Friday, July 29, 2016

Transcription: James Black - Hook And Sling, pt. 2

This is something very special— it's probably classical music to anyone well versed in New Orleans music, and anyone in the sampling world, but I only heard it for the first time recently: James Black playing Hook And Sling, by Eddie Bo. It's an extended funk jam taking up both sides of a 45 rpm single, and the drumming on it is something else— very much in the Zigaboo Modeliste zone, and roughly contemporaneous with the early Meters stuff we know and love, though Black was a little older.

The record is one continuous recorded track split in two, and they chose a very strange spot to split it— take a look at the first measure. There's quite a bit of wiggle room in the hihat and cymbal parts; someone's playing some tambourine, and it obscures it to some extent. There's also a good amount of half-open hihat, and the cymbals in general are pretty rough sounding and not always easy to pick out or notate accurately. Do take some care where there's something linear happening with the hihats, but in general, the cymbals can be a suggestion— focus on the drum parts. The accents, too, are not critically important: all of the parts of the instrument are played pretty strongly all the time. You'd be more true to the original if you played everything the same volume than if you exaggerated the accents. The rolls and ruffs are played very closed; he really digs into the drum for them. Play the 32nd notes as singles.

As always with the transcriptions, if nothing else, give the track many listens through while following along on the page.

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David Hurd said...

On a New Orleans Roll--Please keep it up! 'Would love to see the Dr. John Gumbo record done up like you did Still Bill! Thanks so much for all the inspiration! -David Hurd

greg said...

You are mistaken about some things. First James Black was an original and had nothing to do Zigaboo one my favorite drummers,more like the other way around. His conception is partly informed by the fact that he was a mutant of a jazz drummer near the level of Elvin Jones,his conceptions of polyrhythms was very advanced ,listeners pay attention to the first 5 bars of the introduction check out the note groupings. There is nothing sloppy about what he is doing. If you heard him live you would know he was an excellent musician bit eccentric but very precise. He had read quite a bit of hook and sling. The approach to the hi hat accents are normal for him. You cannot tell of the record but he went for a balanced sound between toms,snare and cymbals listen to Syndrome with Ellis Marsalis. he was also a very good composer.

Todd Bishop said...

Thanks for the comment Greg-- I welcome the correction, and the additional info about Mr. Black. He's obviously a very special player and I wish he was recorded more!