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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:05 pm 
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Now here's a question that I have been wondering about.

While FZ' compositions are notable for heavy emphasis on percussion, even featuring trademark fills that are obligatory to such tunes as "Peaches" and "Montana", and there are even drums-based compositions like the "Black Page" and so on, I'm kind of wondering, did FZ really write all the drum parts out for all the songs he had? Or did his drummers have enough room to be free agents here and there on some of the songs? Art Tripp has said in one of his interviews that all of the Mothers drum patterns he played were improvised, except for chamber music a la "Some Ballet Music" or "Piano/Drum Duet". So he was pretty much a free agent, except where he really had to sight-read. But what about later drummers like Chester Thompson and Chad Wackerman? Did FZ lay out the drumming patterns for them to follow for each tune or were they as free to inject their own drumming personality into the mix as was Art Tripp or Aynsley Dunbar (he definitely seemed like a free agent, except for the stuff like "Eat That Question" coda where had to play what was written on the charts).

I know it sounds like a stupid question, but it really interests me whether or not FZ controlled all the drumming, as FZ pretty much was a percussion-oriented composer.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:29 pm 
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I'm surprised you posted this on the FAQ board.

I think the short answer is both - written and improvised. I think you already know that FZ composed FOR his performers. He would write what the musician could handle. So, I'd assume that the better readers received more written parts.

The hard part is that the charts are, for the most part, withheld from the public by the ZFT, so unless a bandmember blabs we may never know.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:27 pm 
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I bet it varied a lot. On more rock oriented songs, he probably turned to the drummer and said, ok this needs a 12/8 feel, but I want you to play just behind the beat here and move to the floor tom here and play a little quick thing right after Ike sings those 3 little words....... And then he would sort of shape the drum part, but not actually write it out note for note.

He probably wrote out things like the intro to Peaches or that famous Montana fill, or at least showed it to the drummer himself (being a drummer) at a slower tempo or something like that.

You can usually feel something that's written out; it 's got that FZ thing goin' on.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:53 pm 
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if frank did not like the dummer he get another and chuck the last one on a fire :?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:00 am 
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The head of "Big Swifty" is of course curiously difficult (well, i've figured out how to play this one on guitar, so maybe not that difficult), but as i've listened to so many versions of this tune, officially released and bootlegged, it's obvious that each drummer who ever played this one, played it in a different style, in a rather different way. Aynsley Dunbar, Jim Gordon, Ralph Humphrey, Chester Thompson, Chad Wackerman all played this tune differently. So i figure that all FZ ever required from these drummers to play that kind of tune (and others too), was that they figure out the feel of the song and then play according to the feel.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:25 pm 
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im sure it was diffrent for some songs as well. I have the feel mo n' herbs from 78 was note for note, or the black page. or even things like Peaches, more generally orchestrated songs.

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