In full agreement with everything here. Great points.Great work on this Pete. I especially like the emphasis you placed on feathering the bass drum. Many players play too loud when attempting to feather the bass drum. The bass drum should definitely be felt more then heard in this instance.
A good rule of thumb would be that your feathered bass drum should NOT be louder than the upright bass.
My search for a ride cymbal for Big Band has taken me through all sorts of different ideas from pingy like a 602 Medium ride to darker K Con types. My personal favourite ride cymbal sound for Big and is the old A Zildjian with the cutouts Mel Lewis used with Terry Gibbs Dream Band and Art Blakey's on Art Blakey Big Band (remastered 2013), both of these rides have a good stick articulation but also a nice amount of spread as well. You need that cushion for a ride with Big Band. It is fuller and fills space. It also sounds great on ballads as well. Many people when trying out new cymbals never have the opportunity to hear them with a band. Much of the wash and overtone gets overwhelmed by the band so you are left with the stick sound. I am also a firm believer I. Using two or more rides for Big a Band if finances allow. Mel Lewis was quoted as saying everyone of my cymbals is a ride and everyone is a crash. I completely agree with this comment. Many players have one ride and multiple crashes and when listening to the same ride cymbal constantly to my ear gets boring and predictable. Mel would have a high, medium and low sounding ride to play behind certain instruments so he would not get too much into their register.
The K Constantinople Medium ride is a good ride for Big Band in that there is some separation between the stick and wash and they generally have very nice bells. They are also still thin enough for shoulder crashes as well. This actually segues into another point I want to make about crashing in a Big Band. Many times crashing on a dedicated crash cymbal is overbearing in the overall sound of a band. It is too brash and in your face. A simple laying into the shoulder of the ride cymbal for accent can be much more effective and pleasing.