Virgil Donati

Adam

Member
In terms of being so far ahead of the race, I would definetly say that Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of the modern age. I know this is a bold statement, and I mean it in respects to Buddy Rich, but the thing is as time goes on the drummers are getting better and better and it's slightly niaeve to keep looking back at what HAPPENED when so many new innovations and techniques are happening NOW. That's not to say we shouldn't look back, and keep in mind this IS just my opinion, but I think someone like Virgil, who is the best example of dedication, is leagues beyond anyone else. Guys say he overplays, but I would almost PROMISE you that tons of guys said the same thing about Buddy, and we've even seen it with Weckl, and Coliauta in their time.

Now the question is who's the next Virgil Donati

And I would really rather not make this a huge flame war, and I'm pretty sure I came off too opinionated, so if this thread turns out to be a bad Idea it should probably be deleted.
 

toteman2

Pioneer Member
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

I'll put it this way...Out of everything I've ever been exposed to in drumming (and I've been exposed to alot, drumming is a huge part of my life), past and present Virgil Donati has amazed me the most...Has has everthing i would want in my drumming, a true Master of every phase of drumming...This is my OPINION, and in no way should this be taken as fact...The things he is doing never seemed possible before, and I've never heard so many proffesionals speak so high of one drummer...Quite simply THE MAN!
 
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Thinshells

Guest
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

Donati: Not much swing/groove, technical, master of sight reading, highly disciplined/learned musician. Same can be said of Thomas Lang and Marco Minnemann.

Rich: Can't read, can swing, prodigy, self-taught

Similarities: Speed, almost total ambidexterity, mastery of instrument

There are some similarities.
 
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Sticktrick

Guest
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

There is another thread for this already.

Buddy Rich could read. And it is an insultion for him to be compared to Donati. If you do that, you just don´t seem to know, what Buddy was all about: Feel
 

finnhiggins

GONE MUCH TOO EARLY!!!
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

I think a major difference is that I've never seen any video of Buddy playing something that's arguably just plain bad. About 50% of any given Donati video I've seen has seemed uncertain, not quite "cooked" yet, and often very mathematical. It kind of sounds like he's worked out a part on paper then learned to play it, but it's not quite something he's totally in control of yet - certainly not something he's making a musical choice about. The only time he seems truly comfortable is when he dives off into blazing chops, which he does with alarming regularity. Every time he comes back to one of his opposing meter grooves it just sounds forced - like he only learned the groove as an excuse to play the fills. Of the guys I've seen doing this stuff, I like his approach the least. Thomas Lang wipes the floor with him, and he's not really my cup of tea either.

I don't get why people think he has such great technique, too. He strikes me more as somebody who achieves results in spite of his hand technique than because of it, look at the way he kills the rebound on his toms strokes!
 
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Thinshells

Guest
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

Sticktrick said:
There is another thread for this already.

Buddy Rich could read. And it is an insultion for him to be compared to Donati. If you do that, you just don´t seem to know, what Buddy was all about: Feel
According to "Traps the drum wonder" By Mel Torme, and the Buddy Rich DVD I have, both say Buddy didn't read music. He played by ear.
 

Mitzos

Junior Member
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

buddy, my thinkin is that its just his style of playin, when hes playin his grooves hes probably deep in thought due to there complexity. so when he is able to get into his chops and soloing it requires less concentration and he feels more comfortable . as well thomas lang is a drumming genius. like virgil he amazes me. but ur rite he looks alot more comfortable playing his drums. (compared to virgil)
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

i've said it before. comparing drummers is like comparing painters. it only really makes sense to compare contemporaries within broadly defined genres. virgil has indirectly or directly benefitted from the exsistence of buddy. as newton said: he has risen to new heights because he climbed on the shoulders of giants.

compare virgil to thomas lang.
compare buddy to gene krupa or ed shaugnessy.
that's fair.

as for the whole premise for this thread. i don't think there can be a single 'buddy rich' in our time. the feild is way to broad to make such a sweeping statement. aren't dennis, bozzio, lang, etc etc etc the buddy's of our time? i think guys like buddy and krupa were the first super star drummers. now there are literally hundereds.

j
 
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Sticktrick

Guest
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

OK maybe your right about the reading. I thought as a big band drummer he had to read a lot, cause thats standard. Also I know the drummer of his band very well since I took lessons with him (Tony Insalaco - great guy and great drummer). He can read about anything at sight and said he learned that in buddys band. (you have to know that buddy was the leader of the band and didn´t play the drums himself on all tunes. he would usually have someone else play and only come up to solo). So maybe he could read, but he didn´t do it because he had such a good memory that he could easily remember all the hits.

Still my point that the comparison is an insultion (big time) is untouched by that.
 
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Thinshells

Guest
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

Sticktrick said:
OK maybe your right about the reading. I thought as a big band drummer he had to read a lot, cause thats standard. Also I know the drummer of his band very well since I took lessons with him (Tony Insalaco - great guy and great drummer). He can read about anything at sight and said he learned that in buddys band. (you have to know that buddy was the leader of the band and didn´t play the drums himself on all tunes. he would usually have someone else play and only come up to solo). So maybe he could read, but he didn´t do it because he had such a good memory that he could easily remember all the hits.

Still my point that the comparison is an insultion (big time) is untouched by that.
As far as I could tell from watching him and reading about him, he had a photographic memory for music and a incomperable feel. There are a few tunes that he really overdid it, burying the tune under too much drumwork. (IE Birdland)

But it's not an insult to compare them. As Nutha Jason pointed out, it's like comparing painters. Both masters of thier own genre. Claude Monet was no Rembrandt, and vice versa.
 

Superlow

Pioneer Member
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

I don't think there is much to compare in my opinion. Donati has no charisma as a person or as a drummer. I think more people can identitfy with Buddy because he was a showman. I feel that Buddy wasn't out to conquer the drums and play drum paterns at rediculous BPM and such. Buddy was interested at entertaining a crowd his entertainment was his instrument. He could entertain nondrummers. I find Virgil's appeal more to musicians . Also I find some of the music that Virgil plays is overproduced and out right boring. I can listen to big bands. I find it hard to listen to a bunch of virutosos noodling around personally. Yes they are good musicians but it seems they only make music that doesn't appeal to the masses.
 

fkleiner

Junior Member
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

nobody knows virgil donati (speaking of the people as a whole), and that's cuz he takes crazy ass, difficult, near impossible stunts that do not for the most part contribute to music (speaking of music as a whole).

buddy rich was heavily invovled in contributing to music, and it just so happens that his technical proficiency communicated rhythm and feel. when he played drums, he could lay back and have even a drummer's ear listen to other instruments. but when he started to swing, or just plain rip it up, you would see everyone's heads bobbing (and of course mouths dropping).

virgil is a breathtaking drummer that deserves a considerable amount of respect. you can say he's mastered the drums. but ultimately the only people who will enjoy him are the ones who are intrigued by technical proficiency, and those people most likely are technically proficient to some degree themselves.

i dunno, there's no right or wrong to this issue of comparison. my opinion is that buddy rich not only was a virtuoso but a great musician .

as for today's buddy rich? nobody grooves as uniquely and as heavily today as zach hill (of hella). he's probably in the same boat as virgil donati (b/c he will never become popular, the music is just too much for most people)... but his tecnicality is extremely and subtly connected to the music around him. he cannot read music, never took a lesson, is in his mid 20's, yet will amaze and entertain, as buddy rich did, any body who is there watching him.

of course as always everybody reading this will look over my ulterior motive (trying to introduce you all to a very new prodigy, unlike any other drummer), and shoot right to whether or not i'm gonna piss them off by my stance on this issue... just go off on a limb and check out someone who could very well change your whole perspective of the possibilities of drumming.
 

Clark

Junior Member
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

No way. I know this whole thing isn't fair but I have to respond. These drummers are VERY different. Donati plays COMPLEX patterns and does not play with the swing
of a Buddy Rich. Point blank: Buddy had more control, speed, fire, etc....
Nothing against Virgil but there is no comparison.
 

Bonzo

Pioneer Member
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

nobody knows virgil donati (speaking of the people as a whole), and that's cuz he takes crazy ass, difficult, near impossible stunts that do not for the most part contribute to music (speaking of music as a whole).
Good point. The problem is that most people and even alot of drummers don't know who Donati is. You have to make the kind of impact on the masses that Rich did to make a comparison like this. Clearly today, the most popular few guys to be considered the royalty are Gadd, Colaiuta, Weckl, Chambers....and none of them is anywhere near as well known as Buddy was. I really don't think one drummer stands out today like in the past. And maybe that's a good thing. It's just proving that drumming has come a long way and that there are thousands of excellent drummers today.
 
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Lambo

Guest
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

Clark said:
No way. I know this whole thing isn't fair but I have to respond. These drummers are VERY different. Donati plays COMPLEX patterns and does not play with the swing
of a Buddy Rich. Point blank: Buddy had more control, speed, fire, etc....
Nothing against Virgil but there is no comparison.
I would say Virgil could probably get up to BR's speed.....
 

Superlow

Pioneer Member
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

Lambo said:
I would say Virgil could probably get up to BR's speed.....

No offense, but I don't think speed is the issue it's feel and showmanship, Feel being something that Virgil Lacks. I think that speed is something that can be mstered easier these days... look at the WFD competitions you got guys who you have never heard of scoring pretty high in the speed category. The drummers mentioned above have speed.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

Sorry to be off-topic a little, just wanted to thank fkleiner for recognising Zach Hill of Hella as one of the true virtuosos of our time - i totally agree that he shows shades of BR in bringing muscality and insane technicality together successfully.
To all Donati fans, check this guy out- it's truly another level.
 

Adam

Member
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

TheBlueTrain said:
I totally have to agree, I think Donati is the man, along with that drummer from Invein

hahahaha, you assclown
 

Adam

Member
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

finnhiggins said:
I think a major difference is that I've never seen any video of Buddy playing something that's arguably just plain bad. About 50% of any given Donati video I've seen has seemed uncertain, not quite "cooked" yet, and often very mathematical. It kind of sounds like he's worked out a part on paper then learned to play it, but it's not quite something he's totally in control of yet - certainly not something he's making a musical choice about. The only time he seems truly comfortable is when he dives off into blazing chops, which he does with alarming regularity. Every time he comes back to one of his opposing meter grooves it just sounds forced - like he only learned the groove as an excuse to play the fills. Of the guys I've seen doing this stuff, I like his approach the least. Thomas Lang wipes the floor with him, and he's not really my cup of tea either.

I don't get why people think he has such great technique, too. He strikes me more as somebody who achieves results in spite of his hand technique than because of it, look at the way he kills the rebound on his toms strokes!
I don't really believe you've ever actually heard virgil then. His hand technique is the best I think I've ever seen, and just look at how fast/controlled/PERFECT his rudiment playing is.
 

toteman2

Pioneer Member
Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)

Yeah...I somehow get the feeling that most people who are questioning Virgil's "feel" or "capacity to play in the pocket" just really are not familliar with the majority of his work...Feel and Time is one of my favorite things about him...
 
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