Ultimate drummer. Where are you?


16 Jun 2007, 1:27

Last night, listening to some of my Jaco Pastorious mp3 I started to remember some words of Joe Zawinul, he said something like this “He had that magical thing about him, the same kind of thing Jimi Hendrix had”. Then I came to a ridicule obvious conclusion, Hendrix and Jaco are definitely gods of their instruments, like Matt Pierson said “he stands true original, unlike anyone who came before him and influencing everyone who followed”, that works with Hendrix and Jaco. Jimi made all the guitarists of his era fear of their jobs, and all the guitarists of our generation still pay him tribute. Jaco changed radically the function and the face of the electric bass, and we, all the bassist still follow his techniques and drool with his lines. I think this is an universal truth (in popular music), maybe today there are better performers, but this two guys reached a creativity peak that nobody have had reach yet.

We all know that, right?

But, what about drummers? I’m also a drummer and I don’t feel that has ever existed a drummer with such magic and talent like Jaco or Hendrix, or am I wrong?
Let’s take the (officially) best drummer ever, Buddy Rich. He still is almost unreachable, but he was a cranky old guy with a twisted back. Sorry Buddy, you just don’t have the magic I’m looking for. Let’s get more mainstream…Keith Moon?... nha, don’t thing so. Ok, maybe John Bonham, he got the magic, the influence, but… was Bonzo a real monster innovator? Did he give the “giant steps”?
I just feel that the chair of the ultimate drum god is still empty, maybe we can find a prime minister, but looking in the legends, or the greatest drummers of this generation like Chambers or Donati…I’m still looking for a god to this religion.

Can you help me find the Jaco or the Hendrix…or even the Paganini or the Parker of modern drumming?

Otras conexiones, para los incautos: The Who Led Zeppelin Virgil Donati Dennis Chambers Tribal Tech Rush Tool King Crimson y por que no Charlie Parker


  • Ramez05

    these drummers are out there its just easier to recognize talented guitarists than it is drummers.

    16 Jun 2007, 3:13
  • U2Angel

    Larry Mullen Jr. of U2 and Lars Ulrich of Metallica.

    16 Jun 2007, 5:12
  • Nero1

    What about Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater?

    16 Jun 2007, 10:15
  • buri-

    Well i would go with Steve Gadd. I think he influenced many drummers especially drummers in japan ;) I'm not saying he is the ultimate drummer, but he played with so many bands, doing studio recordings etc etc.

    16 Jun 2007, 16:01
  • el_chivo

    The drummer from U2??? Why??? Ulrich is nothing but speed, the truth is that he's just an average drummer. All his drum work since the black album is boring, always with that hold back the crash hit trick. He's just an icon, not a great drummer. Portnoy...well...he's a VERY good drummer, but he's mostly a showman. The kind of show to impress kids. He plays very well but he uses the same things for his bag of tricks since day one and depend TOO MUCH from his big drum kit. Unfortunately....he can’t do a decent solo! I'm not kidding, look his videos, the guy just play random patterns. I know that most people thinks that Portnoy is the greatest drummer ever lived, but if you put him side to side with real great drummers like The Wild Man From Texas.. You just realize that you need to hear more music. Gadd!!! That’s a REAL candidate!! He's a real icon among drummers (still in these days) and one of the most creative minds in the drum world. Most people outside don't know who he his but....I would give him the chair!

    16 Jun 2007, 17:41
  • PauPeach

    hahahahaha U2!! that girl made my day ;P What about Mr. Neil Peart? I'm sure I don´t know very much about drummers like you, so... (y conexiones es con X!)

    16 Jun 2007, 18:34
  • el_chivo

    No te hagas la que no sabe linda, but I’m actually considering Mr. Peart the best rock drummer alive. He can evolve, he has the skills, and he knows how to use a big kit. He’s also a great soloist and sometimes I don’t not what drummers like Portnoy would be doing right now if Peart had never existed. He can fill the chair. (Ups!)

    16 Jun 2007, 18:59
  • m0rtem

    Short and sweet... there is NO Jaco or Hendrix in the world of drumming. There have been a lot of tremendous players throughout the decades, but, like yourself, I don't feel there's [i]this[/i] one, ultimate drummer that truly splits the drumming era in two. Much has been said about Buddy, but I disagree... he had insane chops, but I'm afraid that's about it. We can talk about legendary players such as Bill Bruford, Terry Bozzio, Steve Gadd, Dennis Chambers, Vinnie Colaiuta, Gene Krupa, Max Roach, Bonzo, Tony Williams, Jack DeJohnette (underrated), Virgil Donati, among others, but none of these feel as THE greatest drummer in history. Sadly, I guess it's still open to anyone's opinion... and to me, the greatest has been Chambers. And btw, to the girl who mentioned Lars and the dude from U2... I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but you clearly have no idea of what you're talking about.

    18 Jun 2007, 5:42
  • el_chivo

    In some way, is better that way. Music super heroes leave a lot of copycats in his way, but slow and intelligent evolution leaves us with constant new and good music. We’ll always have Gadd’s licks, Tony Williams’s chops, Bozzio’s diatonic scales, and Krupa’s smoking to get inspired with. I don’t have the stomach to say who’s the best drummer, but one thing is sure, Chambers is the funkiest man on drums.

    18 Jun 2007, 18:33
  • Katanalad

    Jaco was a drummer too :P I think Vinnie Colaiuta is an incredible drummer, his playing with Herbie Hancock was amazing. I don't know if it had the same level of unique energy as Jaco though.

    22 Jun 2007, 8:03
  • el_chivo

    Yeah, he was a drummer. Thanks to God for sports injuries. Vinnie is excellent, and I believe that the best thing about Vinnie is that he's amazing in everything he plays, Hancock, Zappa, Megadeth, even with spanish pop stars sounds great. He has energy, but not of the kind to break the history in two.

    24 Jun 2007, 15:38
  • PauPeach

    I might be a slow minded girl, cause I didn't argue you about not choosing Bonzo... Why didn't you? He was pure energy, improvisation, speed and power (please read Bonzo's part in the book I wrote or return it to the original owner), his beat was a trademark and out of the conventional timing and rhythm. Also he has been such an influence for music nowadays. The only disadvantage I find...is that he's dead :P …but I can guarantee you that if Bonzo wouldn't be 6 feet under, he could take the ultimate drummer award ...well, if we count on him by going to rehab and, of course, still be playing good music within Zep or not. (am I hallucinating??) Do you want to shoot? (but softly, I’m petit)…or choose Peart, as I said before (although you already talked about him) Too much parenthesis!!

    8 Jul 2007, 21:01
  • PauPeach

    too many parenthesis!! ...what was I thinking?

    8 Jul 2007, 21:05
  • el_chivo

    Look, my petit and slow minded girl, I assure you that Bonzo doesn’t need to be alive to get that title. That’s why I put him like one of my first options. If we were talking just about rock, he’ll take the chair right away, emerging from 6 feet under. Even if he emerged in an era where (rock) drummers gained more and more recognition, he stands has the one with a mayor influence on other players, more than Keith Moon the Loon and Ginger Baker (yet Mr Baker doesn’t like to be called a rock drummer). You can see that influence in the legendary Bonzo triplets (even if Dennis Chambers said that he saw that from another player before), the masterful skills with just one bass drum, and that punch….that damn punch! But my petit Peach, we’re not talking just about rock drummers. I think that all the drummers from the 60’s and 70’s (as well other kinds of players) own a lot from his fellow jazz amigos (and later, they give back the favor when fusion came up). Still if Johnny B has his own signature (and influential) style, in a greater context he doesn’t split the waters of drumming like Jimmi or Jaco did it. (Lo de los paréntesis…es inevitable, linda. Has well my crappy english)

    10 Jul 2007, 3:40
  • PauPeach

    yeap, it's just that I only know about rock music...

    10 Jul 2007, 15:24
  • el_chivo

    Nha! That's not true

    10 Jul 2007, 17:27
  • EduMusic

    Nombráis muchos bateristas y os olvidáis de Dave Weckl... mejor casi q imposible

    26 Jul 2007, 1:53
  • el_chivo

    La verdad fue olvido y no excluido deliveradamente. Weckl siempre es una referencia sumamente importante y admito que sus videos instructivos me han servido mucho. Me encanta cuando aborda ritmos latinos, solo superado por El Negro Herdandez.

    26 Jul 2007, 14:50
  • EduMusic

    28 Jul 2007, 5:00
  • andyjlambeth

    Billy Cobham is one for me as he is a superb player and writer . Aquiles Priestar from Angra is one of the most under recognised players in the world, very procficient / original and not respected enough. Joey Jordison for double kick and his mean sound. Horacio Hernandez for limb independence, popularising left-clawing and plain skill. Steve Gadd for a deep feel, Carter Berauford for mixing technical playing and grooving so well, Virgil Donati for technical expertise and handling complex time changes, Terry Bozzio for being a textural player. Loads of other amazing players but you get my point. There are many hero players out there on drums, and every one has strengths and weaknesses.

    31 Jul 2007, 12:13
  • el_chivo

    @andyjlambeth: Let’s not say “every one has strengths and weaknesses”. I think all are over the top players with very a specialized sound…and they just become supernatural in their field. I only have two problems in your list. I have seen Aquiles playing some pretty good solos and he seems like a very skilled player, but in Angra I just hear that eternal power metal beat! And Jordison, he’s fast, precise (a Melvins fan) and I like his work but some time I saw a solo from him…and he looked like trying to impress the kids with his flying kit more than drumming (he was doing some crappy rolls all over the drums), maybe I need to see more. In the bottom line, solos don’t care, just matters what you can do with the band. You can play Stravinsky all day in your house and in the night go and play silly pop punk with your friends…you’ll be a silly pop punk player. @radiopilote: This wild man from Texas is Kirk Covington. He was the drummer of Tribal Tech until the band broke paths. He now plays keyboard with VOLTO! and left the duty of drums to Danny Carey from Tool (but giving space for an occasional drum battle. If you want a taste of Mr. Covington, check the video from a 1995 Tribal Tech concert in Israel.

    4 Ago 2007, 17:54
  • aquivaldo

    Well, I guess I'd go with Bonham. My reason, besides his well known prowess and undisputed influence on the instrument, is a fact that, ironically, was already mentioned by PauPeach to have him unqualified to the ultimate drummer award: He is dead. He died young. To me, that's what makes him eligible to such a distinction, what makes a popular music god a God. If he was alive, he would be just one more. No need to remember that our two universally accepted music gods, Hendrix & Jaco, died young; furthermore: take blues guitar for instance. Stevie Ray Vaughan was an amazing guitar player, and surely he revolutionized the approach to blues guitar playing, but what made him a legend was his premature death. Or take metal music, where the two most acclaimed musicians on their respective instruments, have also the title of Gods, not only because their influential playing, but because of their tragic decease: Rhandy Roads and Cliff Burton. You have to be dead to be a god. Oh, and remember not to take this post too seriously.

    14 Ago 2007, 13:22
  • el_chivo

    Pay attention to a wise saanaí when he speaks about death. And more when it is based on a basic premise: If it's dead, it cannot disappoint you!.

    14 Ago 2007, 19:43
  • APE907

    Rich - Innovator, mind boggling technique, incredible soloist, help bring drums to the forefront - A drum God among Gods. Chambers - Best funk drummer ever. Period. Amazing power and chops, can reel it in also when the music needs restraint. Gadd - Impeccable taste, epitome of groove and feel - huge respect among the drum community. Donati - The mad scientist - work & practice ethic that is compulsive if not beyond - arguably the greatest soloist ever (in my opinion and many others) - technique that is incomprehensible. Listening to Virgil is truly humbling - those who dump on him simply cannot comprehend what he is doing and/or are threatened by playing at this level. Bonham, Moon, Portnoy and many of the other regulars I see mentioned are so over rated. Yes - Bonham was supremely influential in rock music but it simply is not ground breaking stuff - bring on the flames I could care less! I learned alot from playing with Zeppelin but there are far better drummers out there. There are MANY incredible players I have left out - just tried focusing on those worthy of this discussion. To say that there has never been a drummer that deserves the respect of a Hendrix on guitar or Jaco on bass is ludicrous.

    21 Sep 2007, 16:07
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