If you have it, put on Stevie Wonder's I Believe When I Fall In Love and listen to the piano going into the chorus right at 1:13. If not, you'll just have to read this entry instead.
On the subject of timing, Questlove in a recent blog entry:
and FEELING is something you aint getting now. this is why i fucks with Rell....even in his program shit and cats telling me "it sounds like a 3 year old programed it.....you don't hear the chorus rushing on beyonce's "Green Light"?! that IS the point! that is what made prince the shit: embracing electronics but STILL maintaining a HUMAN feel. all them flaws Pharrell got in programming and chords and whatnot is the VERY thing i like about working with him.
before i met Dilla i too felt out of place cause all the drummers from these parts of town were as perfect as one could get. and here i go tryna approximate some part time drummer from the backwoods of TN who probably played on a trash can drum kit all off beat---but that is what made my personality. FEELING!
Now I've never been a big fan of the Roots, but Questlove is without a doubt my favorite drummer. His work as a musical director is awe-inspiring (Dave Chappelle's Block Party? Jay-Z Unplugged? Voodoo Tour?!!!), and his knowledge and understanding of the music of the past few decades is truly terrifying.
I'm not saying this to blow smoke up his ass - there are plenty people on MySpace doing that already - I'm trying to illustrate just how heavy it was for me to read that. This is a question I've been struggling with for a long time, and it's become more and more important as I start to revisit some of these songs and fill in the cracks. The last time I talked about it, I was still vacillating. I knew I shouldn't work so hard to clean up my "mistakes," but it was just so hard to listen to them and think about other people listening to them critically.
But Questlove is so so right. And it was just what I needed to hear, just when I needed to hear it. Because Far Side needs to be loose and sparse on the verge of falling apart in order to work, and before today, I was too chicken to make that happen. Too concerned about it not sounding "professional" enough or "slick" enough.
But you know what? I have to do what I do. My music is my music. My feeling is my feeling; my flaws are my flaws. I'm going to make this album my way, and some people are going to hate it, and I am going to take that as a sign that I did something right. I'm psyched.
Oh yeah, worked on Far Side today. Piano parts blah blah blah drum programming yackity-shmackity.
Over and out.