Everybody has their own personal “Top 5” list of their favorite whatever. Here are my top five favorite drummers who have influenced me in one way or another:
4 – Jeff “Apartment Q258” Sipe – I first saw Q258 in the early 90’s with the original lineup of Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit. The music those guys cranked out was absolutely masterful. If you’re fortunate enough to find a copy of the live album Col. Bruce put out somewhere around 1992, check out the tune “Time is Free.” It will blow your mind. It’s one of my all time favorite recording to date.
3 – Russell Batiste – I’ve been fortunate enough to have had lessons from Russell back when I lived in New Orleans in the early 2000’s. He’s an absolute animal-beast! Personally, I love the way he makes what most drummers might consider “overplaying” really work. Russell crushes it like no other.
2 – Johnny Vidacovich – A true. old-school New Orleanian. Johnny V. is a master of the New Orleans second line and “streat beat” rhythms. Drummers who don’t know about Johnny, shame on you.
1 – Steve Gadd – For me there is no better combination of musical sensibility and chops than Steve Gadd. Check out the feel he puts on James Taylor’s, “Country Road” in the clip. It’s perfect!
So there’s my top five drummers for today. It might be different tomorrow but that’s OK. Back in 2011, Rolling Stone Magazine listed there top ten drummers of all time. I think my list is better.