Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd
There are certain imitable features to Steve's playing and as others have cited he has influenced many players.
I think the most enjoyable aspect is the Gadd lilt. When you listen to his playing a placement of the notes that is unique.
Another thing is that Gadd was one of a handful of players who actually started to write drum grooves that were not only innovative but became an irreplaceable part of the song. When you look at a tune like Paul Simon's 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover or Late in the Evening, you can't imagine those tunes without Gadd's drum part. His work with Al Jarreau as well as the sambas he plays on Chick Corea's Friends are also first class. . He does this while at the same time playing very drummistic patters: with rudiments and Stone stickings.
Gadd plays in a way that inspires the others around him through his infectious groove and musical attitude towards playing. Regardless of what any one thinks about his playing, you don't become the most recorded drumming in history without doing something right.
Ken Marino Drum Teacher "It's not worth keeping score. You win some. You lose some, you let it go"