Who are the top three drummers you admire and why ?

Gavin Harrison. I stumbled upon him when I heard (and subsequently analyzed) "Stop!" by Sam Brown. I love both his sound and his licks and breaks. He's one of those extremely exact drummers who always manage to seem to be completely relaxed. He's not much of a party animal but one can see how he enjoys playing.
 

planoranger

Junior Member
JACK DeJOHNETTE
So there I was, at my local record shop, and I came across what was to be my first ECM album purchase; "Timeless", by the late, great guitarist John Abercrombie with Jan Hammer on keys and Jack on drums. Came home, put on "Lungs", and I had no idea what I was in for! Up-tempo swinging that snaked around the pulse and was surging like a restless ocean. Totally freewheeling and cerebral. His solo section contained playing that reminded me Milford Graves, incredible foot speed, and Elvin-ish phrases. The song closes with a funk-ish section that included some Linear patterns, and, again, some incredibly fast bass drum licks. I was completely amazed and a bit traumatized. Since that fateful afternoon at age 17, he has been my all-time favorite player. I could go on and on about him, but I'll focus on a few more things; His incredible, seemingly endless vocabulary of licks and his ability to transcend technique and play great ideas. His incredible use of Dynamics. And all the great cymbal playing! A true innovator!
Yeah...JD is a true monster. Have you heard the Michael Brecker album "Tales From the Hudson"? My favorite track on there is Pat Metheny's "Song For Bilbao". Jack is all over that tune!!! It's hard to describe, but in the hands of a lesser musician, it would simply be over playing. Jack's drive, looseness, and creativity is just incredible.
 
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Deleted member 525878

Guest
Yes planoranger! I have most of his discography. I think I'm gonna start a thread and list all the recordings I own. Saw him live at Monmouth College with Brecker, Metheny, Holland, and the pianist I'm sorry I don't remember! 1998. What a show!
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
Yes planoranger! I have most of his discography. I think I'm gonna start a thread and list all the recordings I own. Saw him live at Monmouth College with Brecker, Metheny, Holland, and the pianist I'm sorry I don't remember! 1998. What a show!
I would be highly interested in such a thread about Jack Dejohnette and his discography, I'll be there for sure.
 

Ryan Culberson

Well-known member
Steve Jordan
Chris Whitten
James Gadson

Jordan is my all-time favorite. His musical choices on the drums influence every choice I make in the music I play.

Whitten changed my entire approach to drumming. When the Edie Brickell album hit, I was 17 and firmly entrenched in metal music of the mid-80’s... double bass drums and lots of notes. Then I heard Chris’ playing and I knew I had to get me some of that! Lost the second bass drum and a few toms immediately, and completely overhauled my playing. Instead of trying to figure out how to add more notes, I began to focus on subtracting notes.

Gadson because he has the smoothest groove in the business and always has a childlike happiness whenever I see live footage of him.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Whitten changed my entire approach to drumming. When the Edie Brickell album hit, I was 17 and firmly entrenched in metal music of the mid-80’s... double bass drums and lots of notes. Then I heard Chris’ playing and I knew I had to get me some of that! Lost the second bass drum and a few toms immediately, and completely overhauled my playing. Instead of trying to figure out how to add more notes, I began to focus on subtracting notes.
I've always been a fan of Whitten -- clean, precise, tasteful drumming, at once calculated but cleverly natural. He's a master of complex understatement. It takes a skilled ear to recognize the immense musicality he distributes among a rationing of notes.
 

Ryan Culberson

Well-known member
I've always been a fan of Whitten -- clean, precise, tasteful drumming, at once calculated but cleverly natural. He's a master of complex understatement. It takes a skilled ear to recognize the immense musicality he distributes among a rationing of notes.
I feel very fortunate to have had a rather lengthy PM conversation with him on another forum approximately 15 years ago. He was very patient and kind with his responses, as well as being very detailed. It meant a lot to this longtime fan and I’ve never forgotten it.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I feel very fortunate to have had a rather lengthy PM conversation with him on another forum approximately 15 years ago. He was very patient and kind with his responses, as well as being very detailed. It meant a lot to this longtime fan and I’ve never forgotten it.
Sounds like a true professional and a genuine gentleman. I probably would have printed the discussion and framed it on the wall of my practice studio. :) It's not often you get to chat with a major influence.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Steve Smith -- he inspired to want to pick up drums in my youth when I was given my first album, Journey Evolution. So I'll be the first in this chain to admit to being a Journey fan. Smith's drumming with Journey is simply awesome. I had no idea I was stumbling onto one of the best drummers in history. His jazz/fusion playing is beyond reproach. And such an amazing educator. I've seen Smith several times over the decades, with Journey and after, mostly with Vital Information. At one VI show, I had the table right in front of his kit. His hihat was sliding during the show, so he asked me to help out and keep in in place during certain song passages. So I got to practically be his roady! I also went to a clinic back in the 90's and was the lucky winner of a Sonor snare. He signed the batter head for me. It's on the wall in a frame behind me as I'm typing this.

Neil Peart -- Rush and his playing/lyrics became a massive influence on me as I grew to love progressive rock beginning in my teens. Such an architect of brilliant drum parts. So sad that he's gone.

Bill Bruford -- being limited to three drummers makes this a tough choice! So many other drummers have been such an influence and inspiration. Bruford, however, has to make the list. His performances with Yes are stunning. Earthworks! His sense of timing and placement is unmatched, in my opinion. A band I was in for several years covered Heart of the Sunrise. Learning that tune note for note felt like a graduate class in drumming. It was like climbing a great mountain. Getting to the top was so rewarding. What a blast to play. So creative and powerful.
yep...agree with every thing here!! I was at a Steve Smith clinic exactly like you describe back then....didn't win the drum, but it changed my life drum, and education wise. There were maybe 50 people there, so we sort of had him all to ourselves. 3 hours. Just questions and response about everything in the world drums... total Zen

Neil Peart
Bill Ward
Nicko McBrain

Because they inspired me when I started out.
these are definitely in my top 10!! My life is Rush, Maiden and Sabbath roughly in that order!!

Neil Peart
Bill Ward
Phil Ehart

I feel no explanation needed .

I have to add Gary Mallaber played on some great stuff including......
Van Morrison
Steve Miller Band
Eddie Money .
I love seeing Phil Ehart mentioned. Quietly, one of the best players from the 70's...
 

Vapor Trail

Junior Member
Some great drummers mentioned here! McBrain and Harrison have been mentioned a few times. If only my choices weren't limited to three (and I could add so many others, like Marco Minnemann or early Mike Portnoy).

I'd love to see some new threads started to give suggestions on specific albums drummers found inspiring. I'm currently listening to Saxophone Colossus based on this thread. Roach is killing it!

In particular, I'd like to hear more about specific Jack DeJohnette albums. I can suggest Parallel Realities to anyone looking to hear some DeJohnette. As others stated, he has amazing cymbal work. Playing is so clean and uncluttered. A joy to hear.
 
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