Oh dude!! So true!I had the pleasure of spending an entire week with Jeff Hamilton last summer at a jazz camp in Port Townsend Washington. He is a nice guy but could be a bit intimidating or gruff as you put it but really is just kind of a smart ass with a great sense of humor. He has all kinds of great stories about Papa Jo, Art Blakey, Mel Lewis, Ed Thigpen just to name a few. It's amazing how many greats he new and worked with.
One thing he will get mad at is when you video tape a master class!
Yeah, I...uh...sort of almost did this at the clinic too.
I whipped out my recorder and made a gesture to him as he was playing as if to say, "Can I record you?". Let's just say he indicated "No." He certainly got his point across without even losing the beat. I just wanted to crawl under my chair...
I also apologized about this later on too. Between that and almost blinding him with my camera flash I'm surprised he talked to me at all.