Top 12: Give The Drummer Some

Top 12: Give The Drummer Some

We’ve decided to compile a selection together with drummer/beat maestro Julian Sartorius to give full praise to drummers. This selection includes many jazz drummers and insane breaks sampled by hip hop artists like DJ Premier, Cut Chemist, Jungle Brothers, Madlib, Unkle, Buckwild and more.

5. John “Drumbo” French (of Captain Beefheart)

John “Drumbo” French played on the surreal psychedelic/fusion album Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart back in 1969. The influential record was produced by Frank Zappa, who was a schoolmate of Captain Beefheart alias Don van Vliet. We can’t think of any remarkable hip hop sampling of French’ avant-garde free jazz drumming on Trout Mask Replica. Producers and diggers: consider this a challenge.

6. Joey Baron

Joey Baron was heavily inspired by jazz, rock and TV theme tunes from his youth. He has played with classic greats such as Art Pepper as well as with avant-garde musicians of the 80s and 90s like saxophone player Tim Berne and multi-instrumentalist John Zorn.

7. Billy Martin

As a member of experimental jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Wood, Billy Martin is one of the most innovative, progressive and forward-thinking drummers out there. Edgy hyper-melodic drumming that even explores genres as hip hop, electronica and African music. The reverb-rich track “Crustaceatron” by him and jazz keyboard player John Medeski would work perfectly as backdrop for an emcee to rap over. With that said, it’s a surprise that the Medeski, Martin & Wood collective didn’t really collaborate with emcees or hip hop producers yet. Madlib Quasimoto beat ’em to it by sampling MM&W on “Dinosaur Brain Beat”.

8. Jim Keltner

Jim Keltner, “the leading session drummer of America”, started drumming after being inspired by jazz, but eventually moved forward to collaborate with members of The Beatles (John Lennon, George Harrison & Ringo Starr), Roy Orbison, Steely Dan, Joe Kocker, Alice Cooper, The Bee Gees, and many more, with also an appearance on the Trespass soundtrack with Ice-T and guitarist Ry Cooder.

Just an ordinary guy always on the hunt for extraordinary music. Not just as the founder of The Find Magazine & Rucksack Records, but also as a freelance music journalist (bylines at Tracklib, Bandcamp, Wax Poetics, DIG Mag, among others) and—above all—out of love for all kinds of good music.