Drum Extravaganza with Elvin, Max, Art, and Buddy Download
Jul 7, 1974Radio City Music Hall (New York, NY)
Drum Extravaganza with Elvin, Max, Art, and Buddy Download
What Makes Our Downloads Great

Our downloads are all from master recordings owned by Wolfgang's Vault, an archive built from more than a dozen historic collections spanning a wide spectrum of musical genres and legendary performers.

We have painstakingly restored every tape using the highest quality analog-to-digital converters available and the light engineering touch we’ve come to be known for that makes you feel like you were at the show.

All song files are high-quality 320k mp3s, delivered to you in a single zip file. If you haven't used a zip file before, it’s quite simple. On most computers you can just double-click on the zip file to extract it to a folder containing the mp3 song files, which you can then drag into iTunes or whatever library you use.

Total Length:
40:32
Copyright:
© Wolfgang's Vault

Drum Extravaganza with Elvin, Max, Art, and Buddy Download

$5
$5
Download Concert
What Makes Our Downloads Great

Our downloads are all from master recordings owned by Wolfgang's Vault, an archive built from more than a dozen historic collections spanning a wide spectrum of musical genres and legendary performers.

We have painstakingly restored every tape using the highest quality analog-to-digital converters available and the light engineering touch we’ve come to be known for that makes you feel like you were at the show.

All song files are high-quality 320k mp3s, delivered to you in a single zip file. If you haven't used a zip file before, it’s quite simple. On most computers you can just double-click on the zip file to extract it to a folder containing the mp3 song files, which you can then drag into iTunes or whatever library you use.

Sample this concert
  1. 1Introduction by George Wein02:52
  2. 2Drum Summit36:34
  3. 3Announcements By George Wein01:06
Item Number:
  • 20020540-51470-AD
Date:
  • Jul 7, 1974
Venue:
Sample this concert
  1. 1Introduction by George Wein02:52
  2. 2Drum Summit36:34
  3. 3Announcements By George Wein01:06
Total Length:
40:32
Copyright:
© Wolfgang's Vault

Liner Notes

Elvin Jones - drums; Art Blakey - drums; Max Roach - drums; Buddy Rich - drums

As part of a big Radio City Music Hall show on July 7, during the 1974 Newport Jazz Festival, impresario George Wein assembled four of the greatest drummers in jazz for a drum extravaganza. And as he prefaced before the proceedings began, "This is not a war or a battle; it's four great artists playing together."

Essentially borrowing an idea pioneered by the Gretsch drum company for its regular "Gretsch Nights" at Birdland back in 1960, this historic encounter features four legendary drummers - each an individual stylist and respected bandleader in his own right - exploring to the fullest extent the rhythmic and melodic possibilities of their respective kits.

The pure polyrhythmic nature of the first soloist, who holds to a swinging ride cymbal pulse while deftly traversing his tom toms and snare with explosive aplomb, indicates Art Blakey. Next up is Elvin Jones, whose looser approach to the beat, along with some of his African-influenced polyrhythms on the kit, is instantly revealing. Following a distinct break of applause, we hear remarkably rapid hands on the kit with impeccably clean technique and a few bebop references thrown in, along with some incredibly slick rolls on the snare, all of which suggest Buddy Rich. The well-executed nature of Rich's solo, in which he sounds like he's emulating a well-choreographed routine by a virtuosic tap dancer like Fred Astaire, is a dead give-away, as is his ability to play nonchalantly through in double-time phrases. And he builds to a show-stopping crescendo in classic Buddy Rich big band fashion. Next up is the very skillful drummer-conceptualist-bandleader Max Roach, who begins in a more understated manner, making references to his famous "The Drum Also Waltzes" solo from his landmark 1966 release, Drums Unlimited. The opening bass drum ostinato figure and slick hi-hat work, along with the African influenced melodic tendencies on the kit (which he explored in greater depth with the seven-piece percussion ensemble he formed in 1970 called M'Boom) are Roach signatures.

The four drumming greats continue in that order - Blakey, Jones, Rich, Roach - making impressive, personal statements on the kit and revealing themselves along the way by their signatures (Blakey's sheer drive and African polyrhythms, Jones' loose-limbed whirlwind traversing of the kit, Rich's uncannily swift hands and 'mop-mop' bebop references, and Roach's sizzling hi-hat work and creative ways of cutting up the beat). They all converge on a massive four-drum crescendo to take this drum summit out in high-flying fashion.

There are plenty of sparks here over the course of 36 minutes. Drummers and all fans of outrageously brilliant drumming are highly encouraged to check out this thrilling skins summit from Radio City Music Hall, circa 1974… And pick your own favorites. (Milkowski)

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