Re: The legendary Steve Gadd.
lurked here for a little while. Finally was able to put aside some minutes to read this whole thread tonight and thought I'd post.
I think Gadd is a great drummer/musician -but that's all been said by others here better than I could put it. So ...yeah ...what you guys said. Like him or not, it seems silly to dispute his skill, influence, and contributions to the artform we all love.
The thing I'm surprised no one has mentioned (very sorry if someone did and I just missed this) is that, I think, in line with all that creativity and all those innovative parts, one of Gadd's most important contributions has been his approach to not just the drumset, but the drumset + the microphones.
He was one of the first to realize and deliberatly take advantage of the fact that a well mixed, close-mic'd drumset will make things like that "chick" with the left foot cut through even rock guitars, letting him add a whole new level of dynamics to his playing and take a fresh approach the drumset -opening up a whole world of possible patterns that didn't work before because they woudln't really be completely audible. That, more or less, changed the way people use a drumset to create music. I mean, there were probably others that helped this cause too, but that's one of his biggest contributions, IMO. His often unpopular approach to tuning (I tend to favor a more 'open' sound myself) is also a very microphone conscious one and speaks towards his approach to the drumset viewed in the context of microphones.
so...yeah. He's a pretty significant fella. I'd venture to throw the word genius on the table.
P.S. Bernhard, this is a really, really great website. You're doing a great thing here -I've met young drummers who didn't know the name Steve Gadd ...not to mention the likes of Papa Joe and other greats who aren't on mainstream media every 2 seconds. I'll bet there are a lot of young players out there who've really had their eyes opened here! I think you're making a real contribution to Music!