Re: The legendary Steve Gadd.
Cuauhtemoc, I couldn't agree more with your appraisal of the Vinnie/Gadd/Weckl trio. Gadd was really the only one of the three to make that band sound really good. I love how he sits back and gets that groove really cookin', just listening to the soloists. And you can tell how much they appreciate it: that 2nd Sax guy blows a ridiculous solo in "Keep the customer satisfied", you can see Steve Marcus look up at him with a big smile and seem to say "Yeeaaaahh!!". I love that bit.
As for the solos, again I agree. Poor Dave...it's just not fair to ask him to play against those two. Gadd's got the groove, funky-as-hell beats, dancing-behind-his-kit thing, Vinnie's got ideas coming out of his arse mixed with plently of attitude, Weckl...he just seems lost. And the audience knows it too: I'm not sure he gets a single shout from the crowd.
I certainly have had my mind blown by Gadd and I wouldn't be as disparaging as you about his studio chops, because talent like that does not come to anyone through rehearsal...the man's a legend for a reason. However, I'm pleased you brought up the fact he plays the same things all the time. This is something that does really bug me. Gadd could improvise quality playing all the time if he wanted, and yet he plays those bloody licks in every clip you ever see of him. I don't know how he isn't bored of them himself yet. Can't really blame a man that successful for resting on his laurels, I guess, but I just wish he wouldn't!
I can't resist a controversial question: anyone else ever thought that the 50 Ways beat just doesn't really fit the song?? Don't get me wrong, it's a GREAT groove, I've just never felt that it fits in that particular tune.
Also Finn, do you really think Weckl showed more chops on that video than Vinnie?? I can't see that. The stuff Vinnie executed there is in a different league of difficulty to what Weckl plays.