What can I say guys? I checked this thread out after being away for a day, expecting maybe 1 or 2 extra replies and I find this!! Thanks for putting some energy into the debate. I've certainly learnt a lot from the guys here with a sound knowledge of jazz. I asked the question because I felt hugely under qualified to satisfy my own intrigue. In my very poorly informed opinion, the performance left me a bit cold. He didn't nail it as a rock player nor did he approch the piece with the syncopation and avoidance of first beat in the bar accent I'd expected. Don't get me wrong here, a whole ton better than I could achieve but not up to the usual Phillips innovation approach. Take his playing with his band, Protocol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H0tm-Hs9qo
from 92. For most rock drummers, a really uncomfortable departure, yet he performed this with a certainty of purpose. That clarity of direction is missing on the jazz piece we're discussing. A sort of "on the fence" performance. I'm no good at analyzing the finer defining points of this feeling, it's just the vibe I pick up.
I've seen Simon many times. Unless you've seen him live, it's almost impossible to appreciate the power, dynamics and musicallity of this man. I can honestly say I've never been as impressed by any other player live as I have by Simon Phillips. This one just misses the mark for me, as does the latest PSP stuff I've heard to date, oh so clever but devoid of passion.