There should totally be a thread dedicated to this guy. If this is the first time you have heard of him, then I'm happy to be the one to introduce you to the *GREAT* Hamid Drake.
For my money, he's one of the top 3 drummers walkin' the planet. The guy has so much groove in such a unique way... I get tired of hearing everyone overuse the word "groove" and place too much emphasis on it at all times. A lot of the music I love has no set time - freejazz/avant garde improv/etc.
Hamid Drake can play out with the best, and outgroove those who think they know what's up. His sound/feel/ideas are always amazing - I've never heard one bad note from him. He is a very accomplished percussionist as well - incorporating frame drums and tablas with everything else he's playing. He uses only a 4 piece kit with a few cymbals, and makes more music with them than those guys I see with 20 drums and endless cymbals.
He grew up in Chicago - learning from Alvin Fielder and the AACM guys - Fred Anderson, etc. - and has become the go-to guy for some of the most respected musicians in the international music community.
Some CD's to check out:
Die Like A Dog - Little Birds Have Fast Hearts Vol 1 &2
Daniel Carter - Painter's Spring (a great introduction to him)
Joe McPhee/Hamid Drake - Emancipation Proclomation
DKV Trio - Live @ Wels
Any drummer who throws out the term "Groove" and hasn't heard Mr. Drake needs to reaffirm what "groove" means and go check him out. The man is a monster.