Given the soft spot in our hearts that we bassists generally have for our partners in the rhythm section - namely the drummer - I'd like to start a thread to honor one of the very best rock drummers ever to sit behind the kit: the incomparable Ian Paice.
Earlier today I was digging a bit into the archives, re-listening to some classic Deep Purple: Highway Star
, Space Truckin'
, and Burn
. As I did so, I recalled all over again the reasons why I like his playing so very much. Ian Paice is a human metronome - but with serious groove
. He is, to my mind, a master of the flashy yet tasteful fill - and the super-syncopated kick/accent.
Just listen to him going crazy through the chorus section of Highway Star
- jumping hard on each syncopated beat after beat, driving the energy level higher & higher & higher, always staying super-precise...before "settling" back down the verse section.
Listen to his playing on Burn
- same thing: punching those syncopated beats like crazy - one after another; playing fills with the utter confidence that comes with complete mastery of the instrument, executing each note with pure precision, neither dragging nor rushing one iota - whether playing 32nd notes or quarter notes. Notice how he creates a sense of increasing intensity & urgency by pushing his intro to the verse section by a couple beats or so on each repetition, every time it comes around: Musical instinct and a sense of innate musicianship that just comes naturally - and is hard, if not impossible, to teach.
Notice how on Burn
, the emphasis is all on the backbeat...while on Space Truckin'
, Paice is right on
the beat - insistently pushing it forward, in a manner not unlike Motown drummer style from years of yore. His emphatic quarter-note pattern on the snare just drives
Does it sound like I'm impressed with Ian Paice? You bet I am! Honorable Mentions:
- Terry Bozzio
- Roger Taylor
- Gavin Harrison
- Neal Peart
- Carl Palmer
P.S. Does it seem to anybody else that "Paice" (i.e. "Pace"), is one of the all-time great names for a drummer? Sort of like "Foote" as the ideal name for a podiatrist?