I was surfing around youtube yesterday at lunch, looking for something to listen to on my lunchbreak. (I frequently use youtube to listen to music–caring not a fiddle for the video portion.) I found this clip of Steve Gadd, Vinnie Coliuta, and Dave Weckl.
Dave Weckl takes the first solo, and opens with those tasty cymbal flourishes. Dave is mostly known as a smooth Jazz/fusion player for the likes of people like Chick Corea. I don’t particularly care for that style of player, but I can tell you Mr. Weckl is a monster player with monster chops. No doubt you can see that here.
Vinny Coliuta. The man does it all. Zappa. Sting. Jeff Beck. ’nuff said? The guy is a freak. He’s got more chops than a meat market. Heck, watch that one handed snare roll with his left hand while is right hand goes all bombastic on the toms.
Gadd is, technically–in my opinion–out of his league here. Steve Gadd is a killer player, no doubt. He outplays me with one hand. He’s got a gazillion records in which his tasty studio studies come to the fore. That great groove from Paul Simon’s “Late in the Evening“? Gadd playing the mozambique with four sticks. How about “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” with that interesting diddling between hihat and snare? Gadd. What about that laid back off beat fill from “Chuck E’s in Love“? (See 1:56 in that last video.) How about Steely Dan’s “Aja,” and all those drum fills? Gadd on the first take! C’mon! But the thing is, technically, they’re not all that hard. It’s the groove that makes them so good!
Back to our clip. 2:45, Gadd comes in. And what does he do? He reaches back to his drum corps days, and pulls our a frickin’ marching cadence so yummy you wanna get up and dance. Man, I LOVE that. I’ll take groove over chops any day of the week. And for me, this clip nails that. Yes, Weckl and Vinny are all over it. They outplay Steve–from a technical standpoint–seven ways to Sunday. And yet it’s Gadd’s portion of the solo I’ve been listening to over and over for the past two days.
Gimme groove! I like it more better.