Clyde and Jabo - Funkmasters and Original James Brown Drummers – Episode One
If you follow Meinl Cymbals’ activities online, then by now you have almost certainly seen our posts and our teaser trailer for the Clyde Stubblefield and John ‘Jabo’ Starks interview/documentary we did that we are releasing in multiple webisodes. If you haven’t seen any of these updates, then here is a brief synopsis.
At virtually the same time, my colleague Norbert Saemann and I both had the exact same idea. That idea was to get Meinl Cymbal artists and the two original James Brown drummers, Clyde Stubblefield and John Jabo Starks together in one room, and sit them down for a long interview. We wanted to have a Meinl Cymbal artist who has been greatly influenced by Clyde and Jabo to act as the moderator and to present the questions. We chose Robert ‘Sput’ Searight of Snarky Puppy for obvious reasons. One listen to Sput’s playing and it’s completely obvious that Clyde and Jabo have made a huge impression on him and his drumming.
And so it was that we all gathered together in Nashville, Tennessee at S.I.R. in the big room, to have Clyde, Jabo, and Sput play some drums, do a lot of Q&A, and eat some good bar-b-q! Sput really did his homework for this project, I have to say. He knew the history of these two guys and he asked some great questions. But even Sput was surprised by some of their answers, as were Norbert and I. There were some facts that Clyde and Jabo laid on Sput, that none of us knew. This was both cool to hear, but in retrospect it was sad to consider. The fact that everything there is to know about Clyde and Jabo isn’t already out there in print or online for mass edification, and that everyone doesn’t know it already, is a testimonial to the crime in all of this. Without being too dramatic about it, it is sad to think that with the enormous impact that both Clyde and Jabo have had on modern drumming as we know it today, that there is still more to learn about them that hasn’t been put out there already. This wasn’t surprising to me or Norbert. Of course, this is the sole reason why we both had the idea to tackle this project. When James Brown said “give the drummer some,” he meant it, although symbolically the rest of the world hasn’t always sat up and taken notice.
So here we are with episode number one. Stay tuned for further episodes.
We really hope you enjoy this as much as we did.
- Chris Brewer