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Old 06-09-2008, 05:03 AM   #1
djfazz
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Comments on Old Double Bass Video

I'm not a drummer. But I love hot muso's.
Just curious what everyone thought about the '86 Double Bass solo.
How does it stack up being 22 years old?
How much has Virgil improved?
Is that old playing still difficult to emulate today?
Interested in your thoughts.

Thanks
Fazz
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:04 AM   #2
Matthias
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Which solo is that?
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"After all these years of playing, I still feel like I've barely scratched the surface!" Virgil Donati
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:24 AM   #3
djfazz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias
Which solo is that?


The clip from a couple of threads back "Old Video Request"
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:43 AM   #4
cjcdrums
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djfazz
I'm not a drummer. But I love hot muso's.
Just curious what everyone thought about the '86 Double Bass solo.
How does it stack up being 22 years old?
How much has Virgil improved?
Is that old playing still difficult to emulate today?
Interested in your thoughts.

Thanks
Fazz


My 2 cents:

He's playing some difficult things in that video. Pretty tough stuff with the bass drum, some pretty intricate snare stuff too.

What gives it away most to me is the quality of his playing. Notice how smooth and relaxed and dynamically perfect everything is. Even if he was playing the simplest stuff possible (which he's not), quality is always a big indicator of "actual" skill.

No doubt Virgil has improved hugely since this video, but the foundations were in place when this video was shot. He must have spent a lot of time practicing up to this point.

For a 22 year old, especially back then, I'd say he was a freak.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:32 PM   #5
frank
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My only comments so far, and I haven't been able to watch very closely due to work/time:

Virgil was not 22 if it was shot in '86.

Because if so, currently he should be 44... I think he's 49 of 50 now.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:17 PM   #6
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Dude the video is 22 years old. Not Virgil.

I assume the video was done in 1986 because this is what you guys were looking for in your Old, Old, Video Thread.

Fazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank
My only comments so far, and I haven't been able to watch very closely due to work/time:

Virgil was not 22 if it was shot in '86.

Because if so, currently he should be 44... I think he's 49 of 50 now.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:47 PM   #7
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So he was 27 or 28?

In any case, Virgil back in 86 was good for ANY age. Now he's beyond description...
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djfazz
Dude the video is 22 years old. Not Virgil.

I assume the video was done in 1986 because this is what you guys were looking for in your Old, Old, Video Thread.

Fazz


Thought so when I posted this reply.
Oh well, we've got that clear now anyway.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:11 PM   #9
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So I've just watched those videos. Awesome stuff. Love that tune, what's it called? Never heard that one before!

The solo was - like someone said on the youtube comment section - a bit boring, but still very cool. I can't believe how Virgil has progressed over the years. When you watch videos of him from certain era's, it's just scary to see how much his practice is paying off. Also, with the solo, I can hear certain aspects of his drumming that keep coming back to him, like the rlrlr lrlrl rlrlr lrlrl bass riff, and the Space Martini kind of groove. The term "boring" is only relative for Virgil because he's SO much better these days, but what he's doing there at some points is still awesome. The speed doesn't matter, but the independence is there already. His genius ideas and brilliant mind really show through, as always.

Thanks again and again for sharing all of these ancient Virg videos Fazz!
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:25 PM   #10
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Also I'd like to add and I hope you don't mind, I've saved all of your uploaded video files to my hard drive. I just HAVE to save these gems in case anything ever happens!
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:31 PM   #11
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No Problems Frank happy to share.
I'm still waiting on that kidney though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank
Also I'd like to add and I hope you don't mind, I've saved all of your uploaded video files to my hard drive. I just HAVE to save these gems in case anything ever happens!
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:41 PM   #12
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Haha, please feel free to come and get it personally. You can even cut it out yourself. Heck, you don't even have to wash your hands before doing so. I can die a happy man!
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:17 AM   #13
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Well, having followed Virgil's career fairly closely since I caught on to him in 1990 I feel this thread warrants a detailed discussion.

You have to understand that Virgil was way, way ahead of his time. He was pushing his own boundary's. We all knew about Virgil down here in Australia, the rest of the world had not caught on yet. The main guys in that day were guys like Simon Phillips, Dave Weckl, and power drumming had lets say Dean Castronovo. Virgil was light years ahead of these guys. You should have heard his style in the early to mid eighty's he was a monster jazz fusion groove head. Man loose change, later called 'changes', in that band his playing was so light and tasteful, I mean really tasteful, completely different to his power drumming in the 90's. Back then he (in my opinion) completely destroyed guys like Weckl.

Anyway, so Virgil was basically forging new ground with each year he played IMO. The states drummers (at the time) for me just kind of flew into the background once I got a taste of Virgil.

I remember before he broke out big time (for a pro drummer) in America he was playing heaps of gigs around Melbourne with his fusion band On the Virge in around 1992 - 1993. His playing then was the best ever. That was when he was still at home, he was practicing a lot still (it gets hard to keep adding new dimensions to your playing when you are always in demand and touring etc.), and he was just ridiculous.

A lot of people see the power drumming and the big solo's and they just don't see how much depth there is to this guy, I mean, the mind boggles.

Anyway once he became known overseas all of a sudden everyone started ripping him off. I mean Mangini, Thomas Lang, all those super players ripped off Virgil shockingly. Thomas and indeed Mangini have gone on (Particularly Thomas) to develop there ostinato and independence techniques in a whole different style. But a lot of their signature licks came from Virgil.

Virgil was the first to play that RF-RH-LF-LH fast linear pattern decades ago. He was doing all that **** aeon's ago. Now it is a hallmark of the end of every single one of Mangini's solos. And not to mention Langs (on a side note, sometimes I wish those guys would get some new licks).

Virgil was the first to set up complex double bass ostinatos and then free form patterns with the hands over the top. Of course some jazz masters had this in some form earlier but not at the level (modern level) that Virgil introduced it at.

Virgil really blew everyone way in the drumming world when he came out around 1996-97, suddenly everything changed. So many guys focused on technique all the more, everyone rushed to get the power drumming chops, which I found amusing because there is so much more to Virgil, phrasing, dynamic, a masterful drumming 'brain' not just technique.

Anyway, for me Virgil has always been a true 'Master' not just a master at imitation. The only person setting the bar for him back then, was himself.

Julian

P.S. Just wanted to add a little side note about Lang. I have come to the conclusion that he is one of only a handful of drummers (Mangini, Grant Collins, of course Virgil and maybe a few more) that are performing 'true' independance. In this I mean their ability to set up a complex foot pattern or foot and hand pattern and have complete freedom with the other limbs to play whatever pattern they can improvise or solo with and not affect the ostinato.

I see so many you tube videos of guys claiming independence when they are just playing a different but repeating pattern with each limb. Anyone can memorize a sequence of events. Not everyone can get to the level of those guys. Thomas Lang amazes me.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:28 AM   #14
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Great post Julian.

I love, love, love Virgil's phrasing with double bass, I have ripped him off completely I freely admit. I guess the thing is, after you've ripped it off, how will you make it your own? How do you contribute something original once you've got the tools to work with (that you've stolen from someone else)...

Really how can anyone NOT rip off such a visionary when one hits the scene, you would be left behind the curve if you didn't. Music is not a competition blah blah blah... well I think those at the top would secretly disagree. And when a guy like Virgil comes along, to stay relevant you must adapt or become obsolete and forgotten.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:59 AM   #15
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Great post Julian! You are right people REALLY do not understand that this Man was one of the TRUE Pioneers not just an amazing drummer. He cut the swathe, broke the ground whatever one wants to call it. That is why even back in the early 90's guy's like Simon, Dave and even Vinnie were remarking about "The Monster" drummer down in Australia who was doing things that most would of never thought of. And yes people vastly overlook his phrasing and dynamics when playing in a band context. he has always been much more then a monster technician but a truly complete drummer for many years.

Even Thomas has admitted that Virg is the one who paved the way for the likes of him and others to walk on that path. I did not get my taste of Virg till 1995 but I have researched his work before that and he was doing amazing work many years before that, the rest of the drumming world really had no idea though. There is no Mangini, Lang, Marco and others who are inspired to push themselves beyond without Virg. It was Dennis Chambers back in the mid to late eighties who said Virg was the one guy who had and was and would do more to revolutionize drumming and turn the drumming world upside down then any other guy playing. He said he would do what both Billy Cobham and Vinnie did as far as cutting a new path for others to follow when they first set the drumming world ablaze. Sad thing is he was doing long before most understood it.
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