true gripes; jazz drummers

Share
Related Topics
I've always thought that jazz music is dead boring, but it wasn't until the other night that I realised why. I was sitting in a pub with my friend Tony, and over in the corner there was a jazz band working its way through the usual repertoire. I could see that Tony was getting agitated about something. Suddenly he got up and strode over to the drummer, shouting: "Hit the bloody things!'' The band stopped playing, and after a brief discussion took the usual jazzers' way out by "taking a break for a few minutes". We left shortly afterwards.

Tony had a point though. This drummer had been scraping his drumkit with a pair of brushes all night and hadn't even touched his sticks. Most jazz drummers seem to be like this. It is as if they are afraid of making too much noise. It would be better if they did, just so they could drown out the tuneless saxophones.

I know jazz is supposed to be all mellow and moody. That's why they only have a tune at the beginning and end of each number: the middle is left to look after itself. Meanwhile the drummer rattles along in the background. The only way you can tell what part of a song they are at is to look at the musicians' beer glasses. If they are almost empty you can guarantee the "tune" will soon be at an end.

I've only ever seen one jazz drummer who laid into his kit with any commitment and that was the Action 'Ardnut Tommy Chase. He played around London quite a bit a few years ago, and would bash his way through an entire set, while regularly falling out with his band, the management and half the audience, too. They just couldn't get used to his aggression.

Tommy was the honourable exception who proved the rule: jazz is boring because they don't hit the drums hard enough. That's why rock'n'roll is better. OK, so some heavy metal drummer from Birmingham might not have the supple wrists of the jazz "greats", but at least you can hear him. And he doesn't just drink a few pints of real ale during the "jazz evening". He has beer, in cans, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea. Not to mention the drugs. And the wrecked hotels. Which is why the world was a better place when Keith Moon, John Bonham and Ginger Baker were still alive. Oops, sorry Ginger.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - SThree Group - Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: SThree Group has been...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Computer Futures

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - SThree - £18k Starting Salary

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: SThree Group has been...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Reeva Steenkamp is  

Since Reeva Steenkamp's death, 243 women have been killed by male violence in the UK alone

Sian Norris
Actor Brad Pitt  

The over-50s have the real voting and spending power — so why are we so obsessed with youth?

Stefano Hatfield
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London