Note that some feel the drummer is the heartbeat of the band, and others
that the bass is the heartbeat. Lately, in addition to our six piece
Dixieland stuff, I have been doing a lot of trio mainstream jazz and
quartet dixieland/mainstream jazz. Mostly for small venue parties.
Neither unit uses a drummer. Trio is clarinet; bass; guitar. Quartet
adds a Trombone or Trumpet.

And today, I just got back form a sideman gig with Tex Wyndham's Red
Lion Band at the 34th Annual Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp in New
Jersey. Six piece West Coast Revival Band. Cornet, Tbone, Clarinet,
Banjo, Piano, Bass Sax. No drums.

Ironically, the Musicians Award by the New Jersey Jazz Society today
went to drummer Johnny Blowers, almost 92 years old. He sat in with
another band and played a long drum solo on Caravan. He's still got it.
Told some great Pee Wee Russell stories about when they played together
in a Condon group at Nick's in NYC in the late 1930s.

IMO, the heartbeat depends upon who's in the band.

Steve Barbone

PS. Also agree with Pat Cooke that there is nothing worse than playing
with a bad drummer.

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