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Rudy Royston on Cymbal Creativity

Drummer picks 10 cuts that demonstrate the innovative use of cymbals

Photo of Rudy Royston on cymbals
Rudy Royston (photo by Emra Islek)

The use of cymbals should be as purposeful as it is mechanical. Some of us drummers sit at our kits and swat at the cymbals as if they were merely flattened pieces of metal. Much rarer is a musician who uses the cymbals to expand into not only pitch and texture but also color, atmosphere and other tools for creating melody and harmony from behind the kit. Here are key performances by some of my favorite drummers, who use cymbals not only rhythmically but in orchestral ways as well.

Listen to several of the cuts on this JazzTimes Spotify playlist.

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Originally Published