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  #481  
Old 03-04-2010, 07:34 AM
Jeff Gordon #24
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by Pat Petrillo View Post
Yes. Obviously there is. It seems your description of amazing, world class drummer includes a hearty dose of chops and licks..While it is true that the drummers you've mentioned, and others perhaps, can "out chop" Steve at this stage of his career, let me say this:

1) Steve Gadd influenced those drummers in major ways. Steve created, or conceptualized many of the fills and grooves those guys play.

2) Steve is a groove master who has played on thousands of records, not by flashing chops, but playing music, the song.

3) Steve has influenced probably millions of drummers thru these recordings and performances.

4) Steve is a WONDERFUL, beautiful human being. VERY humble, and down to earth for someone who has achieved SO MUCH....'nuff said on that one!

I suggest you listen to recordings of Steve with Chick Corea in the '70's. Listen to Aja by Steely Dan, just to start out. DOn't watch "dig me " clips on You Tube for comparisons.

I'll be peeking in on this thread, for sure..Should be interesting..
Oh Wow! Well said there Pat. There is absolutely no mis-understanding about Steve Gadd after reading this post, sir. Excellently worded and couldn't agree more.

You've humbled ME, Mr Petrillo. And I Thank You.
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  #482  
Old 03-04-2010, 07:50 AM
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Default 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.
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  #483  
Old 03-04-2010, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
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".
Great thought, Polly!
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  #484  
Old 03-04-2010, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by Swiss Matthias View Post
Great thought, Polly!
+1 on that.

I remember when I first saw that video. It was right when it came out and Dave and Vinnie were two of my favorite drummers at the time. My exposure to Steve Gadd was limited to Al Dimeola and Steely Dan, and of course 50 Ways.

I thought he out-classed the other two to be honest. He struck me as almost a savant - like it just wasn't in his DNA to do something of questionable coolness. Just a lot of very well placed accents and especially flams was all it took and it didn't really seem like he was really thinking about it - or that perhaps he really was thinking about it and just wasn't aware anyone else was even in the room!
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  #485  
Old 03-04-2010, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

Watch that video again, and ask yourself which drummer sounds the most like he is playing a song.

THAT is what makes Steve Gadd so amazing.

Literally anyone could learn how to do what the other two do in that battle...with enough time and practice. That's not to take away from their performances, which are all incredible...but it's just really amazingly fast complex techniques being executed perfectly. Only Gadd manages to include amazing technique, etc, but still make it sound like a song. That's something that you just have or you don't...you can't train a muscle to make yourself hear songs better.
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  #486  
Old 03-04-2010, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

I've heard it said that Gadd "plays the music of the rudiments."
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  #487  
Old 03-04-2010, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

And here is a ready-reckoner of some of the 'rudiments' he has played since 1968: ( from his website)

2009 L'Image 2.0

(about 1,000 albums here)

1968 Gap Mangione Diana In The Autumn Wind

Last edited by DogBreath; 04-05-2010 at 11:12 PM. Reason: Go to Mr. Gadd's website for the complete list
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  #488  
Old 03-04-2010, 11:14 AM
Terminator7t Terminator7t is offline
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
There have been some whacky threads here on DW, But this one wins the gold!
What's Up with Gadd!!! I LMAO when I read the first post!
The only thing that is, and has ever been up with Gadd, is his playing ability!
Glad I made you laugh :).

So anyway, I have been watching some of Gadd's videos on Youtube, and I am starting to understand why people respect him so much, and why he is considered one of the greatest drummers of our time.

After watching the video with Vinnie, Weckl, and Gadd, I noticed that it was him playing that awesome cowbell groove throughout with amazing feel and skill, and he did have enough chops of his own which, after watching a few times is more friendly to the ears than Vinnie, and Weckl's technical mastery. I mean considering he was playing things like this 30+ years ago must of been mind-blowing for the time.

I have also been watching videos of him playing along to music, and as a poster said previously, it does seem irreplaceable because it sounds so good!

Anyway, I do regret making this thread, but thanks to your posts I now can finally appreciate Steve Gadd, so cheers for that.
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  #489  
Old 03-04-2010, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by mrchattr View Post
Literally anyone could learn how to do what the other two do in that battle...with enough time and practice.
I know what you mean, but don't forget that someone has to come up with the patterns Vinnie and Dave did, too!! Plus I don't think this level of command over time and rhythm can just be learned with enough practice.
On the other hand you can as well say everyone can play the figures Steve played. Just because Vinnie's and Dave's solos are more "technical" outstanding doesn't mean everyone can a) invent and develop them and b) even play them.

Also, as amazing Gadd's grooves sound in the video, it's not really something invented on the spot either. Those are his signature Crazy Army and Mozambique patterns and variations. Not wanting to take anything away from Gadd (!!), he just went another path in the battle than the other two.
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  #490  
Old 03-04-2010, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by Terminator7t View Post
Glad I made you laugh :).

So anyway, I have been watching some of Gadd's videos on Youtube, and I am starting to understand why people respect him so much, and why he is considered one of the greatest drummers of our time.

After watching the video with Vinnie, Weckl, and Gadd, I noticed that it was him playing that awesome cowbell groove throughout with amazing feel and skill, and he did have enough chops of his own which, after watching a few times is more friendly to the ears than Vinnie, and Weckl's technical mastery. I mean considering he was playing things like this 30+ years ago must of been mind-blowing for the time.

I have also been watching videos of him playing along to music, and as a poster said previously, it does seem irreplaceable because it sounds so good!

Anyway, I do regret making this thread, but thanks to your posts I now can finally appreciate Steve Gadd, so cheers for that.
Please dont regret it. Thanks to this thread, we all got a chance to relive and re-celebrate the career of a drumming 'great'. And as Polly implied, there is no such thing as an ignorant question...

...
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  #491  
Old 03-04-2010, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

Since when didn't Gadd have chops? Two words: microtiming and dynamics. He's one of those guys who knows how to fill the rythmic space with notes for sure, but instead of filling it all, he decides to just play couple of the most tastiest notes he could play. I could listen to his "brushes on a cardboard box"-youtube clip for ages.

Chops are first, then there's taste and then there's Gadd.
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  #492  
Old 03-04-2010, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I'd say you're missing context.

When looking back at a great, you have to consider where they were at the time and not compare them to who else is around now.

Much like football players of the 60's and 70's, the greatest back then seem average now because the "chops" bar has been raised so much higher.

When Gadd was at the highest point of his recording career and wowing people with solos that got him the reputation of greatest drummer, Weckl was still in Jr High school. Jojo Mayer had never been heard of. Vinnie was just getting started.

Weckl and Vinnie, among others, were very influenced by Gadd. Gadd was doing what they are doing before they were doing it.

So it's no surprise they took what Gadd did and improved upon it to the point that looking at them NOW, it appears Gadd is not quite on the same level.

Just because the student might surpassed the teacher doesn't mean the teacher is no longer deserving his credit.

There are 100's of drummer debates like this where one guy was innovate, but someone else took it to a new level. But the guy at the new level wouldn't be there without the predecessor.

I was never into Gadd when I was younger. I didn't much get it either. But as I've gotten older, I've been able to appreciate where he was coming from more, and appreciate what he does. I'd kill to have his feel and sense of groove.
Well, Steve Gadd is the Johan Cruijff of drums ;)
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  #493  
Old 03-04-2010, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

Also, I don't want to knock those who essentially said to Terminator "Whaaaat?? Are you mad??" because that reaction is understandable too (and these are people I respect). It's so easy to forget how thrilling maniacal drumming could be when you first start up. It's surprising that I remember given that I probably have about two memory cells left after a misspent life.

But times move on, we change, and reality tells us that those "flash" things we played were too sloppy to be workable and we start looking at music rather than just drumming.

Mike, you reminded me of how awestruck by Steve's work on Al DiMeola's The Wizard with Mingo Lewis. An Aja-esque performance.

Mr Chattr, with all due respect, I'm with Matthias in that I could practice 24 hours a day for another 30 years and not be able to play what Dave and Vinnie did in the drum duel clip. Those guys are freaks IMO. And so is Steve, but in a different way, although as has been said he has major chops.

Terminator, yep, that cowbell groove he did was classic Gadd. He gets those syncopated things to groove like crazy. Magic! And I agree with Aydee that you have no reason to regret starting the thread. Hey, it got us going, didn't it? Keep up the good work! *grin*
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  #494  
Old 03-04-2010, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

Dave and Vinnie sell huge drum sets to the parents of teenagers. Steve sells music to the parents of teenagers. An ounce of musical taste is worth a pound of technique.
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  #495  
Old 03-04-2010, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

You obviously don't know much about Vinnie.
Edit: except if you were only talking about the drumbattle video, then your point is valid, of course.

Last edited by Swiss Matthias; 03-04-2010 at 06:45 PM.
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  #496  
Old 03-04-2010, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post

Mr Chattr, with all due respect, I'm with Matthias in that I could practice 24 hours a day for another 30 years and not be able to play what Dave and Vinnie did in the drum duel clip. Those guys are freaks IMO. And so is Steve, but in a different way, although as has been said he has major chops.
Here's the thing though: you actually could. You are right that it MIGHT take that long, and both of you are right to say that coming up with parts like that, and doing so on the spot, takes more than just technical talent. But you would be amazed at how far you can come even just sitting practicing for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for a few years. You could get a transcription of what they played and nail it over time, with a huge amount of work. That's kind of the definition of technique. Natural talent helps with it all, of course, but any technique can be taught and learned. Feel can't really be learned, although it can be developed. And that's why I think the whole "feel/technique" battle is so silly. They are two totally different things.
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  #497  
Old 03-04-2010, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by mrchattr View Post
Feel can't really be learned, although it can be developed.
And that's why a drummer could never replicate the playing of Vinnie or Weckl; their sound is based as much on a combination of chops and feel as Gadd's is. Vinnie's sound, for example, is so unmistakable, not because of the chops he plays but for the time feel he has.
That said, putting in many hours a day for years may well put your playing in the same kind of esteem as Vinnie's - you're playing would develop it's own feel.
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  #498  
Old 03-04-2010, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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And that's why a drummer could never replicate the playing of Vinnie or Weckl; their sound is based as much on a combination of chops and feel as Gadd's is. Vinnie's sound, for example, is so unmistakable, not because of the chops he plays but for the time feel he has.
That said, putting in many hours a day for years may well put your playing in the same kind of esteem as Vinnie's - you're playing would develop it's own feel.
Very true, and well said. I guess my point was more that Gadd's feel is the more impressive of the three (in my, and from the sound of it, most of our, opinion)...but you are absolutely right, all those drummers have their own well developed unique feel.
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  #499  
Old 03-05-2010, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

I would bet that Mr. Gadd himself would say that he is not even in the top 10 of drummers chops wise. That's not his gig. Ever watch his solos? He does some of his standard stuff and them usually says his database of moves is tapped out a couple minutes in and apologizes for not doing more. Steve is fundamentally sound as hell and I would imagine one of the most available and one of the lowest maintenance drummers there is to play with. Most people will take someone who is easy to work with, is dependable and not only knows they are in the rhythm section but prefer it that way over someone who is higher maintenance and worries about their solo time etc. (Jim Keltner is another one - only his limits his range even more than Steve.)
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  #500  
Old 03-06-2010, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by Terminator7t View Post
So, I have recently been watching some of Steve Gadd's performances and I can't for the life of me see why he is considered one of the best drummers of all time. I mean to be compared to people like Vinnie, Jojo Mayer and many more seems to be ridiculous to be me.

For example, I saw a performance of Vinnie, Dave Weckl, and Steve Gadd playing together, and he seemed to be totally outclassed by the others.

Is there something i'm missing? Or maybe I am unable to appreciate his drumming.
I am very familiar with the video you are referencing here......

Without Steve, you wouldn't have either one of those drummers just as without Ringo, you wouldn't have John Bonham!

In this video, while the other two are shredding, Steve plays the most obvious ideas and makes them sound great!

And while Vinnie is from Mars (as I stated to my nephew - "meanwhile back on Mars" when Vinnie plays his last four bar solo), it is sometimes more difficult to come up with something really simple and make it sound and feel good.

It's like a duel between Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.

Have you ever listen to anything else Steve has done? Aja - I transcribed this entire song out, solos and all because I was on a a Country tour and listened to that tune and thought "I'm going to play that song one day!" There is quite a bit of interesting things in those solos.

In all honesty, this sounds like the Neil Peart is the greatest ever debate of decades ago....Neil gets to play the way he does because of the band he's in. Speaking of which check out Steve on the Burning for Buddy track, Love for Sale. Steve is the swingingest quarter note ride cymbal ever!

I mean, I used to be just like you when I got my Steve Gadd modern drummerback in 1983 - "Who is this Steve Gadd goobernuts guy? What's the big deal? I also thought the same thing of Vinnie Colaiuta, then I heard the Joni Mitchell album "wild Thing Run Fast" and it WAS on!

Do some more exploring of Steve and don't study just "chops" players!


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  #501  
Old 03-06-2010, 08:54 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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And that's why I think the whole "feel/technique" battle is so silly. They are two totally different things.
And yet so inter-related.....and thing about Vinnie is that he really knows the context he's in...take the Tom Scott CD "Flashpoint" - Get a Grip is a smoking fusion 3/4 tune and the rest of the disc is fairly straight ahead 2 & 4. And this can be said of Gadd as well....just because you have the chops doesn't mean you play a drum solo everytime you sit down to play a song!




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  #502  
Old 03-06-2010, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

Still, there's also the matter of what technique means to you. Being quicker, knowing more rudiments? I don't know about you guys, but having Gadd's dynamics within your rolls is pretty amazing technique to me. I have yet to find the drummer able to play this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTiyL...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5--S...eature=related
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Last edited by Rascul; 03-06-2010 at 09:32 PM.
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  #503  
Old 03-06-2010, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

Uhh...Rascul?


Yea, umm...there's an error with that "50 Ways" YouTube video. Just to let you know. It won't play.
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  #504  
Old 03-06-2010, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

Hmm... Works fine for me, but I've edited it
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

CHECK OUT THIS INTERVIEW with Anthony Jackson to get a feel for why Steve Gadd is on another level, apart from Vinnie or Dave or Jo Jo or whomever else you want to parade out. All great drummers, but as has been the case for as long as I can remember there are chops, and there are musical voices. And if you think Steve doesn't have chops, show me how your roll sounds nearly as good as his. It sounds like slowly tearing a sheet of paper.

I get it, I'm from Rochester, you can get Gadded out. You can say dang Steve enough drop fills, enough with the paradiddle hat snare fill, enough Crazy Army. Don't let that blind you to the fact that the man is brilliant.
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  #506  
Old 03-06-2010, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Hmm... Works fine for me, but I've edited it
Ahh...now THAT'S better! Thanks Rascul.


It's a shame though, that Gadd isn't shown much. what...5 seconds at the start, and about 12 seconds at the end.
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  #507  
Old 03-07-2010, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

Some people say that he is like ringo, a grandfather of drumming and I can accept that, and if he was an inovator then even more so.

But I would argue that his desighn has'nt withstood the test of time.
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  #508  
Old 03-07-2010, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by Derek View Post
Chick Corea once referred to Steve Gadd as "The finest musician I've ever played with."
.
Well...Maybe Miles, Elvin, Roy, Jack, and Tony might be a tad higher on the flagpole hmm??...Chick might have been a little high....
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Some people say that he is like ringo, a grandfather of drumming and I can accept that, and if he was an inovator then even more so.

But I would argue that his desighn has'nt withstood the test of time.
No way brother Animal. His playing is way past foundational. You guys really need to listen to him some more, you're missing one of the greatest voices on the instrument.

Keep in mind that whatever gig he is playing on any given day, it's likely the best damn gig available that day.
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  #510  
Old 03-07-2010, 07:37 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

I first noticed Gadd's playing on a Steely Dan album. I was trying to play along with the tune and I wasn't getting it! I can't remember which Dan tune that it was now. I said to myself, "Who's that drummer!" After that I always listened to anything that Gadd played on that I could find!
He never had a bad hair day!
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  #511  
Old 03-07-2010, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

I love how armchair quarterbacks sit around and critique the greats. Gadd has made a living every day of his life by playing the drums. How many of you can say that? He's played with the greatest musicians known. How many of you can say that? He attended two of the finest music university's in the world. How many of you can say that? The man is a total professional. How many of you can say that?
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  #512  
Old 03-07-2010, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Keep in mind that whatever gig he is playing on any given day, it's likely the best damn gig available that day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigd
I love how armchair quarterbacks sit around and critique the greats. Gadd has made a living every day of his life by playing the drums. How many of you can say that? He's played with the greatest musicians known. How many of you can say that? He attended two of the finest music university's in the world. How many of you can say that? The man is a total professional. How many of you can say that?
Please guys...! I understand the importance and also the musical genius of Steve Gadd, and I don't want to take away from him, but I think the points in this thread are already made, and in comments like this from you Spreggy there is clearly a fan of Gadd's speaking, which not everybody necessarily is at the same amount. I mean how can you say the venue Gadd is playing at will be the best gig available that day??

And bigd, please let's not start another you-only-are-allowed-to-critique-someone-if-you-play-as-well argument! That's totally annoying, and irrelevant to a certain degree.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by Swiss Matthias View Post
Please guys...! I understand the importance and also the musical genius of Steve Gadd, and I don't want to take away from him, but I think the points in this thread are already made, and in comments like this from you Spreggy there is clearly a fan of Gadd's speaking, which not everybody necessarily is at the same amount. I mean how can you say the venue Gadd is playing at will be the best gig available that day??

And bigd, please let's not start another you-only-are-allowed-to-critique-someone-if-you-play-as-well argument! That's totally annoying, and irrelevant to a certain degree.
+1

must type 20 or more
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
+1

must type 20 or more
+2
wonder why that is, Pol.. must ask Bernard..
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

In that video of the drum battle, it seemed to me that Gadd annihilated the other two. Admittedly I don't know a lot about the kind of thing they're doing, but I could actually hear a "groove" to his, as opposed to just showing how quickly he can hit the various toms and cymbals.

It's sorta like the difference between a guitar solo that's all huge sweeping arpeggios and one that has a solid melody you can feel. The thing with haphazard showing off of chops is that it's non-specific. As impressive as it is, it's cut-and-paste. I'd argue it takes a lot more deep feeling of music to construct the kind of thing Gadd does.
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

I agree, the solos Dave and Vinnie deliver at this performance were not necessarily their most inspired work :).
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

drummers don't have to be playing blazing speed double kicks or having kits that circle and spin in the air or twirl sticks all night long to be good.

ever listen to "Aja"??
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:34 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

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Originally Posted by Swiss Matthias View Post
I agree, the solos Dave and Vinnie deliver at this performance were not necessarily their most inspired work :).
True, nor did they mean it to be.

The event had a circuslike quality to it and from what I could tell the guys were just having fun providing some acrobatic razzatmatazz to give the audience thrills and spills and oohs and ahhs. They succeeded in this brilliantly and it was great entertainment. I'm sure they had a ball with the opportunity to stretch out and go crazy - to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Once finished with the show no doubt they went went on their merry ways playing music again.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

What amazes me the most is how tight these old school recordings were in a analog world. Now that's true skill. Steve will always be a legend, I am fortunate to have lived and learned in his era.
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: So, what is it with Steve Gadd

Here's my vote for Gadd in that particular video. His playing was much more musical to my ears than Vinnie and Dave.
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