Originally Posted by NUTHA JASON
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.
This was very well said...and need I remind everyone what this post was about (what is quoted here reminded me of my main point). I suppose you can't really look at Virgil the same as other guys. HE'S the guy trying something new, and pushing the envelope...NOT these "groove" players, and you have to understand that. One of my favorite things about Virgil himself is that he doesn't sound the same now as he did last year, or the year before that, etc etc
. I see a lot of guys bash Virgil Donati, and I mean a LOT...and i don't understand it! It almost sounds like an excuse to not have to practice, or take down those guys who do because "I'll never be as good as them technically, so I'll attack them artistically"...the guy has so much musicallity that is just over the top of the average persons head...but I find his drumming to be beautiful. I will admit that the clinic videos that have been circulating around lately with the independence adn stuff ARE quite boring (albeit impressive) but look at some of his old stuff like the MOntreal drum fest 97 stuff...it's like poetry on the drums. He almost looks like he's doing martial arts, and his body movements are SO expressive.
In ten years from now people will start to appreciate Virgil, just like all those old Weckl/Coliauta bashers appreciate them now because what they did back then is now a little more common among drummers...or at least understandable to most.
And on the topic about Virgil's technique...I've actually talked to a few professional drummers in my time about Virgil. One guy from Vancouver (gary grace) actually did a drum duo with him, and said that his technique is over the top (I don't remember the exact words, but I think "near perfect" was used), so whatever you want to say about Virgil's technique is up to you, but your opinion is miniscule to me compared with Gary's. And he doesn't get bounce on the toms? Go re-watch whatever video that gave you that impression...and the VOLUME and DYNAMICS...ok I really have to stop or else I'll go on forever