Evolution Jazz Drumming

The Evolution of Jazz Drumming Hudson Music book/DVD/MP3 disc package. The Comprehensive Guide to the History of Jazz Drumming.

Hudson Music announces the upcoming release of The Evolution of Jazz Drumming by Danny Gottlieb, an educational book/DVD package for drummers. The product presents the most complete and comprehensive historical analysis of the drummers who created and defined modern jazz drumming in print. A release date of March 15, 2011 is planned.

Designed as a guide and workbook for the high school, college-level, and professional drummer, it is designed to be studied based on a typical 16-week college semester. A legendary and influential jazz drummer is studied during each of these weeks. Author Danny Gottlieb, known himself as a world-renowned jazz drummer with Pat Metheny, Stan Getz, Randy Brecker, and others, brings to bear his unique expertise as a Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of North Florida.

The 31 jazz drumming legends included are examined with musical analysis including practice exercises in the style of the subject’s drumming, transcriptions of both solo and time playing, and études that examine the work of each artist in unprecedented detail. Each profile also includes a complete biography, personal anecdotes from the author, and dozens of exclusive and rare photos, many of which have never appeared in print before. Drummers featured in the book include Baby Dodds, Sid Catlett, Dave Tough, Max Roach, Buddy Rich, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Mel Lewis, and many others.

The book includes a DVD of classic video clips of many of the drummers, as well as an MP3 disc with over 300 tracks. Video clips on the DVD are analyzed and transcribed in the text, while the MP3s consist of exercises and études from the book recorded at various speeds that can be looped for analysis and practice.

“This package is the perfect addition to any college jazz curriculum, as well as required study for any serious student of jazz drumming.” says Hudson Music Senior Drum Editor Joe Bergamini. “From the videos on the DVD, to the transcriptions, biographies, and rare photos, this package is a treasure for anyone with any interest in jazz drumming.”

Sample pages and video clips can be viewed at EvolutionOfJazz.com. Additionally, educators can register to receive a free sample booklet featuring complete chapters on Tony Williams, Papa Jo Jones and Shelly Manne, along with accompanying bonus video clips.


The Evolution of Jazz Drumming is comprehensive guidebook/workbook designed to help the student/teacher define, analyze and study the most important innovators in jazz drumming.

After completing this book, you will have learned the names, drumming styles and playing characteristics of 31 of the most important drummers in the jazz music genre. You'll also learn the era, styles, groups, and significant recordings associated with each drummer.

Drummers selected for this book include: Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Sonny Greer, Chick Webb, Gene Krupa, Papa Jo Jones, Buddy Rich, Big Sid Catlett, Dave Tough, Don Lamond, Louis Bellson, Panama Francis, Kenny Clarke, Shelly Manne, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, Stan Levey, Philly Joe Jones, Mel Lewis, Gus Johnson, Sonny Payne, Rufus "Speedy" Jones, Sam Woodyard, Jake Hanna, Joe Morello, Jimmy Cobb, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette, and Harold Jones.

Danny Gottlieb has designed The Evolution of Jazz Drumming in such a way that it can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • Entry level study for middle or high school students.
  • Introductory-level study of jazz drumset history for the college-level applied drumset student.
  • Curriculum for a 15-16 week college course on jazz drummers.
  • Comprehensive personal study, focusing on one jazz drummer per week (or longer) for one full year.

Each drummer profiled in the book is closely examined with musical analysis including practice exercises in the style of the drummer, transcriptions of both solo and time-keeping, and etudes that examine the work of each artist in great detail. Profiles also include a complete biography, personal anecdotes from the author, and dozens of exclusive, rare photos.

The book comes with two supplemental discs; an audio MP3 disc and DVD disc. The DVD has performance video footage of 21 of the 31 drummers in the book; video clips on the DVD are analyzed and transcribed in the text. The audio disc contains over 300 tracks of the notated exercises and etudes, recorded at various tempos, that can be looped for further analysis and practice. 

I was mildly disappointed with the quality of the DVD and MP3 CD. In regards to the DVD, I've seen a number of these clips on YouTube, for example, and the image quality was far superior to what is on the DVD. The audio on the CD was also at a quality (and lower volume) that is below what I expected. While I would expect the quality the video and audio from old recordings to be deteriorated, knowing that there were higher quality versions of the same footage/cuts out there ... well, it left me wanting. Not a deal breaker by any means, but certainly worth mentioning, especially if you're like me and have seem much of this footage elsewhere in a slightly higher quality.

Danny Gottlieb has done a fantastic job putting this fine educational and historical package together. Perfect for the teacher and student alike, The Evolution of Jazz Drumming is certainly a must have for anyone desiring to delve into the world of jazz. Even if you're not a jazz enthusiast, it's important to remember that the drummers found in this book represent our drumming roots. Being able to see, hear and read about the legendary drummers who paved the way for the art of drumming is without question ... priceless.

I highly recommend The Evolution of Jazz Drumming to all drummers; beginner to advanced players.