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Drumminʼ MenThe Heartbeat of Jazz The Swing Years$
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Burt Korall

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195157628

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157628.001.0001

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Chick Webb (1907–1939)

Chick Webb (1907–1939)

(p.7) Chick Webb (1907–1939)
Drumminʼ Men

Chick Webb

Oxford University Press

Chick Webb turned things upside down in the Depression-ridden 1930s. He was the guy everyone went to hear and to watch. A truly dramatic figure, he deeply influenced musicians and excited fans. Opening the door to a new place in drumming, he made use of previously undiscovered or disregarded techniques, bringing into focus ways and means to make the instrument a telling source of strength and graphic comment. He redefined ideas concerning rhythm and syncopation. He brought rudimentary/military drumming into a highly compatible relationship with straight-ahead, swinging jazz. With the help of his great instincts, he made playing with a big band a craft filled with artful subtleties. Calling on his unusual facility, and combining it with a super talent, Webb moved jazz drumming along as no one had before him. He created an entirely new view of what drums were all about in a jazz context.

Keywords:   Chick Webb, jazz drumming, Little Chick, Ella Fitzgerald, Decca

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