Vinnie Colaiuta
August 26, 2007 3:57 AM   Subscribe

A 7 link drive-by YouTube post? Thanks a lot.

How about some links? Google spit out 226,000 of them that weren't youtube. Here's one.
posted by MCTDavid at 4:57 AM on August 26, 2007

Kinda young. Kinda wow.
posted by reidfleming at 5:16 AM on August 26, 2007 [5 favorites]

Yeah even Poolio would have thrown in one Wikipedia link.
posted by poppo at 5:39 AM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Well, toma, I certainly wouldn't agree with your emphatic "greatest" statement there.. I mean, in a world of drummers that includes (just off the top of my head) John Bonham, Al Jackson, the recently departed Max Roach, Clyde Stubblefield, Bernard Purdie, Joseph "Ziggy" Modeliste and so many other fantastic players, calling anybody the greatest is, well... anyway, hey, to each his own! But maybe you were being just a bit tongue-in-cheek, anywhow?

But check this video of Joey Baron's drum soloing artistry, live in concert (with brief full-band bits interspersed). Pretty damn great, and way fuckin' musical. Nice overhead camera angles give a good insight into the mechanics of it, too.

I'm gonna also link to a drummer post I made a little while back, just cause, hey, we don't talk about drummers all that much on MeFi, so the more the merrier!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:46 AM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]

She gave him VD.
posted by jonmc at 5:48 AM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]

I love Colaiuta, although I think Gadd absolutely smokes him for organic groove and musical phrasing in that first link.
posted by Wolof at 5:54 AM on August 26, 2007

That Baron link is amazing, Flapjax - it gave me pretty intense jazzface. I'll check those guys out at the record store tomorrow...
posted by Jon Mitchell at 5:59 AM on August 26, 2007

Yeah even Poolio would have thrown in one Wikipedia link.

>^..^< /a>
posted by Poolio at 5:59 AM on August 26, 2007

Frank agreed with you. Here's Steve Via on Vinny's sightreading ability:
He's one of the most amazing sight-readers that ever existed on the instrument. One day we were in a Frank rehearsal, this was early '80s, and Frank brought in this piece of music called "Mo 'N Herb's Vacation." Just unbelievably complex. All the drums were written out, just like "The Black Page" except even more complex. There were these runs of like 17 over 3 and every drumhead is notated differently. And there were a whole bunch of people there, I think Bozzio was there. Vinnie had this piece of music on the stand to his right. To his left he had another music stand with a plate of sushi on it, okay? Now the tempo of the piece was very slow, like "The Black Page." And then the first riff came in, [mimics bizarre Zappa-esque drum rhythm patterns] with all these choking of cymbals, and hi-hat, ruffs, spinning of rototoms and all this crazy stuff. And I saw Vinnie reading this thing. Now, Vinnie has this habit of pushing his glasses up with the middle finger of his right hand. Well I saw him look at this one bar of music, it was the last bar of music on the page. He started to play it as he was turning the page with one hand, and then once the page was turned he continued playing the riff with his right hand, as he reached over with his left hand, grabbed a piece of sushi and put it in his mouth, continued the riff with his left hand and feet, pushed his glasses up, and then played the remaining part of the bar. It was the sickest thing I have ever seen. Frank threw his music up in the air. Bozzio turned around and walked away. I just started laughing.

posted by chuckdarwin at 6:04 AM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

*blushes* Erm, VAI.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:06 AM on August 26, 2007

Incredibly busy jazz like the Herbie Hancock link comes of as self-indulgent to me -- I have a hard time with "all the notes, all the time."

There's too many players who have really achieved technical mastery to label any of them as "best," but my favorite drummer lately is Gavin Harrison.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:09 AM on August 26, 2007

Zach Hill
posted by brevator at 6:58 AM on August 26, 2007

'll check those guys out at the record store tomorrow...

Masada is stupendous—four guys that talented don't get together and stay together that long very often. The indispensable albums are the first, Alef (1994), and Live in Jerusalem 1994 (1999). If you love those, you'll want more.
posted by languagehat at 6:59 AM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Vinnie Colaiuta is the greatest drummer ever.

Faint praise.
posted by pracowity at 7:01 AM on August 26, 2007

I don't know from "greatest", but that Jeff Beck Stratus performance if phenomenal. The drumming there is a bit like John Bonham meets Dennis Chambers.

I'd never heard of this guy before, but I'm sold. He kicks ass.
posted by psmealey at 7:11 AM on August 26, 2007

if is
posted by psmealey at 7:12 AM on August 26, 2007

Steve Gadd totally FTW in that first link. And every other link, even ones that don't feature Steve Gadd.
posted by emelenjr at 7:38 AM on August 26, 2007

yeah, right. and the greatest dancer ever is a kid who can score a perfect 10 on dance dance revolution.

where is the rhythm?
posted by dydecker at 7:58 AM on August 26, 2007

I like Danny Carey.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:30 AM on August 26, 2007


Marco Pitruzzella

Yony Royster, Jr. (12 yrs old and older)
posted by Pastabagel at 9:03 AM on August 26, 2007

that should be "tony"
posted by Pastabagel at 9:03 AM on August 26, 2007

Poor analogy, Dydecker. DDR = Look how fast I can follow directions. Following directions in DDR takes some coordination, but not much talent, and certainly not much musical ability. How many of those drummers in those links above needed to read from sheetmusic to perform the way they did?
posted by emelenjr at 9:08 AM on August 26, 2007

I'm sure he's a great drummer, but the Joey Baron clip impressed me far more.
posted by Bugbread at 9:11 AM on August 26, 2007

Of course, whenever someone starts throwing around terms like "greatest" it begs the question of what makes him/her great - is it technique? Feel? Compositional approach? Personality? Ability to accompany the people that they are playing with?

For my money, it's all about feel - I loves me some Levon Helm, some John Bonham, some Zigaboo. Personality is pretty high on my list as well - can anyone hear one of Stewart Copeland's snare drum cracks and not know immediately that it's him? Or Jack DeJohnette's swing, and in general his ability to create a musical statement - doesn't really make any sense to me, but it's one of the most compositional, cohesive, and L O O S E things I've ever heard. So beautifully loose.

I saw Vinnie with Jeff Beck last year, no doubt he's awesome - he also sounds great with Sting. As far as I'm concerned, his ability to sight-read impossibly complex rhythms while pushing up his glasses and eating sushi doesn't really have THAT much to do with making a musical statement.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:26 AM on August 26, 2007

I like Danny Carey.

I second that.
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:27 AM on August 26, 2007

Use a drummer's song, Billy Cobham's "Stratus" to illustrate another drummer's prowess? Billy wrote "Stratus" after all and I don't mean just the drum part, he wrote all the parts! Need to give Billy some love!
posted by gigbutt at 9:57 AM on August 26, 2007

That Joey Baron clip was awesome!
posted by CKZ at 10:08 AM on August 26, 2007

The only drum solo I need is this one.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:53 AM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]

I keep wandering into this thread, hitting CTRL-F, typing Peart and seeing "text not found." Something is just wrong.
posted by jonson at 1:31 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Seriously, jonson? Peart was a great rock drummer, but you really think he deserves a mention in the esteemed company mentioned above?

Not snarking, just curious. I personally never think of Peart on that level.
posted by psmealey at 1:34 PM on August 26, 2007

Absolutely, Peart belongs - he has a totally personal sound and helped create a very full sound in a trio setting - not an easy thing to do. Someone also told me that he wrote the words to all of their songs - that's a pretty deep involvement in the music, even if it doesn't ivolve such wankery as playing weird polyrhythms (which he of course also excels at).
posted by fingers_of_fire at 2:36 PM on August 26, 2007

Of course I'm being 'tongue in cheek,' but then it sure is interesting to see the ground people need to defend.

Since I was just a kid, there have always been these titans that draw talk, that get people excited, that even non-musicians feel they own a piece of. Once you grow up, that falls away and music opens up into the real world of complexity and creativity, of art and mystery and everything that makes life interesting.

But then someone like Vinnie comes along and throws the whole thing sideways. I don't know anyone who is better at anything than Vinnie is at playing drums. (Yes, I play, my favorite is Bonham, why does it matter?)

He's the only player I have ever seen that gets the major cats to just sit and stare, to talk to themselves, to hold their heads. I have seen his solos flat stun people. I've seen people just jump up and start laughing. He's the only drummer I know that people get into arguments over his hand-foot compositions while trying to decipher slo-mo videotapes. Personally, there are only two drummers whose solos I can't decipher, Buddy, with those amazing hands, and Vinnie. (and flapjax--thanks for the Drummerworld post, but did you link Watts and Carlos, before Keltner? And nobody's mentioned Williams? Chambers? Donati?)

This is a wondrous freak. He is something that cannot be understood or explained, a force of nature. And it's been 15 years that my little musical pocket of Los Angeles has been in awe of this guy, absolutely amazed. Reverential, really. He was inaugurated into the 'Modern Drummer' Hall of Fame 11 years ago, he's no nubie.

The mountain of stories of his playing with Frank are legend, his sight-reading the 'Black Page' (a different genius, Terry Bozzio, demonstrating) is one. Heck, his tryout with Zappa, where Frank told him that no one would be fool enough to try to follow him, is another.

Do you really want me to compose a nagging post where I demand that you recognize his genius? Anybody who takes the time to actually watch the last link will probably agree, Vinnie is absolutely amazing.
posted by toma at 2:37 PM on August 26, 2007

Say what you like, but Peart plays the fucking DRUM SOLO OF LIFE.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 3:11 PM on August 26, 2007

Personally though, I'm a fan of Josh Garza.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 3:34 PM on August 26, 2007

Is referencing Neil Peart in a drum thread the new Godwinning?
posted by bardic at 3:41 PM on August 26, 2007

Talk about an OK post turning into a great thread. This is fascinating stuff.
posted by snsranch at 5:02 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'll take Milford Graves or Le Quan Ninh (heck, even Sean Meehan) in a heartbeat. Taste, I guess.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:32 PM on August 26, 2007

Copeland says, "drums are a joke . . . anyone can do this!"
posted by augustweed at 7:40 PM on August 26, 2007

Two Words. One Letter. Bun E. Carlos.
posted by landis at 1:25 AM on August 27, 2007

That Copeland interview video that augustweed linked to reinforces everything I've ever thought about that guy's drumming. You listen to his rhythm of speech, see his body gestures, and then the drumming samples he offers up during the interview: they're all stiff, nervous, rushed, lacking in finesse... I mean, maybe he was the right drummer for the Police, being as how their whole collective persona was sort of like that, but as a drummer, that kind of stiffness, it really leaves me cold. The guy has no flow. All those examples he demonstrates, "jazz" (laughable) the "backbeat" stuff (stiff as a frickin board), and then he goes on to basically diss Billy Cobham by playing all *wild* (and very sloppily, which would be the opposite of Billy Cobham), and then the icing on the cake: Stewart demonstrates a "reggae" beat that is so stiff it's gotta be representative of some Jamaican zombie lurching out of his Jamaican grave. Except any Jamaican zombie would've put more finesse into it than that.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:01 AM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Amen, flapjax. I have had those exact same thoughts about Copeland's playing for a long, long time. Is it really any wonder that he's almost completely faded from prominence since 1983?

Again, some of the stuff he did on Reggatta de Blanc was tasty and utterly perfect, but as for some of my contemporaries putting him in the pantheon with those mentioned above, that's complete folly.
posted by psmealey at 6:06 AM on August 27, 2007

For the Gadd lovers, here's a tasty one, with Stanley Clarke:

posted by toma at 4:17 PM on August 27, 2007

i like david king myself... he's bad... plus...
posted by MikeHoegeman at 11:46 PM on August 27, 2007

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