Originally Posted by Cuauhtemoc
It's kind of like Steve Gadd, who also seems to do the same things over and over when he solos. Vinnie and Gadd make their living playing with other artists, spending most of that time in the studio. Drummers like Terry Bozzio spend a lot of time pushing the limits of the instrument in the exhibition circuit, which gives them the time to work on new ideas, set ups, etc.
To me it's like a rhythm guitarist. A lot of great lead players cannot play good rhythm guitar because they don't work on it as much as a rhythm guitarist. But both types of guitarists are important and very necessary to making good music.
Vinnie, like Gadd is more of a band player and because he's so good at it everyone wants to have him on their album. Is he the greatest ever? I don't know, some people think so. But you can't deny the impact he has had on the drumming world and at least in his case it's not just popularity, it's talent. But let's not forget that he was one of many drummer who studied Gadd carefully so one begins to wonder where Vinnie would've been if Gadd had not been the drummer he was. This, I think is why so many people call Steve Gadd the most influencial drummer in modern drumming today.
I 'm actually going to disagree here...Gadd does play the same solos a lot of the time at clinics and stuff like...but he plays literally the SAME solo. You could transcribe it and it would match up perfectly everytime you hear it...that marching/rudiment solo. He also plays a solo based around the 50 ways beat and the latin groove from Late in the Evening...and he pretty much always plays it with 4 sticks. His groove is incredible and when it comes to playing for a song, it really doesn't get much better than Gadd.
Colaiuta may have a signature style/voice...but most definetly does NOT play the same solo all the time. What makes Vinnie so great is his ability to play some the most technically challenging parts you can imagine with guys like Zappa or his own band, then turn around play a Faith Hill concert. He is both and AMAZING "lead" player AND a mindblowing "rhythm" player.
His solo over the end of Seven Days certainly sounds NOTHING like his solo at the Blue Note Tokoyo with Chic Corea or any solo from Karizma. My guess is that if you think all of his solos sound alike...you haven't listened to that many. With a body of work as incredibly large as his, you really have to spend the time to listen and appreciate his playing.