[Dixielandjazz] Time

Ken Mathieson ken at kenmath.free-online.co.uk
Sun Jul 20 14:19:10 PDT 2008

Hi Listers,

Edwin Coltrin wrote:
"Your comments bring to mind a statement overheard one late evening,while enjoying company ot the YBJB, Can't recall whether at the Dawn Club or Hambone's. Bill Dart the drummer was mentioned about his  speed up or slow down.  Can't remember which, but there was a comment."

This brings to mind Al Cohn's comment, when someone was complaining about a drummer who rushed with sticks and dragged with brushes: "why not make him play with one stick and one brush? 

Also Eupher commented that pick-up bands tend to play particular pieces faster than regular bands do. I reckon this is down to regular working bands, especially their rhythm sections, having a relaxed confidence in each others' playing that leads them to play at more relaxed tempos. There's also a kind of unwritten gentleman's agreement in regular rhythm sections that, if the drummer/ bassist/ pianist/ guitarist/ banjoist plays a fill, the other guys keep the time fairly straight so that everyone lands together. A "Yellow Pages" rhythm section often doesn't necessarily have this in-built mutual support system, unless they're all playing for the band, which is why some (very) all-star one-off rhythm sections are less effective, when everyone is trying to outdo the others. There are loads of exceptions to this of course, but who hasn't gone to hear a thrown-together all-star band and come away a bit disappointed?


Ken Mathieson    

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