X©entric Records and Gilson Lavis




Pity the poor drummer. The butt of most jokes in any combo, he or she is also probably the most crucial member of any rock and roll band. What would The Who's "My Generation", "Substitute" or "Won't Get Fooled Again" have been without Keith Moon's incendiary work behind the kit? Then there's The Beatles and The Stones - Ringo is always cited as the least musically gifted of the Fab Four, but his incredibly simple but effective drums on "Ticket To Ride", for example, makes the song. Similarly, "Honky Tonk Women" contains one of the finest-ever rhythm bases, Charlie Watts being a master of the "less is more" approach to rattling the traps. Then there's the great jazz players, such as the hard-hitting Buddy Rich and the cool, spacey Philly Joe Jones, both masters of a much-maligned art. Let us not forget also that such greats as Marvin Gaye and Phil Collins started off their musical careers on the drum stool. Respect is due.

Which brings us to "Drumbaba", a collection of tracks dedicated to the drums, pure and simple. Gilson Lavis is a seasoned pro drummer, a positive Rock & Roll veteran of countless sessions, and many years playing for Squeeze and polyrhythmic mainstay of the Jools Holland Big Band. Steve White is Paul Weller's drummer of choice, but has sat in with the James Taylor Quartet in his time, and is one of the finest of the current crop of British drummers. Simon Difford, a name maybe new to most fans of stickspersons, is nonetheless a fine player, a fact borne out by his magisterial playing on this project, and sure to enter the pantheon of exciting new drummers. 

Included on this album is "The Full Nelson", Gilson and Steve's tribute to Sandy Nelson, the famous one-legged drummer of the early 60's. Nelson not only took "Let There Be Drums" into the pop charts, but also composed a track entitled "The History Of The World", condensing the story of mankind into a mere eight minutes, ending in an atomic explosion. There's also Steve's charming tribute to his son, "Samba For Curtis", and Simon's "Platform One", composed whilst waiting for a train to arrive, prosaically enough. For a project devoted to drumming, there is much variation in mood and tone, and the contrast in playing styles and rhythmic approach is something to savour. 

"Drumbaba" is, therefore a rich cake made with love and a whole lotta soul. Make sure you sample it regularly. 

Drumbaba Purchase Info

Available now exclusively form X©entric Records by sending a cheque or postal order for £12 made payable to S.Maidment, to X©entric Records, 5 Carlton Court, 65 Studley Grange Road, Hanwell, London, England W7 2LU, Phone 0468 582018 email: Steve@xcessmedia.demon.co.uk. Please allow 28 days for delivery.

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