I thought I would create a thread about the British drummer Steve Jansen, who is one of my biggest musical influences. In particular, I am curious as to whether many of those outside the UK are familiar with his work? I have only seen his name mentioned a few times here (e.g. Gavin Harrison citing him as an inspiration, a mention in the 'underrated' thread).
For those who don't know, Steve was the drummer in the band Japan in the late Seventies/early Eighties and has subsequently worked on a number of projects with his brother David Sylvian, with the other former members of Japan (Mick Karn and Richard Barbieri), as a session musician, and as a solo composer/producer. A brief self-penned bio can be found here on his website:
What I've always loved about his playing is his ability to combine incredibly solid, almost mechanical timing and dynamics with real musicality, creativity and expressiveness. A very short list of recommended listening (albums), which I think would inspire drummers of pretty much any genre:
Rain Tree Crow - 'Rain Tree Crow'
David Sylvian - 'Brilliant Trees', 'Gone to Earth'
Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri - 'Stories Across Borders'
Steve Jansen - 'Slope'
(these last two feature mainly programmed rather than real drums)
I had the intimidating prospect of following in Steve's footsteps when working on an album with the British band No-Man, as he had been the drummer on their previous album (as it turned out, the direction of this album was a little different and the band decided that there would be only cymbals/percussion, no full kit parts, so I was off the hook somewhat!). I also had the privilege of remixing one of the songs from his album 'Slope', and he was a real pleasure to deal with.
So... any other Jansen fans out there? :-)