Re: Virgil Donati
Hmmm... yes - Virgil is the Buddy Rich of our time (in the sense that he does things which seem to be impossible to imitate - or even to comprehend). However, in terms of pure musical genius, there's no comparison between them. Buddy had hands like butterflies... sooo smooth, his phrasing qualities daily stand the test of time (as we can see as far as enthusiastic youtube.com comments go...).
Virgil's feet revolution is unbelievable; Buddy's hand techniques, total smoothness in his single strokes and buzz rolls (and so forth) are unmatched. Both are great in my book, but no one beats buddy as far as spontaneous creativity goes - not just that, he actually had all the technical proficiency needed to execute whatever he might have though at any given moment. Virgil is unbelievable, but Buddy was a genius. That's my understanding on the subject (and Planet X totally kills, definitely).