For years I viewed Phil just as an OK drummer but lately I have come to respect him more and more. As a member of Kansas he had his work cut out for him. He didn't seem to stand out for me because his fills seemed a little weak. As I listen to Kansas music now my perception of them is that they are sort of like a modern version of Classical music. Phil's role then becomes like the percussion section of a symphony. In that mode he does his job extremely well. (There are not a lot of places for drum fills in Classical music)
Kansas has had at least 3 lead players in the band at any given time over the years (including Steve Morse) yet Phil still emerges as their leader. He sets an perfect example of how a drummer should blend in with the rest of the players.
Phil has a flawless sense of time. That is a requirement with all the crazy time signatures that Kansas uses. It is also apparent that he has extensive knowledge of music overall and not just drums.
As usual, if you listen to Kansas' music that gets played on the radio you are missing their best. Here are some of my favorite tracks:
Device-Voice-Drum DVD. This one is highly recommended for Kansas fans. It takes a while for Steve Walsh to warm his voice up but the music is awesome. Phil's chops really shine on the updated version of Portrait.
Song for America
Miracles Out Of Nowhere
Cheyenne Anthem - there is a live version of this on the Leftoverature CD (not great for drumming but a great track)