Re: Virgil Donati is the Buddy Rich of our time ("IMO"...I suppose)
great post finn.
i'm in agreement. i like simple musical solos with occasional flare rather than all flare solos with occasional musicality. one has only to look at the drum battle between weckl gadd and coulita on DW to see what i mean. weckl and coulita are flaring a lot... and then gadd comes in with a lovely groove (not simple, mind you) but in the context of what was comming before it is like a breath of fresh air.
the way i picture it, if you don't mind the spacial analogy, all the possible things that can be done on drums are like a vast flat plane. in the very center are the basic grooves like four-on-the-floor and clasical jazz riding. this is the green oasis. around these are ever more interesting but less used grooves, rudiments and figures. as we walk out of the oasis the trees of useful drumming ideas thin out into the grass and bush of the extraordinary and then into the wasteland of what is possible but not necessarily loveable. guys like virgil and bozzio are the explorers in the desert. they make tracks into the unknown and increase the realm of the oasis but they don't always find diamonds and water. it is nice to know that they are out there but better to watch them slogging in the sand from the cool of the trees. where they go others follow and plant but the further from the oasis the less likely that the harvest will grow healthy.