Re: Mark Mondesir
I saw Mark play a clinic in Doncaster (in the north of England) to a packed house sometime back in the late 90s. Stunning drummer. What was impressive was not just his chops (which are pretty devestating) but his depth of knowledge of drummers.
At one point during the clinic he went into a bit of detail on half-time shuffle playing and busted out a few different styles, including nailing a Purdie shuffle, the Roseanna groove, and going into a bit of depth on some of the stuff Narada Michael Walden did with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. He can also play just about any Billy Cobham groove ever recorded, including doing Quadrant 4 with only one bass drum.... For a while the evening just decended into "audience shouts name of Billy Cobham track", "Mark plays it perfectly" until everybody realised that they weren't going to catch him out.
Also worth mentioning it that at the time he suffered from a serious speech impediment, something he's done a lot of work on correcting. It takes pretty astonishing amounts of balls to get up on a stage in front of hundreds of people when you know you're going to run into problems with your speaking - it's hard enough when you can speak confidently in normal conversation. From more recent stuff I've seen he seems to have done a great job of dealing with this, and I have enormous respect for the guy. An amazing drummer and a really impressive person.
Edit: Good places to listen to Mark's playing... the first track of John McLaughlin's "The Promise" has Mark on it, and it's worth tracking down the track "Reality" by Julian Joseph. I don't really rate the song, but the drumming is really really grooving.