Chapter

Dave Tough (1908–1948)

Dave Tough

in Drumminʼ Men

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780195157628
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849468 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157628.003.0007
Dave Tough (1908–1948)

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Dave Tough celebrated the pulse of life, bringing to it the dimensions and flexibility, the flow and inner animation of music. Avoiding center stage, rarely if ever soloing or intruding himself on his musical colleagues, he followed this course his entire career. A poll-winner and drum star in the latter years of his short life, he made his approach work most potently with the Woody Herman First Herd of 1944–5. Tough drove the assemblage to previously unattainable heights. After years as an underground celebrity, the drummer finally found his way to the public. Tough transcended convention. That a drummer could generate such force and do everything right without the benefit of any sort of real facility bordered on the incomprehensible. A drummer with rare gifts for understanding and expressing rhythm and executing what was essential, Tough went to the mot of the music.

Keywords: David Tough; Woody Herman; Goodman sextet; drums

Chapter.  17401 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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