Drummers who have been the greatest influences
Music has played a large part in my life. As early as I can remember, I would sit in front of my parent’s “hi-fi” and pore through their collection of albums from the 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s. There were soundtrack albums from Broadway shows and movies such as “The Sound of Music”, “Gigi”, “My Fair Lady”, and “South Pacific”. There were albums of crooners such as Jack Jones, Matt Monroe, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jerry Vale, and Robert Goulet. My dad loved opera so there were a lot of opera albums playing on weekends such as Puccini’s “La Boheme”, which is now one of my favorites.
But there was one album in particular that stood out to me, which my mother gave to me when she packed up the house to move into NYC. It’s an album called “Wired for Sound” by Marty Gold, which would now fit under the genre of space age lounge music. It was released in 1956 on the Vik label and is available on iTunes.
The album was produced for audiophiles and was considered an orthophonic recording, which means the recording reproduced sounds authentically. This album was also the beginning of a sound that would evolve into the Moog and electronic music, many years later.
I remember listening to this track when I was very young. It’s called Ti-Pi-Tin.
If I am to categorize my style of drumming at this stage in my life, I would say I’m a Jazz fusion drummer.
The musicians and bands that have helped shape my playing style are too numerous to list but those most important to me are listed below.
Ginger Baker – Ginger Baker was the first drummer who I most modeled my playing as a young drummer. I had spent a few years taking lessons, and forming one of my first bands, when Cream made their debut. All of the bands during that era played “Sunshine of Your Love” and we were no different. But it was when Ginger joined Blind Faith that was the defining moment shaping my playing style.
Billy Cobham – But it was Billy Cobham’s playing that made the most impact on how my style would change and evolve. Jazz/Fusion became my life from that point forward.
Steve Gadd – clearly another major influencer who had an impact on my style in the mid 70’s when I first became aware of him.
Mike Craney – The late Mike Craney made his mark on the LA and world scene from the mid 1970’s through the late 1980’s and beyond. I discovered his self-made style on Jean Luc Ponty’s Imaginary Voyage album released in 1976. His polyrhythmic approach to jazz rock helped define that genre.
Lenny White – As Jazz/Fusion permeated my listening and playing habits, I could not overlook Lenny White’s sharp and crisp playing. It was when Lenny was in Chick Corea’s Return to Forever band and particularly the album “Where Have I Known You Before” that was another defining moment for me.
Bernard Purdie – “The Purdie Shuffle”, need I say more?
All the drummers of Weather Report including Alex Acuna, Alphonse Mouzon, Peter Erskine, Omar Hakim
Tito Puente – Latin music has also influenced my playing style and certainly Tito Puente is the epitome of latin percussion players and band leaders.
LTJ Bukem – I was exposed to LTJ Bukem in the early 2000’s as I started to compose electronic trip hop, ambient, and trance music. I don’t know how he does what he does but it’s pure magic. Download “Journey Inwards”, his “Earth” series, and “Logical Progression” albums are great collections to own.
Mitch Mitchell …and all things Jimi Hendrix.
Buddy Rich – Not only has Buddy Rich influenced me, his Modern Interpretation of Snare Drum Rudiments book is one of the bibles and a regular part of my lesson plan.
Barriemore Barlow – what would this list be without a classic, progressive rock drummer like Barriemore Barlow from Jethro Tull. John Bonham was quoted as saying, “he was the greatest rock drummer England ever produced”.
Josh Freese and Ilan Rubin – I started listening to Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails around 2000 and he had a major influence on how I wrote and composed electronic trip hop, ambient, and trance music. Some of my EDM tracks can be found here: SoundCloud.com/DigitalTopics
…and Dave Weckl – By far the best drummer, musically and technically, on the planet today and the most important player of our time.
Please feel free to contact me!