Tiger Bill Reviews

Legends of Jazz Drumming DVD

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This DVD covers the legends of jazz drumming from the pre-1920s through the 1970s with still photos and rare film clips. Let's check it out.

Drum Legends

Some of the jazz legends like Baby Dodds, Ben Pollack, and George Wettling, are only covered in words and still photos but many of the key drummers are shown in video clips that give you a good idea of their groove capabilities and, in some cases, solo work as well.

The Legends of Jazz Drumming DVD, whose material was originally contained on two VHS tapes, consists of two major sections. Louie Bellson supplies the narration throughout with additional commentary by Roy Haynes and Jack DeJohnette.


Part One: Video highlights covering the years 1920 through 1950:


Part Two: Video highlights covering the years 1950 through 1970:

Bonus Material
The DVD-ROM features include half a dozen drum charts in PDF format of various performances contained on the DVD featuring Gene Krupa, Shelly Manne, Max Roach, and others.

Also included are clips of drummers playing in various musical situations taken from motion pictures and dedicated music performances. Featured drummers are Shadow Wilson (1943), Big Sid Catlett (1947), Don Lamond (1948), Ray Baudac (1951), Shelly Manne (1958), Sonny Payne (1964), and Max Roach (1982).


Legends of Jazz Drumming: The Bottom Line
As you might imagine, any attempt to cover the entire history of jazz drumming is a daunting task to say the least and it just isn't possible to include everyone. Those drummers who made significant contributions to jazz but could not be included in video clips are listed in the concluding chapter of the DVD. The legendary drummers who are included are represented quite well through various video clips covering their performances. The one slight downside is that the length of some of these clips are quite brief leaving me with the feeling that I sometimes wanted more.

That said, I highly recommend this DVD. I feel it belongs in every serious drummer's collection, regardless of style, as it does a fine job of covering the most famous drummers in the history of the original American art form we call Jazz!

Credits: Produced by Paul Siegel and Rob Wallis, written by Associate Producer Bruce H. Klauber, and Executive Producer is Sandy Feldstein.

While this DVD, from Alfred Publishing, is easily worth its retail price of $39.95, it can be purchased at a discount at:


If you're a fan of classic jazz drumming, be sure to check out the other DVDs available - listed at the top of the right hand sidebar on this page.

Until next time: Stay loose.

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