Originally Posted by finnhiggins
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.