This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

**

Thursday, August 15, 2019

hard to beat Battle ( #BOTB ) Kohler vs Jackson


Look out folks cause here it comes:  The clink of the xylophone and the beating of drums!   Are you annoyed yet?...


Image result for rush drum kit
Neil Peart's drum kit. Photo by John Leyba, denverpost.com/reverb

       Over the years I've amassed a number of live concert albums.  Aside from distracting crowd sounds, one of the most dreaded moments for me of any concert recording is the drum solo.  Sometimes they are fantastic with a high level of creativity, but often--for me--it is agonizing filler that I might tend to skip over when it becomes too much for my listening enjoyment.

       For most of us there are likely certain musical instruments that can be grating to us at certain times (or maybe all the time).  I've come to appreciate just about any musical effort by someone who has honed their craft to some degree so I might be more musically tolerant than some of you.  But I can understand where some of you might not want anything but small doses of some instrument like the bagpipes (sorry John Holton).

       A few of you in my previous Battle commented about listening to harp music was something that was preferred in small to very small doses.  I guess this surprised me since I've always found harp music to be rather pleasant and relaxing. Guess it's just not everyone's thing.

         Maybe some of you feel the same about the xylophone. I have a great fondness for the xylophone though there are times when I'm in no mood to hear xylophone--at least not in the forefront of the music.  But a well placed xylophone part in a musical piece can be magical.

          For me, an instrument that you beat (in other words most percussion--and that includes drums and xylophones) can be extremely annoying just like someone beating on my head.  I've listened to  percussion ensemble pieces and I can't say that I'm a big fan.  I admire the skills.  I'm just not buying the record.

          But sometimes a percussion artist can pull off being center stage.  And when they're good they can be a joy to watch.  This "hard to beat" Battle between percussionists has been lingering in my queue for quite some time.  There's actually a story about my connection to these artists, but I'll save that for my Results post since those tend to be short anyway.

          So in the spirit of short music clips for the summer doldrums, hope you enjoy this kind of peculiar Battle...

Battle of the Bands


Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


         No explanations for now.   Here are two clips of two different artists who beat their instruments.  Which performance do you like best?

Paul Kohler on Xylophone  (1951)





Dennison Jackson on Drums (2013)





Time to Vote!

    Enjoy what's left of summer, but first of all whip through this Battle and give us your verdict.  Listen to each video clip and judge solely on what you hear.  Which artist do you like best?   Pick one and have some fun!  You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.




Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Wednesday August 21st

         Don't forget to see which artist grabs the most votes in this match.  And remember, I've got a story to tell about the artists in this Battle.  I guess it's kind of like my six degrees of separation story except it's only one degree.  Come back then.  For now I guess I'll just beat it...

        What musical instrument annoys you most?   What instrument can you listen to just about anytime and for extended periods?   Do you play or have you tried to learn to play any instruments?




35 comments:

  1. Dennis is no Neil Peart, but he gets my vote.
    And Peart can do as long a drum solo as he wants. The man is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, one thing for sure is that Pearl has an impressive array of drums and percussion. I still think any drum solo would have limits.

      First vote goes to Dennison Jackson.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. It is the Drum Solo for me even though it gets to me after a while. I dislike the Xylophone the most so...no wonder they don't get my vote. I am surprised so many don't care for the harp...I love it. I also love the violin. Funny I am not much into just the piano either (sorry Chopin) but I did take piano for over 6 years

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, I used to not like piano so much but I've come to appreciate it a great deal now.

      By default a vote for Dennison Jackson.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. I'm going to be contrary here and go with Paul Kohler and Jini. I liked both performances, and Dennis kept some fantastic rhythm while showing us what he had, but I just enjoyed Paul and Jini more. And I'm a sucker for the xylophone, although I think it's a marimba...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, my initial reaction also was that it was a marimba, but after further investigation I do think it's a xylophone. Kohler played both, but he was some kind of national xylophone master or something. Besides, I like using the x word better than marimba for this particular battle.

      A vote goes to Paul Kohler.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. When I think of the xylophone, vibraphone, or marimba, I think of Lionel Hampton. He was the king, imo.

    I didn't know John was a big hater of the bagpipes, but I am with him 100% then. The bagpipes were invented by satan, which probably means that Scotland is hell on Earth. (Never mind the fact that I have some Scottish blood in me. In my body, that Scottish blood stays down very low, though. Which is understandable: that's where it is most comfortable.)

    I actually like the xylophone. In fact, for a long time now, I have had on my list of 'BOTBs To Do', a song that features a xylophone (or marimba) solo the way most Rock songs feature a guitar solo. I'll get to it eventually.

    I enjoyed BOTH of these recordings, but I have to side with DENNISON JACKSON. Ordinarily, I'm not a fan of drum solos, unless the drummer really has some soul. Which means, of course, that Neil Peart can take his massive drum set and shove it where the soul don't grow! (That White boy wouldn't know "Swing" if it swung and hit him in the face!)

    I think the most interesting drummer I've ever heard was Joe Morello of the 'Dave Brubeck Quartet'. I recommend listening to his work on 'Take Five' (the only drum solo that has ever made me literally *laugh-out-loud*), 'Unsquare Dance' (or anything else from the album 'Time Further Out'), and his monumental (14:22-long) solo titled 'Castilian Drums' on the album 'The Dave Brubeck Quartet At Carnegie Hall'. Neil Peart - in his wildest dreams - couldn't. It just ain't in his soul, the poor White boy.

    Dennison Jackson oozes rhythm and joy (his facial expressions illustrate how much he enjoys banging them drums). Easy vote here, even though I truly did enjoy Paul Kohler also.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, I also think of Lionel Hampton right away, but he was kind of the master of the instrument. There are a lot of popular songs that use xylophone (or a cousin) so you could come up with some good battles.

      A vote for Dennison Jackson.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. I like Kerry Dance. Love all sorts of music,

    Have a good weekend Lee.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, I know you love music. You're one of the few people I've known who worked in a record store (my dream job at one time).

      A vote for Paul Kohler.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. On the one hand, I agree with you on drum solos, so I'm voting for the xylophone. On the other, at least I made it to the 2:14 mark of the drum before I noticed I was no longer paying attention...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, I guess the rhythm of the drums can put one into a hypnotic trance.

      A vote for Paul Kohler.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. Hi Lee!

    What instrument annoys me? I immediately thought of Barney Fife (Andy Griffith Show) banging those cymbals all around. It’s a wonder no one boxed his ears with them. I know, it was just a show…

    Being as how many in my family – arm’s length and extended – are musically inclined; vocals, strings, keys and drums, I could, and probably should, follow suit. However, I’m quite happy with a different form of creative release ;-)

    It was interesting to watch Kohler and his lady friend on xylophone. The sound calls to mind a pleasant cross between tropical vacations and daytime game show introductions. Aside from awesome cartoon sound effects, I can only think of one (not very recent) song that used a xylophone “Somebody That I used to Know” Surely there are others?

    Dennison is talented and clearly into drumming, which always transfers well. Solos are best appreciated in the middle of a good song, not unlike the almond in a Hershey’s Kiss. But, he did alright.

    With that, I’m voting for Kohler (on the QT) – for remarkable originality.

    Cool battle!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, it's probably best when we do what we are most compelled to do. We all have different gifts of talents.

      Your points about the xylophone are similar to my X post for A to Z this year.

      A vote for Paul Kohler.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Whoa, I just accessed Neil Deart and could not believe it. What a drummer.
    DJ Jackson gets my vote. The xylophone brings to mind Donnie and Marie Osmond playing, why I don't know. It is irritates me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan K, Neil Pearl can be pretty amazing to watch in concert. His drum kit alone is a spectacle to look at.

      A vote for Dennison Jackson.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. I'm so old, you haven't included my favourite, Gene Krupa. His drumming always amazed me 🥁

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lost, I too remember Gene Krupa. I marveled at his playing when I was a kid so I guess I'm kind of old too. He was one of the greats.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. Good to speak to someone who appreciates him, Lee.
      Well done you keeping your bills down. I have this problem with the bills during our cold winters, though with global warming we rarely see snow any more - not like my childhood when snow piled up in drifts against the doors ☃️

      Delete
    3. Gene Krupa? Be still my heart!

      Delete
  10. DJ gets my vote, like drums better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, good drumming is hard to beat!

      Dennison Jackson.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. In my home, I've been the mother to an excellent guitarist (no, actually two), an excellent drummer (again, come to think of it, two), and a top notch violinist...guitarist...clarinetist...pianist...

    In other words, I have a musical bunch. Three guys who play multiple instruments, the youngest and oldest being most prolific (middle guy left drums and gravitated to...MAGIC!).

    You'd think that the drums would be my preference, but I actually loved the day they were sold. :-)

    I can listen to the other instruments all day long.

    So, with a salute to two excellent choices, I commend them on their talent...but I'm voting for Paul Kohler on Xylophone.

    Sorry middle son. And you shouldn't have let the other boys play the Pearls, either...mama got a headache...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, I'd like to find some musicians like your sons with whom I could collaborate on some projects. They sound very musically talented.

      The sound of practice is typically far more excruciating than the sound of the performance which is as it should be.

      A vote for Paul Kohler.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. I'll be the odd one out and go with the first one. The drums got annoying after a while. Bagpipes are the most annoying instrument to me though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, bagpipes have their time and place I suppose, but not in my place on my time.

      A vote for Paul Kohler.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. Interesting battle. Bagpipes are deep in my soul, and when I hear them playing it's as if the motherland is calling me home. There are far worse instruments out there - a child's plastic flute comes to mind.

    This was a tough one for me to vote on. The xylophone is interesting, yet a drummer has to have skill to make that instrument worthy of a solo. I'm going to vote for Dennison Jackson.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary B, I think annoying depends on the player, the song, and what else I might be doing. I'm sure that in the right hands a plastic flute might sound pretty good.

      A vote for Dennison Jackson.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. From Facebook comes a vote from my Cousin Tom for...

    Paul Kohler.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Lee -

    Another interesting battle here. I like drum solos. My dad was a decent drummer and my son is an excellent one. And, unlike my typical lock-step unison with my friend McCarthy, I must break with him here and say that Neil Peart DOES play with soul, and is perhaps the most skilled at his instrument of any in the last 30 years. It is Stewart Copeland that is a soulless drummer!

    However, I agree with him in this: my favorite drummer is also Joe Morello.

    I am a big fan of bagpipes and own several bagpipe CDs and records. I have even paid to hear a concert by the Royal Grenadiers, a bunch lousy with bagpipes.

    The slide whistle and the nose flute are not favorites, but that instrument played by Le Pétomane is my least favorite of all.

    I vote for Dennison.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-gun, my father used to have a slide whistle that he used in his juggling act. I used to have fun playing with it. I have a sentimental fondness for slide whistle.

      I don't know if farting qualifies as playing an instrument. It's more like vocals coming out the wrong end.

      A vote for Dennison Jackson.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. Accordion music makes me grimace and I can only take bagpipes in small doses (like when they're opening the show for Rod Stewart or my favourite hockey team, The Toronto Maple Leafs). Can't say the Xylophone does much for me either, but I LOVE a good drum solo and Dennis did well here. Please give my vote to him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie D, accordion often gets a bad wrap I think. Thank you Weird Al for bringing back credibility to the instrument.

      Again it's Dennison Jackson.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. I enjoyed both but if I had to go with a winner it would be the duo on the xylophone.

    My favourite percussionist has to be Evelyn Glennie whatever she's playing - xylophone, marimba, drums, car exhaust pipes and even the bagpipes. But then, she is the master of more than 1,000 traditional and unconventional percussion instruments from around the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, a good percussionist is hard to beat:)

      A vote for Paul Kohler.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee