barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri May 2 10:46:37 PDT 2003
Hi List Mates:
Very interesting to all the drummers on the list. Finally, you get some
respect. ;-) kadaboom.
May 2, 2003 - New York Times
What Defines Style in Jazz? Just Listen to the Drummer
By BEN RATLIFF
As Jazz at Lincoln Center's concert seasons grow more inclusive,
I've heard jazz-meets-tango, jazz-meets-flamenco, jazz-meets-samba,
jazz-meets-mambo, jazz-meets-calypso. I've heard early New Orleans, hard
bop, swing orchestras, Coltrane music and a tiny bit of free jazz.
And through all these shows, trying to make sense of how all these kinds
of music fit into jazz's lingua franca, I keep looking to the back of
the stage. It's in the drumming, in the grooves, where all affinities
start. It's through drumming that different cultures, and even different
kinds of jazz, can become most easily cross-fertilized.
Tomorrow, an all-day event at Barnard College, produced by Jazz at
Lincoln Center, sketches out in words and ideas and even a little bit
in music why drummers both centralize jazz and fan it out, why they're
natural diaspora-makers, and why all the major innovations in jazz style
emerge through the rhythm section.
The event, "Cymbalism: A Symposium on the Drums in Jazz," is separated
into two "Percussion Discussions," with five drummers in each discussion
talking about (and demonstrating) jazz drumming. It ends with
philosophical reflections on the drummer in jazz by Stanley Crouch and
Wynton Marsalis, as well as a final bit of music by Mr. Marsalis and the
drummer Herlin Riley.
The symposium is one of the final events in Jazz at Lincoln Center's
2002-03 season, conceived as the "Year of the Drum." Another is a
concert at the Miller Theater tonight and tomorrow night: "Africa Jazz,"
with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, joined by
the Ghanaian drummer Yacub Addy and his group, Odadaa!
"We as jazz historians tend to follow certain instruments when we tell
the history of the music," said Robert O'Meally, director of the Center
for Jazz Studies at Columbia University, which is producing the event in
conjunction with Jazz at Lincoln Center. "It's almost always trumpet,
saxophone or piano. But we don't follow the drums as much. The drums
take you to places that many of the people in charge of jazz history are
unwilling to consider Caribbean and South American influences, Native
The discussions will inevitably range outward from the core elements of
swing rhythm, in many directions. The participants, nearly all of them
trap-set drummers, include Roy Haynes and Eddie Locke, both of whom were
once tap dancers; Steve Berrios, who has played Latin-jazz crossover
music for most of his career; Andrew Cyrille, who is fascinated by
drumming from the Caribbean; and Mr. Riley, whose grandfather was Deacon
one of the important jazz and gospel drummers of New Orleans's history.
An actual tap-dancer, Baakari Wilder, will be on one of the panels as
well; it's likely that theories linking the evolution of tap and jazz
will be offered, particularly where bebop is concerned.
"Cymbalism: A Symposium on the Drums in Jazz" will take place tomorrow
from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Julius Held Auditorium, 304 Barnard Hall,
Barnard College, entrance at Broadway at 117th Street. Tickets: $30; $15
for students, available in advance through Lincoln Center at (212)
258-9814; or at Held Auditorium the day of the event. Information: (212)
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