Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Ox and The Lunatic

I have always loved The Who, (InLink fact when someone asks the lame, 60's, mod or rocker, BS question, "Are you a Beatles fan, or a Rolling Stones fan?" I always give the answer "Neither, I'm a Who fan!" (Believe me I still hear this question from time to time!)) and I have been listening to them a lot recently. John Entwistle is one of my all-time favorite bassists and Keith Moon is one of my all-time favorite drummers, regardless of genre. Together they made one of the most amazing rhythm sections of all time. The only rhythm section I think that offers any similarity, in its scope of dynamic interaction and its ability to bring fresh ideas to a song over and over again, is that of Jimmy Garrison/Elvin Jones from John Coltrane's classic quartet.

A lot of bands play Rolling Stones songs and a lot of people perform Beatles songs, but hardly anyone covers The Who and if so, there are only 3-4 tunes people play. I think a lot of it has to do with th fact that it is a hard band to cover. The songs themselves are easily coverable; however, the way that the drums and bass are usually interacting is really an improvisatory and jazz-like, form of accompaniment. It is not easy to capture the same feel and energy; especially for musicians mostly steeped in rock idioms. I think this is why. There aren't, for the most part, easily graspable parts to learn in the drums or bass. It all feels very spontaneous and in the moment so you can really play what you feel and change it from night to night.

There will never be another rhythm section quite like this one.

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