BA thesis about Buddy Rich / help is needed

saymon1984

New member
Hello my fellow drummers,

I'm writing BA in American Studies (I study English philology). The topic is: "Buddy Rich - the world's greatest jazz drummer". I have already started writing my first chapter which is entitled "Jazz'. It contains the following sections: 1.) Definition; 2.) History 3.) Development of jazz drumming.

I had no difficulties with finding information for the first section as I've got some books that contain some crucial stuff about that. Unfortunately, I'm not in possession of any books or magazines that depict the history of jazz that can be read in one sitting. There is a lot of extensive books that are divided into a plethora of volumes and boiling them down to a reasonable quantity of text would take ages! What I'd like to ask you is.. do you happen to have any web addresses or pdf documents, online magazines, eBooks (anything that can be transferred by the internet) about the history of jazz? If so, I'd be delighted to get an access to them.

With regard to the last section (The development of jazz drumming), I've already written about Baby Dodds, Tony Spargo, Ben Pollack, Dave Tough, Gene Krupa, Max Roach, Buddy Rich himself (only short introduction), Art Blackey, Jo Jones, Joe Morello and Connie Kay. All of those drummers contributed substantially to the revolution and development of drumming in jazz. But all of that happened before 1960s.. Do you know any other drummers that became famous for doing sth unique and revolutionizing? I don't know.. like using drum pads, playing backward.. anything!? I would be grateful for any help!

Thanks in advance.
Saymon
 

Rockula!

New member
I don't know much on the subject but I was wondering if you read the book "Traps, the Drum Wonder" ?
It is a biography written about Buddy Rich by his close friend Mel Torme

The book was very well rounded because it was written by a musician but not FOR musicians
No one disagrees about 2 things
1- He was one of the greatest drummers ever
2- He was humongous JERK
 

zen_drummer

New member
Contact Deborah Gillaspie, she's the curator of the Chicago Jazz Archive at the University of Chicago. She's a drummer and fine music historian and she can absolutely point you in the right direction... and tell her Mike Morgan said hello while you're at it!
 

Gaddabout

New member
I don't know how that book can be mentioned without bringing up the name Zutty Singleton. Some people remember him for popularizing the use of brushes with Louis Armstrong, but Zutty also popularized the drum solo, soloing over the bridge, etc. It was a jazz standard by the time Buddy Rich was a big name, but Rich would not have been nearly as popular without Zutty -- one of the many original New Orleans cats -- pioneering the way.
 

saymon1984

New member
Thanks a lot for help guys!

Rockula! Thank you for your suggestion. I do have this book, however it was an ordeal to import it from US. I'm in the middle of reading it and it will definitely serve as a basic source for my second chapter -> Buddy Rich: 1.) Biography, 2.)His inspirations, 3.) His musical development. Here comes my second request: If you have anything about that, please let me know.

Zen_drummer,
Sounds interesting. I will try to contact Deborah Gillaspie.. I hope she'll find some time to help me in this matter. Huh and I will surely say hello from you! :) Thank you.

Gaddabout - There was Zutty Singleton mentioned in my materials but he didn't seem to me to be so important. Actually, I've found that it was Max Roach who popularized drum solos :/ But I will delve deeper into the history and I will reconsider writing about Zutty too. Thanks!
 

Gaddabout

New member
saymon1984":1mer33tv said:
Gaddabout - There was Zutty Singleton mentioned in my materials but he didn't seem to me to be so important. Actually, I've found that it was Max Roach who popularized drum solos :/ But I will delve deeper into the history and I will reconsider writing about Zutty too. Thanks!
Well, Zutty had already moved to St. Louis to open a club with Louis Armstrong around the time Roach was born, so I think there's some sketchy historical research that's been done by the some of the scholars. I know Zutty's friends -- and just about anyone from New Orleans -- swear by the man's influence.

I will definitely give Roach credit for doing solos set aside from the music. "The Drum Also Waltzes," "Drums Unlimited," and "Big Sid" were revolutionary for recordings in bop, but that was 1965.
 

zen_drummer

New member
Gaddabout":3fbpqv8v said:
Well, Zutty had already moved to St. Louis to open a club with Louis Armstrong around the time Roach was born, so I think there's some sketchy historical research that's been done by the some of the scholars.
Louis Armstrong was barely 16 when Buddy Rich was born. He stayed in New Orleans with the Joe "King" Oliver band as well as gigs on river boats. When Joe Oliver left town to head to Chicago along with a lot of the other New Orleans players in 1919, Armstrong took Oliver's place in Kid Ory's band, regarded as the top jazz band in the city at the time. He didn't head to Chicago until 1922 or 23 when he had been invited by "King" Oliver to join his Creole Jazz Band. Oliver's band was the most influential jazz band in Chicago in the early 1920s. Chicago had displaced New Orleans as being the center of the known jazz universe.

On the other side of the Globe, Zutty Singleton was serving in WWI from roughly 1915-1918. After returning to New Orleans from the war, he worked with a number of well known bands, but not the bands Armstrong was in. When Singleton left New Orleans he went to St. Louis, not Chicago. It would be another several years before he would make the migration to the windy city to play in theater orchestras. It wasn't until roughly 1927 that Singleton finaly joined Louis Armstrongs band. In 1929 Armstrong and Singleton moved to New York City because Harlem was calling...

Buddy Rich was far removed from Zutty Singleton, and Singleton couldn't have been much of an influence on Rich's development as a player in his early years. Buddy Rich was from Brooklyn and playing on stages from the time he was 18 months old (as "traps, the drum wonder") By 1929, When Singleton arrived in New York, Buddy Rich was a band leader (yes, at age 11, if you can imagine that!)

Buddy was more likely influenced by the playing of Chick Webb in his early years, then Gene Krupa and Jo Jones ia bit later. I believe those are the three he has stated as being his influences in various biographical accounts.

This is not to say that Singleton is anything less of a drummer. But to say that Rich would not have been as popular if Singleton hadn't paved the way is probably a little innacurate. Buddy Rich was popular in his own right before Singleton ever set foot in New York. Remember, back then to be popular had nothing to do with record sales, it had to do with attendance at shows! The 78 rpm records of the time would not become popular until the mid to late 20's, then the depression came along.... Record sales were not exactly booming! If you wanted to hear music, you had to go see a show, or learn an instrument yourself!

Now, Ask 100 occupants of the Shady Rest Nursing Home in AnyTown, USA if they heard of Max roach and the most common answer will be no. You might NEVER hear a yes to that question until you ask a musician! Try the same question with the name Krupa or Rich... they will know who these guys are, even if they never played a note in their lives!

Max Roach was always a "Drummers Drummer" We all know about him because we're drummers and truly appreciate his work, but as a popular player, his name was hardly a household word. This is due in part to the popularity of Krupa and Rich. a few short years after the Big Bands took center stage, Rich was touring the world with Harry James, Tommy Dorsey and Les Brown. Krupa was world Famous for his work with Benny Goodman.

Roach was a "combo" drummer, playing small venues with smaller bands. While Krupa and Rich were playing the "popular" music of the time, Roach was playing the less accessable, inapproachable be-bop music with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, and Miles Davis. This music was too cerebral and "heady" to be popular in it's time. Yes, it had its followers, but not like the superstars of the era.

I rambled-on... sorry!
 
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