Monday, April 01, 2019

Transcription: Charli Persip comping

There are a few drummers who I really, really love despite having not heard them on that many records. I have a relatively few albums I listen to all the time, and some people are just underrepresented. Charli Persip is one. He's on a ton of stuff, just mostly not the records I listen to— with a few notable exceptions. But he's basically the perfect high bebop drummer, with a perfect balance of intelligence, groove, assertiveness, hipness and taste.

This is him playing behind Curtis Fuller's solo on Fuss Budget, from Fuller's album Two Bones. It's super hip, economical, modern bebop drumming— somewhat like Roy Haynes, but less flamboyant. The transcription starts at 0:43, at the beginning of the solos:

A bebop groove, with the repeating cymbal rhythm, can begin to feel somewhat static if the comping is too predictable— and this a good example of not-that. He's mostly comping in single notes, but they're not always in the same place in the measure; some of what he's doing suggests 3/4 within 4/4 (like in the first four bars) but he's not obvious about that either. He picks his spots for the more assertive punctuations.

Here he plays his cymbal beat with all the notes basically at an even volume. It's an interpretation I associate with Billy Higgins, but where Higgins has a very relaxed vibe, Persip is emphatic and grooving. He's got quite pocket with it— it's worth listening all the way through just focusing on the cymbal.

He is feathering the bass drum for much of this, but I've only notated it in a couple of spots where he plays it pretty strongly, and it sets up something different.

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Note: the album cover in the video credits Al Harewood on drums, but that was a mistake. Persip is credited for this track on the Blue Note box set. And it sounds like Persip. 

1 comment:

Michael Griener said...

Persip is the man!
Do you know his book "How not to play drum"?
Inspiring, all the right information in one place!
He's still around, get in touch as long as he's there.