Last month Swiss drummer/producer Julian Sartorius dropped Beat Diary, a collection of 365 daily beats and organic drums. We’ve decided to compile a selection together with the beat maestro to give full praise to drummers. Why? Because existing drums and insane breaks are base ingredients for countless hip hop bangers.
Sartorius selects his 12 favorite drummers (in no particular order) for this first installment of The Find’s Give The Drummer Some. This selection includes many jazz drummers, progressive styles, and hip hop sampling by the likes of DJ Premier, Cut Chemist, Jungle Brothers, Madlib, Unkle, Buckwild and more.
1. Milford Graves
Milford Graves is a jazz drummer and percussionist. He’s known for skillfully including Asian and African rhythmic ingredients into his solos, which can be attributed to his background and intensive studies of Indian music and other world influences. His free jazz and avant-garde drumming in the 60s was influential together with drummers as Andrew Cyrille and Rashied Ali. He’s worked with the likes of pianist Don Pullen, free jazz giant Albert Ayler, and controversial jazz musician Sun Ra.
2. Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste (of The Meters)
Hailing from New Orleans, Ziggy Modeliste alias Zigaboo is known as one of the founding fathers of funk group The Meters. Next to that he’s a true style innovator of second-line funk. His drums are sampled for hip hop tunes like Del’s “Same Ol’ Thing”, “Take A Rest” by Gang Starr, “The Phuncky Feel One” by Cypress Hill, “I’m Gonna Do You” by Jungle Brothers, and many many more.
3. Elvin Jones
As part of the John Coltrane Quartet in the early 60s, Elvin Jones merged hard bop and avant-garde jazz drumming. His love and passion for drums were such that even in the face of his health problems he continued to mount the drum stand, occasionally accompanied by an oxygen tank. Now that’s dedication and a love for music. Remember Unkle’s debut album Psyence Fiction on Mo’Wax back in 1998? The drums by Jones and the alt sax by Sonny Simmons of the track “Half And Half” are sampled on that record.
4. Tony Williams
Tony Williams’ album Emergency! from 1969 can be considered a classic now, even though there was some aversion amongst jazz listeners back then because of the heavy rock influences. Williams’ style with the Miles Davis Quintent in the mid-to-late 60s was influential to say the least, and the complete jazz resume of the loud drummer is without a doubt worthy of him being called a jazz legend. Just like Buckwild sampling “Wildlife” by The Tony Williams Lifetime, we ‘miss those days‘.