Lennie DiMuzio's "Tales From the Cymbal Bag": A One-of-a-Kind Book About a One-of-a-Kind Percussion Industry Legend

Cymbal maven's new book is a must read for anyone interested in percussion

Almost everyone in the percussion industry knows, or knows of, Lennie DiMuzio. Seemingly around forever, DiMuzio joined the Avedis Zildjian cymbal company as a cymbal tester in 1961, and later became involved in almost every aspect of the famed organization, notably as Director of Artist Relations.

In his 50-some years in the business, still ongoing, by the way—after leaving Zildjian in 2003, he joined the Sabian cymbal outfit as consultant—DiMuzio saw and heard it all.

He witnessed, and was directly involved in changes in music, in the music industry, the business of advertising, marketing and public relations; evolution of drums and cymbals in jazz, rock and orchestral percussion; and the nurturing of dozens of new artists and discoveries. He responded not only to the needs of the artist, but to the needs of the music, no matter what the era, label or classification.

Through it all, he remained kind, generous, open-minded and above all, a gentleman of rare good humor. Okay, DiMuzio was and is correctly described as a certifiable “character.” Most significantly, he is universally respected by those in and out of the business. And he was and is, by the way, a darn good drummer.

“Tales From the Cymbal Bag: Historical and Hysterical Memoirs of Lennie DiMuzio” (written by DiMuzio, with Jim Coffin, and published by Jump Back Baby Productions), is more of a “production” than a standard bio. The 288-page, coffee table-sized project features hundreds of rare photographs, plenty of DiMuzio’s hilarious anecdotes, comments from drummers of every style, and incisive, historical perspectives on the jazz drumming legends, from Krupa and Rich to Papa Jo and Philly Joe.

DiMuzio, Coffin, and designer/producer Ed Uribe deserve all possible credit and kudos available for putting together a massive work that is touching, funny and educational, while giving insight into this one-of-a-kind contributor and “character” all the while.

My hat, as always, is off to designer Uribe and his Dancing Planet MediaWorks outfit for ensuring that “Tales from the Cymbal Bag” be of the absolute highest quality in terms of production.

Like its subject, “Tales from the Cymbal Bag” is unique, and in its own way, a masterpiece. This constitutes must-reading for those in or out of the drum and cymbal business, and more importantly, for anyone who ever played—or wanted to play—the drums.

Contact Bruce Klauber on his web site, www.JazzLegends.com or via [email protected]

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Bruce Klauber