Appreciating Denzil Best

SKF NOTE: Denzil Best has always been somewhat of a mystery drummer to me. In all my studies of drummers, Denzil Best was always praised by drummers and other instrumentalists as a swinging, supportive drummer. Best was a trumpet player who switched to drums after an attack of tuberculosis. He was a player in the same vein as Connie Kay and Dave Tough. I’ve never come across a great deal of biographical information about Best.

This video of the George Shearing Quintet seems to be live, not overdubbed. Tight, swinging, and the best footage I’ve seen of Best. Great brushwork on a jazz classic written by Denzil Best. I wish the cameraman would’ve zoomed in on Best’s hands at least once, but…. This is a great clip of a great drummer with a classic jazz group.

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