Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd
Terminator, the opening poster, saw a drum battle and Steve was the least spectacular one in it. I think it's reasonable for a relatively inexperienced drummer to ask the question. I don't think it's good to discourage people from asking questions lest they worry about it being a "dumb question".
He asked why and we told him why, which all seems fair enough to me. So good onya Terminator for asking the question and hopefully the info is useful, ie. what constitutes great drumming as opposed to spectacular drumming.
Imagine there's a band with an empty drum stool. You have to decide which drummer will make the song sound best. Steve Gadd has a proven track record as someone who can reliably walk in and make a song more effective than a composer would ever imagine it could be. What's played doesn't need to be fancy or spectacular; it just needs to help the music actualise to its fullest potential on the day.
That not only involves the drum track itself but also its effect on how the other musicians play because drums are the foundation of most popular music forms on which other musicians and lead voices build their parts.
As someone else said, he's apparently a humble, decent and pleasant man. That helps put others at ease so they can produce their best.