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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

I know this really doesn't have anything to do with a saxophone but,

In general, which is your favorite drummer: Elvin Jones or Tony Williams? Which is more influential?

I've been wondering about both of these two cats. Elvin is a beast. So is Tony. Miles Davis said that Tony Williams was the loudest drummer he ever played with. Tony also was very innovative in color/texture of the sounds he got out of his kit.

Elvin, he's pretty scary. If I were to make a choice between the two drummers, i'd have to go with Elvin.


So what do you think?
 

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I love Tony's playing but I lean towards Elvin.
 

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That's like asking to choose your favorite child, but...

I LOVE Tony Williams's very earliest stuff on Blue Note, both as a leader and with Jackie McLean, when he was still a teenager and anything but a loud drummer. His Spring and Lifetime records on Blue Note are really, really great.

[Edit] Which is not to say I don't love Elvin's playing too! His was the first jazz drumming that really jumped off the record and grabbed me, and it never let go. And he seemed to mellow into a really sweet person later in life. They used to have "Save the Kids" Sunday matinees at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, and at one I attended where Elvin and his band were playing he handed out drumsticks to all of the kids in attendance.
 

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I think most people will say Elvin, but I love TW - such an amazing conception of rythm.
 

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I think you wouldn't be unhappy with either of these guys in a rhythm section.
 

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That's like asking "who is better, Van Gogh or Picasso"? Tony and Elvin were both very high level masters. Dig them both. This ain't some "American Idol" ********...
 

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I couldn't tell you who I like better but I did see TW with Miles once (it was forty years ago!) at the Village Gate. We were close to the bandstand and I was with a drummer friend. We could not believe how fast he worked the foot pedals — as fast as you could tap your finger. Amazing.
 

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Elvin or Tony...hmmm...

Two of my favorites--and for completely different reasons. I think this is way too hard of a question to answer.
 

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How about both--at the same time?
 

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martysax said:
But how will McCoy hear the piano?

We'll get Herbie to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
coltrane live at the halfnote

a particularly amazing instance of elvin's playing is the record: "One Down One Up, Coltrane Live at the Half Note"

in the middle of his duet with Trane, elvin's bass drum pedal breaks....
then it really sounds like elvin substitutes the floor tom for the bass drum...but if elvin is using his right hand to play the floor tom, then how is he doing the rest of what he's doing with the other hand?

if anyone remotely knows what i'm talking about, please respond.
this floor tom/bass drum thing just baffles me.
 

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Did I mention that I heard Elvin with his band a couple of times at the Jazz Showcase? Really awesome - his bandmates at one time or another included Sonny Fortune, Ravi Coltrane, Gregory Tardy, and Nicholas Payton. And I loved the way he had his drum kit sitting front and center of the band. Oh man that guy was something else.

I just wish I could have heard Tony Williams when he was 17 and I was 7.
 

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I think Miles would have said Tony, but my vote goes to Elvin. More than being just really stinking good, as in Tony's case, Elvin always seems to me to be more in the music, contributing exactly what the overall experience needs. Not that I wouldn't kneel in Tony's presence...
 

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I've had the good fortune to see them both. They both played at such a high level each time was truly an event. I have no favorite, I'm just grateful I got to see them as well as Art Blakey, Max Roach, Roy Haynes and Philly Joe Jones(with Sun Ra!).
 

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twsax said:
a particularly amazing instance of elvin's playing is the record: "One Down One Up, Coltrane Live at the Half Note"

in the middle of his duet with Trane, elvin's bass drum pedal breaks....
then it really sounds like elvin substitutes the floor tom for the bass drum...but if elvin is using his right hand to play the floor tom, then how is he doing the rest of what he's doing with the other hand?

if anyone remotely knows what i'm talking about, please respond.
this floor tom/bass drum thing just baffles me.
Darn, now I'll have to get LIVE AT THE HALFNOTE.

Anyhow, I haven't heard that, but, I know exactly what you're talking about. The dude sounded like he had to have had another appendage or two. His interaction was like he was one with the universe/Trane's group, to boot.
 

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The question itself is preposterous. You'll never get a chance to gig with them
since they do not exist on this plane anymore and you can enjoy recordings them both. This is rhetorical nonsense. Lets talk about reeds for GAWDS SAKES!!!!
 
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