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Let's talk ELVIN!!!!

Posted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:06 pm
by Steve Holmes

Re: Let's talk EVLIN!!!

Posted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:18 pm
by LindaDavis
thanks for your thoughts.
you opend my mind a bit

Re: Let's talk EVLIN!!!

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:02 am
by nomsgmusic
Steve, (sorry I haven't been on the "new" forum much, a student actually just told me that my name showed up on the HOD Homepage.)

I always love your enthusiasm!

Wayne's "Speak No Evil" is one of the all time classics (Wayne is my favorite musician! I have transcribed more solos of his than any drummer, and trying to play Wayne solos and compositions on the drums, is REALLY fun, and educational. Anyway...) I don't let a week go by without just sitting and listening to "Speak No Evil" in a darkened room. The whole concept of that record is just soooo right. From the compositions and the song titles, to the artwork, to the liner notes, to the sequencing of the tracks. It's just so perfect in every way.

The thing that I always point students to (about this recording, and Elvin in general) is how quarter note oriented his ride cymbal playing can be, and how WONDERFUL it feels! I really feel like approaching the classic "jazz ride cymbal pattern" from the often referred "spang-a-lang" can be harmful. If you can't make a quarter note REALLY swing, then all those "in between" notes ain't going to make it swing either. A strong quarter note connection really grounds your jazz playing in a unique way.

I also really feel that people miss the important link between Elvin and Blakey (Art's ride could be wonderfully quarter notey as well,) and this record (to my ears at least) really has Elvin (occasionally) sounding very Blakey-ish. That roll that you referred to is sooo (obviously) Blakey; The almost inaudible attack (it just appears from no where,) the speed of the crescendo, etc. But it's much more than just the rolls... Elvin often implied a shuffle like Blakey did as well, especially at (the beginning of) those tempos. I remember when I first made the connection between Bu and Elvin, everything just began to make so much more "sense."

It has been said many times, but I'll say it again. Elvin really felt the entire width of the quarter note, I personally think this ability came from his extensive brush playing skills. Playing brushes really makes you address the entire span of the quarter note. So many drummers instantly want to start "breaking up the beat," and subdividing it to death, without REALLY feeling the entire span of the pulse. I have students address this issue by playing brush grooves without EVER lifting the brushes off of the head, or "just" playing circles. Actually, the relationship that Elvin and Gadd have to the quarter note is actually very close in "concept" (It's just applied to different genres of music. I could listen to both of them play quarter notes FOREVER!)

Try playing along to "Speak No Evil" using ONLY your ride, it will really open some things up for you, it did for me! (Try learning and playing Wayne's melodies from this record on the drums too. They are almost all, standard Jazz repetroirre tunes.) Then spend some time listening to Elvin play ballads with brushes, you will hear the beat widen before your very eyes (or ears.)

Check out the records that Elvin did with Larry Young (and Grant Green and Larry Young.) With the organ it is amazing at how wide Elvin's time gets. Lastly, "Coltrane's Sound," there's NO drum solos, just pure time from Elvin, it's a real magic carpet ride!

And once he starts gruntin', fuggetaboudit!!!!!
Mark

Re: Let's talk EVLIN!!!

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:13 am
by Patrick Tiglao
Dude Elvin is.............SOUL!!!!
I was just listening to his album "Illumination" w Jimmy Garrison...
To my ears and my heart ,EJ's drumming is just absolute heaven..

It's safe to say that I relate to Elvin's approach more so than any other jazz drummer...Well Jack Dejohnette is an exception...

Anyone else here think highly of Elvin????
FYI I know he doesnt have Buddy or Tony chops,but I dont really care...Music is not all chops!

Oh Great post Mark!!
and finally.....Does anyone have any insight on Elvin's Ballad approach.(ie his use of sticks,his accents w the left foot,and his ability to crescendo within a ballad tempo while utilizing polyrhythms.ex. "Naima" or "I want to talk about you" or "Lush life")???

Re: Let's talk EVLIN!!!

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:11 am
by David Francis
YESSSSSSSSSSSS! I love it!

Sometimes it feels so good to get a reminder of the unbridled joy music can bring :)

Since the Fred thread, Believe It has been playing over and over in my car and I'm heading to my music room right now to dig out Speak No Evil.

Frank Zappa had it right:

Music. Is. The. Best.

Amen!

Re: Let's talk EVLIN!!!

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:13 am
by Manu
That was great, sharing a musical experience with someone through youtube, but I could somehow feel the energy.

You are just a badass dude Steve, it's a pleasure to have been frequenting this forum for, 11 years now? ;)

Re: Let's talk EVLIN!!!

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:19 am
by Jean-Paul
This album with Elvin is my favourite too! Great music and great drumming.

Elvin, Tony, Blakey and Philly Joe Jones are my jazz influences.

It has been said many times, but I'll say it again. Elvin really felt the entire width of the quarter note, I personally think this ability came from his extensive brush playing skills. Playing brushes really makes you address the entire span of the quarter note. So many drummers instantly want to start "breaking up the beat," and subdividing it to death, without REALLY feeling the entire span of the pulse. I have students address this issue by playing brush grooves without EVER lifting the brushes off of the head, or "just" playing circles. Actually, the relationship that Elvin and Gadd have to the quarter note is actually very close in "concept" (It's just applied to different genres of music. I could listen to both of them play quarter notes FOREVER!)


Never thought of this before, my bad. I know what I am going to study next. I own a pair of brushes but must admit that I didn't bother to pick them up frequently. Thanks for the insight!

Re: Let's talk EVLIN!!!

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:42 am
by Lucas Ives
here's a transcription i found for this a while back: http://www.mediafire.com/?d9b0l2l6h613dz3

love love love this tune.

Re: Let's talk EVLIN!!!

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:20 am
by Clint Hopkins
Great post Steve! Elvin is pure class. 'Witch Hunt' is a favorite from that album.
An Elvin favorite of mine is 'Arc of the Pendulum' from Michael Brecker's "Time is of the Essence" album.

Re: Let's talk EVLIN!!!

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:39 am
by Andrew<3'sVinnie
def one of my fav albums. great insights here all around.