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Hi from Greece

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1 Hi from Greece on Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm

Hello everyone,

I've been a Billy Cobham fan for a long time (Spectrum and his performance in Athens sometime in the early 80's were two of the main reasons I started playing drums), and was a member of the old BC forum before the hack. Just found this site and was glad that there's a new (at least to me) forum. I even remembered a few members' names from the old forum.

I thought that posting my take on Stratus from Conundrum, would be as good an introduction as any. It's by no means perfect and I had to solo too! Let me know what you think.
Stratus

Glad I am back.

Cheers,
Harris / Greece

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2 Re: Hi from Greece on Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:47 pm

Hi Harris,

We're glad you're back too. Welcome aboard. And what a nice way to re-introduce yourself.

You did a very nice job with Stratus. Nice sound on the drums [were they e-drums ? ] . You kept the time well thruout except the section right before the solo where it seemed you started to run out of gas. But you picked it back up by the time your solo started.

Keep it up. we'd like to hear more !


Adio ! Peace, TED

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3 Re: Hi from Greece on Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:48 pm

Embarassed



Last edited by Ted E. Bear on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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4 Re: Hi from Greece on Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:01 pm

Ted, thanks for the nice comments! You're right, my right hand 16th-note pulse is far from fluid and effortless, but I am working on it.

The kit is an early 70's 13/16/22 Ludwig with either a 5x14 Supraphonic or a Pearl 5x13 O. Hakim signature snare (can't remember for sure, but by it's sound I'd guess it's the Pearl). It was recorded through a single SM57 straight to the onboard sound card of my laptop.

It really took some nerve to post a recording of me playing, considering the level of some of the players here (e.g. John Sussewell among others), but what's a recording worth if nobody else listens to it, and any feedback will be valuable.

Thanks again for the warm welcome!


Harris/Greece

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5 Re: Hi from Greece on Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:05 am

Hey, Harris,

Nice job on Stratus... Billy would be proud. cheers

Don.

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6 Re: Hi from Greece on Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:48 pm

Don, thanks!

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7 Re: Hi from Greece on Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:56 am

Very cool, Harris. I love hearing
people do this Billy stuff. It is really
a great experience, searching for
ourselves in the music and then
the music in ourselves.

Billy gave us a great chance.

Great mix.

On the 16th's, I don't think I
would be off the mark in sug-
gesting not to feel obligated
to play all of them. There are
different sections in this tune
and they could be treated
differently. Don't sweat it.

I liked it. Thanks for posting it
and I dug those flams.

jocolor

Regards,


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8 Re: Hi from Greece on Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:15 pm

Harris K. wrote:Hello everyone,

I've been a Billy Cobham fan for a long time (Spectrum and his performance in Athens sometime in the early 80's were two of the main reasons I started playing drums), and was a member of the old BC forum before the hack. Just found this site and was glad that there's a new (at least to me) forum. I even remembered a few members' names from the old forum.

I thought that posting my take on Stratus from Conundrum, would be as good an introduction as any. It's by no means perfect and I had to solo too! Let me know what you think.
Stratus

Glad I am back.

Cheers,
Harris / Greece

Welcome back... glad you found us in cyberspace while cookin' with Greece! LOL!

[sorry, that's an American southern expression meaning coming with the Food and not meant to season what your cuisine is all about!]

I enjoyed hearing your rendition of Stratus. Is there more?

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9 Re: Hi from Greece on Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:19 pm

Pete, Suss, thanks. You are too kind!

Pete, yes Conundrum must be one of the best (if not the best) drum play-alongs there are. A trully unique concept.
Concerning the 16ths, I tried to hold back a little during the sax solo - where it's needed anyway - and play a more broken pattern. I am working more on the Moeller technique lately, and hope I'll see some improvement.

Suss, there are some more, including Red Baron, and I am still "fighting" with Torpedo Flow.
I'll post the ones I am least embarrassed about one of these days. Wink

Thanks again,
Harris

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10 Re: Hi from Greece on Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:46 pm

Harris K. wrote:Pete, Suss, thanks. You are too kind!

Pete, yes Conundrum must be one of the best (if not the best) drum play-alongs there are. A trully unique concept.
Concerning the 16ths, I tried to hold back a little during the sax solo - where it's needed anyway - and play a more broken pattern. I am working more on the Moeller technique lately, and hope I'll see some improvement.

Suss, there are some more, including Red Baron, and I am still "fighting" with Torpedo Flow.
I'll post the ones I am least embarrassed about one of these days. Wink

Thanks again,
Harris

Hey Harris... don't fight Torpedo Flow. The melodic and rhytmic possibilities are too vast to do act as if you are the target in this tune instead of the source. I can't speak for Billy as the composer, but when I did this tune (archived in Suss's Soundscapes), I was armed right after coming out of the chute. Embarrasment will only encumber your progress... with all due respect to where ever you see yourself at.

Be encouraged man... and let go. You'll discover where the weaknesses are yourself before even posting anything. That attitude is where the improvement comes.

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11 Re: Hi from Greece on Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:56 pm

Suss, you are right on both counts. TF is a multi-layered piece that can be interpreted in many different ways - although "different" probably isn't the right word - that one can get lost trying to find the ultimate approach. It's not the tune that I am actually "fighting" against, but my own technical restrictions, which I need to overcome in order to play my interpretation of it. It may take some time but I'll get there.

And yes, embarrassment has no place when playing music, unless you use it creatively, as a means for improvement. That's why I'll post another one (which I am not that embarrassed about; still playing safe… Wink ) :

Red Baron

Two comments about this one… First, I cheated a little… It was recorded with a friend's electronic kit about a year ago, and I did some quantizing afterwards to correct a couple of tempo fluctuations. I should have listened to the if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it voice in my head, because it was ok in its original form, and the editing made it sound too mechanical, but now it's done. I have somewhere my first attempt to record the tune with an acoustic kit. I'll post that one too if I find it.

Second, my approach on this was greatly influenced by Suss' version - which I had in my hard drive since the old BC forum - mainly regarding the "Purdie" shuffle, which I kept almost throughout the tune. Thank you Suss for (unknowingly) letting me steal some of your ideas (BTW, I plan to do the same with your version of Torpedo… Very Happy ).

OK, I talked too much already...

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12 Re: Hi from Greece on Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:33 pm

Oh, sweetness!!

What I dig the most is
that kick of yours!

You be the man!

cheers

PS: Listening to this -
it is almost like the
arrangements are new
to me and not like I
remember. It just goes
to show how long it
has been and I think
I have changed. I am
getting old.

farao

PSS: It's a season of
change for me, as
the drums go. I have
been working on riding
and bouncing my stick
on the cymbal. It has
really affected me.

rendeer


_________________
Pete

To the father of us, all - Billy Cobham!
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13 Re: Hi from Greece on Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:19 am

Harris K. wrote:Suss, you are right on both counts. TF is a multi-layered piece that can be interpreted in many different ways - although "different" probably isn't the right word - that one can get lost trying to find the ultimate approach. It's not the tune that I am actually "fighting" against, but my own technical restrictions, which I need to overcome in order to play my interpretation of it. It may take some time but I'll get there.

And yes, embarrassment has no place when playing music, unless you use it creatively, as a means for improvement. That's why I'll post another one (which I am not that embarrassed about; still playing safe… Wink ) :

Red Baron

Two comments about this one… First, I cheated a little… It was recorded with a friend's electronic kit about a year ago, and I did some quantizing afterwards to correct a couple of tempo fluctuations. I should have listened to the if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it voice in my head, because it was ok in its original form, and the editing made it sound too mechanical, but now it's done. I have somewhere my first attempt to record the tune with an acoustic kit. I'll post that one too if I find it.

Second, my approach on this was greatly influenced by Suss' version - which I had in my hard drive since the old BC forum - mainly regarding the "Purdie" shuffle, which I kept almost throughout the tune. Thank you Suss for (unknowingly) letting me steal some of your ideas (BTW, I plan to do the same with your version of Torpedo… Very Happy ).

OK, I talked too much already...

Oh Wow! Sweetness? Sure! But you Harris took it to another level altogether! It's nice to think that you were influenced by my version, but the truth is that shuffle mixed with the tasty bass drum just ROCKS my MUSICAL world. When I hear the BD interplayed with other limbs tells me that the player knows what he's doing. Very tasty and motivating man!!! I love it. I hear those ghost notes with your left hand on the snare and the tasty inter-dependence you introduce with percussive colors on any surface. You have raised the bar on this one Sir! For real. Boomer would be proud for sure. I haven't played this tune for a couple of years now. The rendition that I uploaded in late 2002 is now deSussed (defunct)! LOL!

BTW... the MIDI quantizing is seamless from where I hear. I'd love to hear the original. Harris, we influence each other. I hear the MIDI, but then that's cool too. MIDI is merely a platform to synchronize sound with lights, camera and Action! I LOVE IT. So glad that you are back and contributing! For Real! What this forum, or any forum, needs are credible players with the right attitude.

If you don't mind, let everyone hear what you did compared to my version on acoustic drums. The challenge for me then was attenuating the mike feeds without saturatiing inputs. Kind of hard to do when both the engineer and player at the same time. Yet I remember Billy's peformance of this song and never forgot it. Boomer: you should know that in your life your have many Fans! Hopefully some have become friends. I'm glad to know that I'm among the latter.

My Love To All With Big Ears and Big Hearts.

As to Harris K? You Rock!

Hey Pete... see what you do? Thanks Bro.... keep this going in support of our musical mentor: Billy Cobham! I'm going up 15K feet now in the atmosphere with a licensed pilot. More to come. I know that present economies of scale present difficulties for everyone. Yet I just want to say that you character preceeds you my friend. I just wish many others could tap into what we know among men. Mr. Billy Cobham should be dubbed as Knight in Shining Armor. If I were a king, I'd do so. Harris really did a marvelous performance and I take no credit. The wanna-drummers need to understand that relationship is more important than merely copying. This guy plugged into what music is about on this tune. Yet think about all of the other tunes and People out there yet to plug in! You know my heart. So run with it.

http://www.johnsussewell.com/RedBaron0-Suss.mp3

Sweetness for Susswellian Sure!

I honorably prefer Harris' version of this rendition! flower

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14 Re: Hi from Greece on Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:39 pm

Harris K.,

Silky smooth, man. Cool

D.

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15 Re: Hi from Greece on Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:11 pm

D. Slam wrote:Harris K.,

Silky smooth, man. Cool

D.

Harris rolls with the flow! So do you D.

Arrow

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16 Re: Hi from Greece on Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:25 pm

Harris,

You may have rekindled
the fire, here. I would not
be surprised to hear some
more people have at these
incredible arrangements,
once again.

I have something else that
I am working on, right now
but I may just have come
back and redo these because
I just think differently, now.
I am not even sure I can
play the same way, again.

Thanks, man!!

albino

PS: I sometimes think back
on those and wonder if
Boomer didn't just want to
stir the pot - getting us to
think compositionally, rather
than about the chops that
one might think were nec-
essary to get through the
monster tunes. What a
fabulous gift from him!!


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Pete

To the father of us, all - Billy Cobham!
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17 Re: Hi from Greece on Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:17 am

I sometimes think back
on those and wonder if
Boomer didn't just want to
stir the pot - getting us to
think compositionally, rather
than about the chops that
one might think were nec-
essary to get through the
monster tunes. What a
fabulous gift from him!!

That's hitting it smack dead center, Pete... Well said! cheers Wink

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18 Re: Hi from Greece on Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:04 pm

Your P.S. was on point Pete. It's all about the music man!

Thanks Boomer!

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19 Re: Hi from Greece on Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:03 pm

Pete, Suss, Don, thank you for the kind words! I've listened to all of you playing, from the audio and video files you have posted here and on the old forum, and your comments, coming from players who can drum circles (no pun intended) around me, really mean a lot.

Pete, I agree about the intentions of Billy with Conundrum. Not just another play along CD, but a collection of complete, freshly (and beautifully) arranged tunes that actually make you give some serious thought on how you should approach them, and try to get into the mind of the composer. I have the book and CD almost since it was released, and I still listen to it.
As for rekindling the fire, I sure hope I did. It would be great to listen to fresh drum-versions of these tunes by you guys.


"I honorably prefer Harris' version of this rendition!"
Suss, sorry but you are wrong on this! Very Happy My "polished" version pales compared to the sheer acoustic power of yours!

About the recording process, I played it on a friend's Hart Dynamics e-kit, connected to his computer sound card through a trigger interface (an Alesis, if I remember correctly), which means that we didn't use a separate sound module, but instead I selected a "drum kit" from his sound libraries. We didn’t have too much trouble tweaking the sound, but then I (stupidly) decided that it needed some tempo corrections, which I did. Unfortunately I don't have the original track, but as I said I have somewhere my first attempt (with an acoustic kit), and I'll upload it as soon as I find it.

Thanks again for the nice comments guys.

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20 Re: Hi from Greece on Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:39 pm

Harris,

Your humility along with your fine drumming is a breath of fresh air.

I can't play circles around anyone. I just do what I do when it's time to do it and hope for the best, really.

These pieces you've posted, you were a part of what made them sound good... What more could or should anyone ask for.

Thank you for sharing what you have thus far. I look forward to hearing more from you. bounce Like a Star @ heaven

Don.

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21 Re: Hi from Greece on Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:41 pm

Like I said - Billy is the father
of us, all. It's all him.


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22 Re: Hi from Greece on Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:23 pm

Admin (Pete) wrote:Like I said - Billy is the father
of us, all. It's all him.

Dear Pete,

I've been telling this to Boomer since the early 70s when he first invited me to a Dreams rehearsal in NYC when I was on my summer job and he and the Gang were about to recorded "Imagine My Surprise." And now some nearly 38 years later the man still wonders what the heck I'm talkin' bout. Billy IS a father on the percussion: and it takes a careful ear and heart to hear his contribution without runnin off in the wings as if so few were influenced by him. Some "johnny-come-latelys" might attribute their skills to modern day influences: but what those among them "johnnies," (no pun intended, PLEASE), is that they fail to recognize their influences. I speak of no one here specifically... only of myself in a corporate creativity when I hear and see folks just play without acknowledging anyone: which is what music is NOT about.

Dear Harris,

What was your original moniker anyway? Just curious! Cool

Harris K. wrote:Pete, Suss, Don, thank you for the kind words! I've listened to all of your playing, from the audio and video files you have posted here and on the old forum, and your comments, coming from players

"I honorably prefer Harris' version of this rendition!"
Suss, sorry but you are wrong on this! Very Happy My "polished" version pales compared to the sheer acoustic power of yours!


No... we are both right: and neither of us are "sorry!" bounce We're just not perfect and BOTH seeking to bridge gaps by the music in our hands, rather then the words in our mouths. I really love your version of "Torpedo Flow," since it reflects an alter-ego of mine. I tend to play precisely within any genre without losing myself (I even make up stuff to span rhythmic bridges). Yet at the same time I loose a part of myself in MY hesitance to express myself when in studio environments and producers who want "this, that and the other thing!." You Harris incorporated some subtle improvisations within the beat that unless a careful person was listening, they'd miss it. I mean that. You have rekindled some things that I believe (as Pete said, and Don concurred) is what I experienced since 2002 coming back into my percussive roots (and honed well before then).

These days under such scrutiny, so many are hesitant to express themselves in an effort to keep "working." Some work rudimenally, while others work melodically. The trick is the bridge the gaps and work within the song compositionally: viz: Just Play the Music and Improve Yourself In Doing So! Once the Seed is sown, there must come a harvest. Eventually, your OWN personality will come out in the Music YOU play - and everyone else can benefit. I cannot begin to tell you how when the "Condundrum" release came out, there were some well able, but reticent, to even put their hands and feet to it. They were either timid or ill equipped. Those know of whom I speak. Put the wood to your own drum head and the pedal to the mettle is what so many have been saying before me! No typographic error here and every analogy intended.

Musically speaking, such should be Boomer's Community. The man works hard in Mission, Music and Passion. My only regret is that personalities and international politics (and the "biz/busyness" gets in the way of our expressing oursleves to each other within this surrogate forum honoring the living legend. That is a REAL sadness of mine from where I contribute and walk. All Applaud for the right reasons and no veiled ones.

Thank you for your compliment Harris. Sincerely and truthfully. I know in my "soul without a 'hole' that I'm on Target with this torpedo. May it not explode to discouragement. I still have the original cds that came with Conundrum... but they are packed away. More importantly, they are in my heart and hands. I don't get a lot of opportunity these days to play "live," but when I do I do so with the same preparation, flavor and presentation. More often, my stuff is recorded. Over the years, I've learned that "less is more." But be prepared for the "MORE & with the Goods!" That too is my preparation. I sense it is yours also.

When I recorded my rendition of the tune (TF), I had a partially miked drum kit as I said before in either this or previous forums. Yet to read your recording challenges makes me even more convinced that what you do has yet more to come. I am humbled that you were influenced by my version. Please remember that Billy Cobham was only providing a TEMPLATE for us to replicate (and that on a widely published Warner Brothers Publication release only 8 years ago). I hope I'm making sense to you, as well as those with ears. My secret was to act as if every limb was unto itself while working together. That in itself is a secret however imperfect we humanly are.

I frankly couldn't play Billy's version without having that second H.H. cymbal under the Ride cym. That kind of independence requires more interfacing than I've had for the last three years. I play open handed at times, but only when the syncopation requires it in passing tones/colors around the kit. Generally, I rely upon a conventional attitude when approaching the kit, but with both traditional and matched grip handling. What some may speak of "Moeller" versus some other is not in my vocabulary. I wonder if it should be anyone's after all these millenia. If it isn't in your heart, it certainly won't be in your music, is what I say: no matter what your technique might be. Just produce the goods on demand and have fun doing it.

Please - do not pretend to know what I'm writing about however longwinded Woofus thinks I am. geek He's the clown: king clown . Yet None of us are STUPID, nor are we gladiators to the death. So There Keith!!! lol!

Hey take this on for your Building-Up - especially my erstwhile Nephew who wrote "I don't need this right now [back in 2003]." Thanks Billy, I'll go there if I have the opportunity by the Grace of God Himself. Been to the Caribbean often; but not recently. With Pete, I tried to tell everyone about the affordability of HostOnce without the frik & frak! We all need a vacation in Eleuthera.

http://www.johnsussewell.com/Eleuthera-BillyCobhamWSuss-2003.mp3

Billy wrote the tune among the "Conundrum" anthology: I just played it after our corporate and musical hearts. There is so much outside of the boxes than within them. Venture out from the comfort zone and provide Comfort for those in need.

Be Comforters & Encouragers Guys... particularly in Billy Cobham's Forum; but more Importantly in Life and your Relationships.

Sincerely, with:

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