Re: Virgil Donati
Interesting point, Ben.
I still think guys who flame Virgil the most only know bits of his playing from drum clinics and solo performances. Besides being hard to follow in this situations, I can understand musicians who don't see that as specifically "musical", as I suppose meant in the sense of "telling" something, including tension and release phrases, overall dynamics etc. Even as a big fan of Virgil's I have to say, those alien solo performances lack a bit of those things. He could lay down more accessible performances by playing simple grooves and forms, and build up to complicated stuff from there. He could approach it more as a "telling stories" thing.
But for the record, I second: Virgil has great groove, sense of time and sense of musicality. And he has absolutely no problem playing simple 2 and 4 beats, as he states himself, and as he's proven a lot.