Originally Posted by Morgenthaler
I never said that you would go: "Hey that's exactly like Gadd/Laboriel/Marotta!!" -but in a blind test some of my friends were guessing those names : why I thought I'd mention it:) There are better examples of Virgil grooving "Gadd'ish" (you know what I mean) but the clips posted were merely the ones I could find online. Thanks for listening.
That's all good. I'm just of the view that Virgil is an innovator only really in the sphere of technique, independence and extremely dense polyrhythmic/polymetric playing - and personally I find the stuff he does there rather random rather than having a unique individuality. He's certainly a very capable player (understatement of the year), but I just don't think he actually comes up with anything that I would personally peg as being great - either in a groove or choppy context.
The thing with somebody like Matt Chamberlain, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd etc is that if you stick on a record with them then people can actually guess it's them, even when they're playing amazingly appropriately in very varied styles. It's the lack of something like that in Virgil's playing that is my major criticism of him, along with the fact that I really don't think his most identifiable aspect is actually very good in a musical sense.
But that's where we come down to taste. I know my friend the Toteman is going to disagree with me immediately here!