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ME: You got that right. Rudimental drumming is a little of both: it can be very hard and some of it is easy. To answer your question, Robert Winslow, or Bobby as we called him, was said to be a child prodigy in this capacity. He had joined and played snare drum with one of the other drum corps. The word of mouth is that you had to be exceptionally talented to even consider trying out for this drumline. Bobby Winslow made that drumline and I hear he was sixteen years old. That was unprecedented. Most of the drummers in that drumline were older, perhaps in their twenties. The movie Drumline (2002) provides a taste of what it's like to be in a drum & bugle corps. I regret that I couldn't work with the Warriors longer. I was told that Bobby Winslow had gone to Africa and did drum studies over there. He would put those African rhythms in our parts.
Sometimes during a competition, the drum judges didn't know what we were doing. I saw one judge throw down his writing pad and pencil on the ground in disgust. He was so frustrated that he couldn't figure out what we were playing. During the final event of the season, which the Warriors won, Bobby Winslow's teacher of his former drumline was one of the drum judges. I did a slight infinitesimal hesitation during one of the drumline solo sections and you know what, he caught it. Only a master drummer could have caught that hesitation. He rubbed it in by looking me in the eye while he wrote a checkmark on his pad. "You demon, I said inwardly. "No one should have caught that, but he did. I'll leave you with another thought about drummers in drum & bugle corps. Many of the snare drummers can take down a lot of jazz drummers. I'm speaking in terms of technique. To be fair jazz drummers even the score by their work on the drum kit. Snare drummers from the marching bands can't touch us there. After leaving the Warriors, I began concentrating on playing free jazz. This was the year 1968. class="f-right"> Return to Index...
Meeting David S. Ware
AAJ: That's when you started playing with David S. Ware. How did you meet him?
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.