Re: The legendary Steve Gadd.
Gadd is a real solid drummer and focuses on the groove very well. That's why he's such an in demand session player because he does the job he's paid to do. At the famous BR concert he was the best drummer that played with the band because he just played with the band/did his job while everyone else just showed off (sorry, except LB). As far as the trio with Vinne and Weckl, I don't think he did anything flashy but he was cool because he knew his place in the setting he was in. Vinnie and Weckl were the ones trying to outdo each other and in my opinion Weckl fell into the trap again and Vinne smoked him. Gadd on the other hand kept the groove together with his famous Mozambique groove.
As far as my views of his playing: Sure, he's the one that got us to play our rudiments between our hi-hat and snare, sure he showed us that you don't have to bash to be a good drummer and I think those are great qualities. I respect him a lot for what he's done/still doing but at the same time, I just never had my mind blown by him. Many of you have talked about his recorded performances and that's great of him to be so precise but rehearsal does do that for everyone. I once recorded a demo and some guy thought I used a sample because the rimshot was so consistent. I told him that I didn't and when he asked how that was possible I just shrugged and told him that the band rehearsed. And let's not forget, Gadd does this for a living. He's seasoned and he's readier than any of us.
I just don't hear any progress in Gadd's playing. One thing I noticed is that he does the same things, all the time! I've seen lots of video footage and heard lots of recordings he's on and it's always the same beats and that same lick between the snare and toms. I don't know about you guys but that's why I won't spend $40 for a DVD that he's on. This is why I respect Steve Smith (even though he's not even close to being my favorite drummer) because when you see him play over the years he's definitely exploring and consequently improving. I think it's so awesome that he's not working with Indian rhythms and it's so obvious in his playing; even his jazz playing!