Re: Joe Morello
Wow - I too am ashamed about not including Joe on my fave list. His playing is incomparable. Maybe the reason he stays a little below the radar is because he is the consummate musician, and not just a 'drummer'. Not that any of the big guys (Elvin, Tony, Art, Max, ...name your favorites here) are lacking in any way as 'musicians', but Joe's skill, technique, just sheer mastery of his craft has never been what 'it' was about, those were simply tools that he used to express musical genius. He explores rhythmic ideas in ways that utilize space - where so many guys overwhelm you with frenetic notes and beats, Joe leaves air in the composition and every note he plays has meaning - it's beautiful and rare.
When I was in my teens, I told my teacher that I wanted to learn more about playing brushes - he said nothing, just disappeared for a minute and came back into the room with about 8 of Morello's albums, he handed them to me and told me that everything you could learn about using brushes could be found on those albums - end of lesson.
Reading this thread and seeing that Joe is still teaching makes me really want to figure out a way to meet and take some lessons from a someone who is a true living legend - it's a long commute from NC - but wow, maybe???