Along the way, Glass shows how key players influenced the music of their respective eras. As noted above, Gene Krupa was the first star of the drum world, popularizing both the drum solo and showmanship on the drum set. For bebop and small combo jazz, Glass highlights Joe Jones and Max Roach who played on sets of smaller drums, making their sound brighter and their equipment more portable in New York cabs. For rock, Glass points to Earl Palmer, Little Richard's drummer, as the man who set the pace for those who'd follow. What was Ringo Starr's most notable contribution to the drum world? He popularized the matched grip that drummers argue about to the present day. There are those who still champion the traditional grip devised for marching bands, and others who, whether they know it or not, are beating in the style of one of the most influential drummers of them all.
Disc two includes a series of various interpretations of the same melody played by a full band to demonstrate how different genres have different approaches. To do this, Glass drew from his colleagues from the Royal Crown Review, Brian Setzer Orchestra, the Conan O'Brien house band, and Bette Midler's "Kiss My Brass" Revue to perform these selections, an obvious highlight of the set. It's on disc two where the high-hat and ride cymbal come into their own and the modern drum set is more or less fully in place. Glass stops short of discussing drum kits after the British Invasion when drummers like Ginger Baker and Keith Moon expanded the arsenal of drums with multiple bass drums and a stage full of tom toms and cymbals of every conceivable size. He doesn't explore roto-toms or electronic drums. But that's not really required as "vintage" drums were what the lectures are all about.
While I've been playing drums since I saw Ringo all those years ago, I must admit I learned a number of historical nuggets that surprised me. I never heard of "low boy" cymbals before, the predecessors to the high-hat that were too low to be played on with drum sticks. I didn't know it was King Krupa who first asked the Slingerland company for drums that had tunable heads both on the top and bottom. I must join all the modern drummers Glass addresses about adding brushes to our toolbag of what can be done to expand rhythmic possibilities. But wait, there's more!