Mitch Mitchell: When Rock Drumming Became Complex
Jimi Hendrix was an undeniable genius. But beyond his revolutionary guitar playing and composing skills he further revealed his brilliance by hiring Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding to back him up. Mitchell’s style of “lead drumming” was similar to Ginger Baker’s style in that it always demanded attention and was an integral ingredient in the material. Mitchell was also heavily influenced by jazz, which helped him stand out, as the songs might not have been as memorable or popular with a more conventional rock-drumming approach. It can easily be argued that Mitch Mitchell was one of the first jazz fusion drummers since he so successfully bridged the two styles of jazz and rock, using lots of rudimental sticking patterns while interacting with the music around him and refusing to play simple accompaniment. His contribution to the music and influence as a drummer was as great as any of his contemporaries. Here are some prime examples of his contributions to the drumming vocabulary.