Jazz drumming  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jazz drumming is the art of playing percussion (predominantly the drum set, which includes a variety of drums and cymbals) in jazz styles ranging from 1910s-style Dixieland jazz to 1970s-era jazz fusion and 1980s-era Latin jazz. The techniques and instrumentation of this type of performance have evolved over several periods, influenced by jazz at large and the individual drummers within it. Stylistically, this aspect of performance was shaped by its starting place, New Orleans, as well as numerous other regions of the world, including other parts of the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Jazz required a method of playing percussion different from traditional European styles, one that was easily adaptable to the different rhythms of the new genre, fostering the creation of jazz drumming's hybrid technique. As each period in the evolution of jazz—swing and bebop, for example—tended to have its own rhythmic style, jazz drumming continued to evolve along with the music through the 20th century. One tendency that emerged over time was the gradual "freeing" of the beat. But older styles persisted in later periods. The borders between these periods are unclear, partly because no one style completely replaced others, and partly because there were numerous cross influences between styles.

Free jazz

Throughout the history of jazz drumming, the beat and playing of the drummer have become progressively more fluid and "free", and in avant-garde and free jazz, this movement was largely fulfilled. A drummer named Sunny Murray is the primary architect of this new approach to drumming. Instead of playing a "beat", Murray sculpts his improvisation around the idea of a pulse, and plays with the "natural sounds that are in the instrument, and the pulsations that are in that sound” [as he told Clifford Allen in 2003]. Murray also notes that his creation of this style was due to the need for a newer kind of drumming to use in the compositions of pianist Cecil Taylor.


List of jazz drummers

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jazz drumming" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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