Recognized as the first “world music” album, Olatunji’s 1960 percussion opus presented hand drums as the main dish rather than accompaniment. It’s also five times Platinum.
At the end of “Battle Royal” from Count Basie’s 1961 album First Time! The Count Meets The Duke, Payne and Woodyard’s parts symbiotically blend rather than play tug-o-war.
This three-minute broadcast in 1964 inspired more kids to devote their lives to drumming than just about anything. Besides Starr’s matched-grip, uptempo straight playing, the episode established the drummer situated on a riser behind the band rather than to the side.
The 1965 song by British Invasion band The Yardbirds was notable for the way BBC radio presenter and session drummer Jimmy Piercey furiously played bongos. His part was so crucial that Yardbirds lead singer Keith Relf would sideline the bongo part while lip-synching the song during televised appearances.
Williams’ intro on this Miles Davis song from 1965 release E.S.P. is a two-minute stream of chops, nuance, and textural free soloing.
Hard-bop saxophonist John Coltrane’s 1965 album is considered a gateway to his free-jazz phase. Jones’ bookending solos in “Pursuance,” one part of a four-song suite, is the accessible part of this actually unnervingly complex work.