Hymn to the Art of Drumming

Tony Williams Dedicated to those who draw inspiration from listening to the wonderful drummers who will be discussed.

I think that now, on the threshold of the twenty-first century, no one doubts the fact that the first musical instruments on Earth were percussion instruments. And the first percussion instrument was the chest, into which the primitive man beat himself with his fist, expressing the entire range of emotions available to him. Since then, mankind has created countless musical instruments, but the sound of none of them can compete with the magical impact of the drum rhythm. All over the world, drums are an indispensable attribute of religious events and rituals, folk festivals, etc. African tam-tams put entire tribes into a state of trance. Under the monotonous sound of muyu (temple blocks), Buddhist services are performed. The enchanting sounds of tabla accompany meditation in India. Tambourine, castanets, maracas are a characteristic accompaniment in Spanish dances. The gongs and marimba of the Indonesian gamelan orchestra captivate listeners. And finally, the drum kit, which will be discussed, sounds everywhere in the twentieth century: it creates a feeling of swing in jazz, provides a groove in rock and pop music, emphasizes stage action in theater and circus, brings new colors to symphonic scores.

But in addition to the main function of keeping the rhythm, the drum kit has also acquired new ones. Probably, at the beginning of the century, no one imagined that by the end of the century, drums would become solo instruments along with guitars, saxophones and keyboards. The evolution of the instrument and performance has led to amazing results. Today we have entire schools and areas of drumming. The technique of the game has risen to truly incredible heights. But the drum set is one of the youngest instruments on the planet. So there is still more to come.

Summing up the results of the drum millennium, let's turn to history. Drums is the general name for a large group of various instruments consisting of leather stretched over a frame or body. Sound is produced by vibrating a stretched membrane from a shock applied to it. The drum belongs to the group of membranophones, a large family of percussion instruments. Drums began to appear on Earth in the Neolithic era. Archaeologists find them in various regions. The oldest drum was found in Moravia, and its age is dated to the fifth millennium BC. Huge Sumerian drums were made about three thousand years BC. Of the same age, small cylindrical drums found in Mesopotamia. Egyptian drums are even older - four thousand years BC.

Apparently, the first drum was a hollow tree trunk, on which the skin of reptiles or fish was stretched. Later, the skins of animals killed during hunting began to be used, and the first sticks appeared. Several different methods were used to attach the skin to the case: nails, glue, rivets, cord around the case, etc. More modern double-sided drums had the cord passed through holes in the skin. In the Middle Ages, drums appeared in Europe that used the modern principle of tension: two rims - one on the skin, the other on top.

The prototype of the snare drum most likely came to Spain from the Arabs and at first was a purely folk instrument. Around the fourteenth century, it begins to be used in the troops. At the same time, vein strings appear, stretched along the surface of the lower skin. The older brother of the snare drum, the tenor drum, was also used in the army both with and without strings.

The big drum and cymbals came to Europe from Turkey with the troops of the Ottoman Empire in the eighteenth century. For a long time, the instrument of the Janissaries was called the Turkish drum by Europeans. The first notes for the drum date back to the sixteenth century.

So, we briefly reviewed the details from which a modern drum kit was subsequently assembled. How and when did this happen?

The modern drum kit was not invented by anyone at any particular time or place. It was the fruit of the development of music and industry at the beginning of the twentieth century, with the direct participation of musicians and manufacturers of musical instruments. This is, perhaps, the fundamental principle of drums. It is akin to the principle of open computer architecture. Drum sets are in constant, never-ending development. Musicians add new instruments to the set, experiment with timbres, sizes of drums and cymbals, invent new playing techniques. All this creates the uniqueness of the sound of each performer. Limitless scope for creativity! Therefore, the drum parts are completely different from the notes for any other instruments. A significant part of any part for a drum kit is on the conscience of the performer. But how much knowledge and skills lies behind the simple designation fill in (fill in)!

In the 1990s, musicians from New Orleans and other cities in the United States tried to adapt the snare drum and bass drum of a military band for stage performance so that one performer could play two instruments at once. At the same time, they developed a new style of playing based on collective improvisation, which later became known as "jazz". In 1909, musician and music maker William F. Ludwig created the first bass drum pedal. True, before that there were already some imperfect mechanisms for the same purpose. This was the first serious step towards the creation of a modern drum kit. By the 1920s, New Orleans drummers (Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton) were playing on a set consisting of a bass drum, possibly with a cymbal attached to it, a snare drum, a Chinese tom-tom with nails nailed leather, boxes, cowbells, and small Chinese cymbals.Such sets (often with the addition of sirens, whistles, calls, etc.) were used by drummers in vaudeville, circuses, and other theatrical productions. a foot pedal consisting of two foot-sized plates with two cymbals attached to them.About 1925, drummers began to use "low boy" or "sock" cymbals - a pair of cymbals mounted on a low, spring-equipped stand operated by the foot.In 1927 In the year the first "high boys" or "high hat" appeared, allowing the performer to play it both with his foot and with his hands, or a combination of both.Chick Webb (Chick Webb) and Joe Jones (Jo Jon es) became the first hi-hat virtuosos.

By the late twenties, the kit included a bass drum, a snare drum, one or more tom-toms, Zildjian cymbals (larger and more sonorous than Chinese ones), a cowbell, and a box. Of course, each drummer created his own set, his own sound. For example, Sonny Greer used timpani, vibraphone, bells, temple blocks, gongs. Music and technology went hand in hand. Most of the pop music of that time was based on the "two beat feel" rhythm (two count). And the appearance of new instruments (hi-hat) in the installation immediately led to the emergence of new rhythms. Everything, it would seem, happened very ordinary: Zatti Singleton was learning the part of a new piece and found that it was more convenient for him to play the bass drum not on the first and third beats, but on all four. This seemingly random discovery became the determining factor in the development of jazz rhythm on 4/4.

In the thirties, this style became the basis of drumming in a swing orchestra. Drummers Joe Jones, Gene Krupa added more toms, floor tom, big drum cymbal stands, faster pedals. The technique of the game has also evolved. Gene Krupa performed for the first time in the Benny Goodman Orchestra as an equal soloist. His solo in Louis Prima's "Sing, Sing, Sing" took the drums to a new level with their power and energy.

The appearance of the first printed publications devoted to drumming belongs to the same time. The stick control snare drum guide is still a reference book for drummers around the world to this day. But, unlike classical drums, the drum set has not yet been an instrument included in the programs of music schools. The forties brought significant changes to the style of playing and to the configuration of the drums. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie created a be-bop style based on more complex harmonic progressions. The new phrasing of Parker's virtuoso improvisations required a radical change in the nature of the drum accompaniment. Kenny Clarke pioneered the use of time keeping on the cymbal and hi-hat, syncopating on the snare and making bombs with the kick and cymbal. This manner made the rhythm more transparent, lighter. Art Blakey, "Philly" Joe Jones, Max Roach picked up and developed this direction, which forever became the basis of jazz drum accompaniment. Naturally, the new style required new tools. The right cymbal "ride", which became the main carrier of the rhythm, increased in size to twenty or even twenty-two inches. The big drum has become more compact - twenty inches. The standard jazz kit of the time (14" snare drum, 12" and 14" toms and 20" bass drum) has not changed to this day. Is it that in the last 10-15 years even smaller barrels have become fashionable - 18? and less (up to 14?). Be-bop demanded even greater independence of limbs from drummers. Then the well-known book by Jimmy Chapin appeared. In my opinion, the principle of performing all kinds of rhythmic variations with two limbs, while the other two play the ostinato figure, has become the basis of many drum manuals devoted to the independence of hands and feet. Be-bop also expands the solo possibilities of drums. Four- and eight-bar solos are often used, large solo episodes within the theme structure. The change in the functions of the bass drum in the solo game is noteworthy. Drummers no longer play it on every beat as a rhythmic basis, but begin to weave it into musical phrases. And the functions of the rhythmic "anchor" are transferred to the hi-hat, playing on two and four throughout the solo. The final equality of the limbs is yet to come.

Today, two big drums are associated with the trappings of heavy metal or at least rock music. But for the first time, Louis Bellson played on two "barrels" back in the fifties. He also used such a set for the first time in Duke Ellington's orchestra. After him, all the drummers of this legendary big band played on two "barrels".

In the fifties, a new music appeared on the scene - rock and roll. This style, based on blues harmony and characteristic rhythmic pulsation, borrowed from boogie-woogie music, has become the basis of a huge number of modern music trends. There was a real alternative to jazz. Indeed, until that time, both entertainment and dance music were essentially based on jazz, and vice versa - swing orchestras sounded in dances, and jazzmen improvised on themes taken from Broadway musicals. And then aggressive guys with electric guitars burst into this circle. Chuck Berry, Jerry "Lee" Louis and others have taken the world by storm with their music.

Drumming began to develop rapidly. Powerful second and fourth beats on the snare drum became the basis of all the rhythms of the following decades (hard rock, disco, hip-hop, etc.). The jazz swing pulsation began to slowly straighten out and turned into another kind of rock and roll based on straight eighths.

Jazz performance developed in its own way. In the fifties, a large number of small jazz ensembles appeared. The Miles Davis Quintet, Art Blackie's Jazz Messengers, the Oscar Peterson Trio and others have played a big part in the history of music. In terms of drums, I would like to especially note the innovative ideas of "Philly" Joe Jones, who demonstrated unparalleled swing and virtuoso solo playing based on a thorough knowledge of rudimentary technique, the powerful playing of Art Blackie and the new rhythms of Varnel Fournier (Varnel Fournier) from the trio of Ahmad Jamal (Ahmad Jamal). Any jazz drummer needs no further explanation when playing the Varnel Fournier groove.

At the same time, the Buddy Rich Orchestra appears. Thanks to the virtuoso playing of its leader, this band has forever become a drumming model for musicians around the world. Buddy Rich was a direct successor to Gene Krupp's style. Fantastic technique, crazy energy, combined with the lightness and beauty of visual perception, made this musician the number one legend in the history of drums. It is said that one day several classical drummers from the Boston Pop band came to see Buddy Rich at a jazz club. Standing in front of the entrance, they were very skeptical about Buddy's technical capabilities. It was about pressed fractions (press roll). Considering this technique the prerogative of the classics, they decided that Rich was not strong in it. Buddy accidentally overheard the conversation and built one of his solos that evening on pressed fractions. It remains to add that since then the symphony guys have completely changed their minds about the technical potential of jazzmen. Buddy Rich didn't read music. A special illustrator played new arrangements with the orchestra, and Buddy memorized the parts. But with what brilliance he then performed them! Listen to his concert in Poland in 1977. It's a real holiday!

In the late 1950s, the greatest drummer Elvin Jones developed his unique style that became the hallmark of the John Coltrane Quartet's music. The continuous ligature of triplets, supported by powerful accents, was the best fit for the sound palette of this ensemble. This elderly black musician is now in uniform, leads his JAZZ MACHINE ensemble, and is actively recording.

In the 1960s, English musical expansion swept through the United States. English drummers broke into the international level for the first time. The new music of popular English bands was actively imitated all over the world, including in the USA (THE BEATLES, ROLLING STONES, YARDBIRDS, etc.). a huge impact on the formation of the worldview of a large number of musicians (including jazz). CREAM, PINK FLOYD, ATOMIC ROOSTER, SOFT MACHINE and others have taken rock culture to a new level. Ginger Becker, Karl Palmer, Alan White became the standard bearers of new English music. The drummers of this galaxy used large instruments. This was dictated by the need to play at the same volume level with colleagues in the ensemble, who by that time had quite powerful amplifiers. Of course, against the background of these masters, the drummer of the famous Liverpool four Ringo Starr (Ringo Starr) did not look very convincing, but I believe that his role in creating the sound of the Beatles should not be underestimated. His only solo in his entire career on the Abbey Road album looks very organic over time, and the accompaniment is always in place. Accustomed to his utilitarian ensemble functions, Ringo at first refused the offer of his colleagues to play a solo, sending them to Buddy Rich and taking it as a personal insult, but then, under the pressure of circumstances, he was forced to agree and did it in a very unconventional way.

The soul style appears in American pop and rock music of the early sixties. Its development is closely connected with the Motown record label. Gladys Knight, Marvin Gay, James Brown, THE SUPRIMES pioneered soul and funk music. The first experiments in the field of drum rhythms 16\16 are associated with these names. "White" groups - CHICAGO; BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS; TOWER OF POWER, which appeared in the second half of the sixties, also worked in this direction. New textures of drums in combination with syncopated brass arrangements required the drummers to change their arrangement of drums, positioning of hands, kit configuration. The active use of both hands when playing the hi-hat determined its rise above the level of the snare drum. The advent of more toms and cymbals has forced many to switch to symmetrical staging. By and large, this was not a significant innovation. Since the thirties, drummers have used this production. But by the end of the sixties, more and more of them began to play only in this way. This craze also took over jazzmen, so that by the early seventies the vast majority had done away with the classical production. This state of affairs continued until the mid-1980s. Bobby Colomby of BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS was one of the early drummers of this style. He also became a wonderful producer who made the first album by Jaco Pastorius (MB No. 4/96). David Garibaldi (MB No. 4/98) developed the rhythms significantly in 16/16 time. Together with bassist Rocco Prestia, he overturned the usual idea of ​​the relative position of strong and weak beats in a bar. Thus, his famous "inverted" rhythms appeared. Apparently, it was he who influenced the formation of Dave Weckl's style.

The jazz scene of the 1960s was filled with college graduates who began to systematically learn to play the drums. The famous Boston drummer Alan Dawson created his own school. In more than twenty years of teaching at Berklee College, he has produced hundreds of professional performers. Among them is the famous Tony Williams, who amazed the entire jazz community with his innovative art in the early sixties and continued to do so until his unexpected death in 1997 (for more details, see MB No. 1/99).

Another bright star of these years is the Dave Brubeck Quartet drummer Joe Morello. No need to introduce the hit Paul Desmond play "Take Five". In it, Joe played one of his classic solos. Morello shone in plays with odd meters (5\4, 7\4, 11\4, etc.). His work stands apart from the mainstream of the development of drumming. But therein lies its value.

In the mid-sixties, the jazz direction of funk music was formed. Cannonball Adderly, along with Joe Zawinul (MB No. 3/97), are recording their famous hit Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. This is the result of the influence of soul music. The Horace Silver Quintet is also working in this direction.

This is where the young Panamanian drummer Billy Cobham first appears. Literally in five years, he becomes a living legend of jazz rock, a man who predetermined the development of drumming for years. Having gone through the school of Horace Silver and Miles Davis in the late sixties, he created the character of the sound of many ensembles of the seventies with his playing - DREAM, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, etc. His imitators include Mike Valden, Lenny White, Alphonso Mouzon and hundreds of thousands of drummers around the world.

The combination of the highest technique with unparalleled power and swing feeling has stimulated an entire generation of drummers. Billy's single beats were the goal of almost every Soviet drummer of the seventies. Cobham significantly increased the size of the drum kit. He added octabans, a bass drum on a stand for playing with sticks, and the number of toms and cymbals also increased. Cobham's style is characterized by the extensive use of the "china" cymbal. Everyone knows his rhythms, in which "china" sounds on "and" (after each beat). The new music largely determined Cobham's practice of performing the most complex rhythms in 15\16, 17\16, etc.

Miles Davis' experiments in the late sixties led to the creation of jazz rock and introduced the world to several new drumming names, including Jack DeJohnette, who had previously played with Charles Lloyd. This ensemble visited Tallinn in 1967 and amazed the inexperienced Soviet public. The unique style and sound of DeJohnette are so unique that they have no analogues in the world practice. Jack started out as a pianist and still periodically appears in this role on the big stage. His thinking is pianistic rather than drum-rudimentary. Almost any drummer is recognizable by his playing techniques (clichés), and Jack DeJohnette is recognizable solely by their absence.

By the early 1970s, drums had developed in so many directions that it would be impossible to cover them all in this article. Avant-garde jazz, psychedelic rock, synthetic styles of English rock music, etc. etc. But in no case can one ignore the birth of hard rock and the monumental figures of drum history associated with this direction. These are the musicians of two classic English bands LED ZEPPELLIN and DEEP PURPLE - John Bonham and Yan Pace, as well as Don Brewer from the American band GRAND FUNK RAIL ROAD. An interesting fact is that all three played the most powerful music on installations a la Buddy Rich. All three greatly elevated the role of the bass drum in rock music. John Bonham had a huge influence on the style of drum doom master of the second half of the seventies - early eighties, Steve Gadd (Steve Gadd). Listen to Bonham's cadenza in Rock-n-roll from the fourth disc. You will hear a lot of what Steve later adapted into his arsenal.

The most imitated drummer, Steve Gadd, was no different from most mediocre jazzmen early in his career. But working with Chick Corea required him to mobilize all his creative forces - a unique style was created that included almost all the achievements of the then drumming. That is why Gadd has recorded and is recording with artists of a wide variety of styles - from Chet Becker (Chet Becker) to Paul Simon (Paul Simon). And Steve is very recognizable everywhere. Several of his recordings have become textbooks forever. This includes the groove from Simon's Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover, and the part in Chick Corea's Nite Sprite, and, of course, the legendary solo from Samba Song. Despite the repetition of techniques from record to record, Steve Gadd always looks very convincing. His famous "military groove" can appear both in a jazz piece and in a concert solo with a pop artist, and always, despite the seeming straightforwardness, Steve tries to organically introduce it into the musical fabric.

Karl Palmer of the Keith Emerson trio (see MB No. 1/97 ) and Bill Bruford (Bill Bruford, MB No. 1/99), who first appeared in the YES group at the age of nineteen, made a significant contribution to the art of the game on drums. These representatives of British art-rock have the brightest personalities. They expanded the timbre palette of drummers. Carl Palmer's setup in the early seventies included gongs, tam-toms, timpani, bells, and many other instruments. The reader can rightly note that a similar set has already been encountered forty years before, but it should be said that the semantic load and stylistic features of the use of the above tools have changed radically. Emerson's music assumed an orchestral approach to instrumentation, so, unlike Greer, Palmer's instruments were equal members of the ensemble, and not an additional decoration of the score. Bill Bruford is a tireless experimenter in the field of electronic drums.

In the seventies, thanks in large part to Billy Cobham, the drum set reached its maximum size. By this time, synthetic plastics invented by Ludwig had long supplanted leather, and drum manufacturers expanded their range. The coasters have become more powerful due to the increased volume of the game. Not only the number, but also the dimensions of the drums have become maximum. Volume sizes - volumes ranged from 6? before 18?. The large drum could reach 26″ in diameter. By this time, the Turkish plates of the Zildjian company, bought by the Americans, were almost forgotten. The most popular cymbal makers were: already the American A. Zildjian and the Swiss Paiste, especially popular among rock musicians. The drummer Frank Zappa (Frank Zappa, MB No. 3/97) Terry Bozzio (Terry Bozzio, MB No. 2/98) had a very impressive set. Terry took another step forward in equal use of all four limbs. His double bass drum phrasing is much more refined than his predecessors. The young Bozzio is especially good on the record "Heavy Metal Be Bop" of the BRECKER BROTHERS ensemble.

Even more refined and sculpted is the playing of the young Peter Erskine, first with Fergusson's orchestra, WEATHER REPORT, STEPS AHEAD, and then a vast array of projects ranging from jazz to STEELY DAN. Impeccable taste, dynamic range, timbre diversity (despite a very modest set of drums), exquisite phrasing, mastery of the whole range of styles made him one of the most advanced drummers of that time by the beginning of the eighties. Many of his games also became textbooks. There is probably no drummer in the world who has not tried to imitate his playing in the famous piece STEPS AHEAD Pools.

At the same time, the two superdrummers of the following decades begin to emerge. These are educated, professional performers oriented in any kind of music Vinny Colaiuta and Steve Smith. Kolyuta began his career in the Frank Zappa Ensemble, replacing Terry Bozzio. An interesting fact is that Vinnie played Terry's kit right at the audition, which included two bass drums. Never before had he had to play on such a set, but he brilliantly coped not only with the most complex arrangements, but also with a new instrument for himself. Kolyata was destined to become the most famous studio drummer, from the end of the seventies to the beginning of the nineties, Kolyata took part in the recording of more than a thousand records!!! Without exaggeration, it was music of all styles and trends. In the early nineties, he was invited to audition for the Sting ensemble.

Sting's manager invited Winnie to come to London at his own expense. Kolyuta accepted the offer with one condition: in case of successful audition, he had to pay for the road, which subsequently happened. According to Vinnie himself, with Sting he recorded one of his best parts - in the song Seven Days. The recordings of Kolyata with Gino Vanelli are also great.

The drummer that Kolyuta was so eager to meet at the dawn of his career was his peer, Steve Smith. At the time, Steve was a student at Berkeley College. He started his career with jazz, but then rock music got into the spectrum of his interests. For many years he connected his career with the JOURNEY group. Steve then replaced Peter Erskine at STEPS AHEAD, where he showed himself to the fullest extent as a versatile musician. Listen to this band live in Japan in 1986.

Steve Smith is the author of the most interesting tutorial video in my opinion. His analysis of the use of odd groupings in 4/4 is extremely thorough. Both Kolyuta and Smith took part in a series of legendary concerts dedicated to the memory of Buddy Rich in 1989. Neither of them had any prior experience of playing in a jazz orchestra. But look at these films! Everything was played flawlessly, with brilliance. So, the seventies were truly the time of rock drummers. Nothing new happened in jazz drumming. I want to mention the great drummer Cozy Powell, a global figure in British rock. His bright presentation and unique powerful sound have graced dozens of great rock records. At least listen to the English version of WHITESNAKE Here I Go Again. Powell, who sadly passed away early, was also a member of the Keith Emmerson trio. He came to this ensemble after Carl Palmer and brought some primitive, natural power to its sound. The eighties gave the world a few more epochal figures. This is the elite drumming art - Dave Wackle, Dennis Chambers (Dennis Chambers), Marvin "Smitty" Smith (Marvin "Smitty" Smith). All three are "on you" with any music. All three play fairly large kits, but the drum sizes are quite modest. Heads such as Remo Ambassador are back in fashion, the sound becomes more natural. But at the same time, this period is the heyday of electronics. Wackle uses a whole rack of electronic equipment, many drummers use triggers and electronic pads.

Dave Weckl is a direct follower of Steve Gadd's style. But he added the so-called inverted rhythms to this manner. I see some Garibaldi connection in this, but according to Weckl himself, the story is this: he once rehearsed with his friend, keyboardist Jay Oliver.

Each of them improvised at that moment something of their own at the same pace and the rehearsal was recorded. After some time, friends listened to the recording and discovered something very strange. It turned out that they both kept pace, but the strong beat for each of them was in different places. The recording seemed to Dave very curious. His strong beats fell on Oliver's weak beats. Subsequently, the idea of ​​shifted beats became the basis of Weckl's rhythmic style.

Dennis Chambers (MB No. 4/97) became known to a wide range of listeners for playing in the John Scofield Quartet. His incredible motor skills, combined with a rare natural musicality, brought him to the forefront of modern music. The possibilities of this musician are truly endless. In 1997, as part of the Zildjian presentations, Chambers came to Russia. Zildjian Day in Moscow brought together a full hall of the MAI Palace of Culture, and Dennis Chambers was the main character.

Marvin "Smitty" Smith emerged onto the international jazz scene as part of the Sonny Rollins Quartet. A real virtuoso, he was later invited to play in the Dave Holland Ensemble. His interests range from jazz to rap music. He also took part in concerts in memory of Buddy Rich.

The Eighties is the heyday of heavy metal music. The drummers of W.A.S.P., METALLICA (Lars Ulrich) and others achieve unprecedented speeds of playing on two "kicks". The eminent Tommy Aldridge (Tommy Aldrige), Greg Bisonette (Greg Bisonette) do not lag behind them. As a result of the development of double-bass- drumming, a double pedal appears, which is actively used by Weckl, Kolyata, Chambers, and millions of other musicians.

Jeff "Tain" Watts, who played with both of the Marsalis brothers, was perhaps the most prominent figure in eighties jazz. A musician of rare talent, he brought unprecedented polymetric freedom to jazz playing, while maintaining an amazing sense of swing.

Your obedient servant saw this musician play at the Sweet Basil Club in New York. I dare to assure you, this is not forgotten.

Besides him, Adam Nussbaum and Victor Lewis, known for his recordings with Stan Getz, appeared on the stage of the eighties. Louis is the author of numerous projects. His style accumulated all the positive aspects of laconic jazz accompaniment. His phrasing in solo playing is impeccable in terms of musicality and purity of performance.

The Eighties continued the trend of crossing cultures and styles. A classic example is Omar Hakim, who played in the eighties with both WEATHER REPORT and DIRE STRAITS and Madonna and Sting. Drum manufacturers are also moving forward. The champion of the eighties is Yamaha. In jazz, the traditional leader, Gretch, is beginning to compete with Sonor and DW. And Zildjian gets another (after Paiste in the seventies) competitor - Sabian. The era of huge drums and huge kits is passing. There are musicians who combine drums and percussion in one setup - Trilock Gurtu, Alex Acuna. The linear system of Gary Chafee finds a huge number of adherents. Among them are Steve Smith, Jonathan Mover, Vinnie Kolyata and many others. This system develops, if I may say so, a monophonic function of the drums. A whole cycle of classes (as opposed to the school of Gary Chester) was devoted to the development of rhythmic structures based on non-standard timbre combinations. Perhaps this was the first alternative to the harmonious pedagogical system of Alan Dawson.

Countless drummers use countless playing techniques and hand placements. Hand and finger playing peacefully coexist, playing the bass drum with the heel on the weight and with the heel on the pedal. The time of strict recipes and dogmas is passing without a trace. The era of a creative approach to the formation of the style and configuration of drums is coming. It was in the nineties that Leon Parker appeared, playing jazz without a hi-hat! His kit consists of a bass drum, a snare drum and a ride cymbal. But what is he doing on this more than modest instrument!

At this time, jazz is returning to the style of the fifties. Philly Joe Jones is back in fashion. Among black musicians, it is considered indecent to play in a style more modern than be-bop. This trend, on the one hand, is a tribute to the traditions of the past, which has its positive aspects, and on the other, a phenomenon that has acquired a dogmatic retrograde pathos. Old Turkish K. Zildjian cymbals and Gretch drums from the forties and fifties are in great demand. However, by the mid-nineties, this boom, on the wave of which Bryan Blade and his colleagues appeared, is coming to naught.

There is an accumulation of information among white jazz musicians. Drummers appear who have absorbed the entire arsenal of jazz drumming. This is Bill Stewart, who played in the early nineties in the John Scofield ensemble. He is a man of few words, but his exquisite inventiveness is based on the achievements of the best drummers of previous decades. Bill uses all the variety of polymetric possibilities of the drum set. Its dynamic sophistication is akin to that of Peter Erskine.

Gene Jackson, a black drummer who came from the blues, plays successfully in the Herbie Hankock trio and in the Mingus Big Band. Will Calhaun plays with LIVING COLOR and Wayne Shorter. Cindy Blackman - with Jackie McLynn and Lenny Kravitz. These examples illustrate the trend towards the merging of styles towards the end of the millennium. But it is obvious that the musical style is determined in many cases by the nature of the rhythmic accompaniment. No wonder remixes of various hits of the past years were so popular in the nineties. The new rhythmic reading gives them a certain freshness. Of course, one cannot belittle the importance of the harmonic and melodic language of pop and rock music, but you must agree that to a large extent the nature of the sound depends on the arrangement, and more precisely, on the groove. This is the greatness of drums. The emergence of highly professional drummers and the use by musicians, composers and arrangers of all the achievements of musical culture at the end of the century led to the erasure of clear stylistic boundaries. Just look - Sting uses jazz texture (Englishman In New York), Herbie Hancock - hip-hop rhythms, John Scofield - seventies neck textures, Pat Metheny - Midwestern cowboy motifs, Peter Gabriel (Peter Gabriel) - ethnic music peoples of the world.

Despite all the independence achieved by drums and drummers over almost a century of history, we remain an applied tool. The inexplicable phenomenal achievements of drummers of our time in the field of technical excellence (Virgil Donaty and others) give impetus to the adaptation of innovations in performing practice. But the emotional-utilitarian side of development still has to give its unwritten consent to the use of all innovations. This is a long process of the drum market, which, in the end, is designed to bring a lot of fun to all drummers and listeners.

This essay did not set the task of "embracing the immensity", but only expresses the personal tastes, assessments and aspirations of the author. In this regard, I want to apologize to readers whose tastes remained outside the scope of this article. The drummers of Russia, to whom one of my works will be devoted, were also left without attention.