Well, sorry to bump this thread, but all of the disbelievers out there astound me!
Karen was truly a great drummer, not a run of the mill good drummer as some in this thread have implied or outright SAID!
Remember the body of work she did was cut short by her vocal fame and if given an entire career of drumming instead of only what she was given I'm confident she would be FAR more known for her drumming prowess that she is right now.
Also. keep in mind, what "chops" she did or didn't have weren't the main
showcase of The Carpenters, it was about the SONGS, not the drums. Fortunately though, she was given a fair amount of time to bring her drumming to the forefront a bit with her multi part solo that was incorporated into the show.
It's too bad there wasn't enough time for the drumming Karen to get in with other musicians and stretch out her musical career into things The Carpenters would have never played. I could have seen her digging into a big band sound or maybe a jazz combo, but it wasn't to be, too bad as I'm sure it would have quelled many of the disbelievers.
Here's a clip I just found the other day.
The Carpenters on Johnny Carson Performing "Mr. Guder" back in 1973
It was a bit of a musical departure from the usual Carpenters thing, there was a bit of time changing going on, and some really cool drumming by Karen, and all while singing FLAWLESSLY!! I would say a lot of you would have problems with JUST playing the song with the finesse she had, let alone while singing it too!! But MAN did her kit sound terrible, 1970's muffled to the hilt!!
Karen deserved much more recognition for her drumming than I fear she will ever get, that's just too sad.