9th May 2014
Steve Gadd is one of my favourite drummers of all time. Actually, one of my favourite musicians of all time. Steve changed the way drums were played. Of course, many before him led the way: Buddy Rich with his technical and musical brilliance, Louie Bellson and Gene Krupa swinging the big bands, Max Roach’s melodic philosophy, Roy Haynes snap, crackle and pop, Elvin Jones polyrhythmic phrases etc etc. The list could and should go on. But back to Gadd. He is a one-off. He is a pocket master. His individual style saw him being elevated as a drummer and emulated. He took marching band rudiments and made them groove in rock, pop jazz, funk, fusion, big band, latin and more. He played musically and thought only to enhance the music. He never over-played or missed a beat. He always meant what he executed. He could totally beast his chops with artists like Steely Dan and Michel Petrucciani. He could just lay back and swing playing crotchets and you would still recognise his sound. He could groove on his Yamaha drums and you would recognise the tone and the way he hit them. He influenced countless drummers and raised the bar with how drums should sound and support the band.
For this first article in a series before my videos go up online I would like to highlight Steve Gadd, one of the most important drummers of all time.
10th April 2013
Carlos Benson, Director of Drummers for Jesus, interviews Vinnie Colaiuta at the Christian Musicians Summit
INTERVIEW WITH VINNIE COLAIUTA – PART I
CB: With all the religions in the world, why Christianity?
VC: Wow, that’s a great question. One thing that I’m apt to think is that God came to me and sought me in a sense. Because see, I grew up in a Catholic background, although I was not what you might call a “GOOD, PRACTICING” Catholic, it seems as though in my younger years of childhood growing up I believed in Jesus and what I knew about him. Of course there was no scripture teaching so that was all really a mystery to me. And as I grew into adulthood I remember, I would like to say, for maybe ten years, I’m just throwing a wild number out there, before I got saved in 1998, that I had gradually found myself seeking spiritual answers, reaching out to spiritual values and higher values and spirituality and had sort of racked my brain philosophically and coming up empty. I found myself bargaining with God and I realized a lot of things. Wanting to know answers. It’s real easy for us to come up with answers to satisfy ourselves and appease our curiosity. After a lot of questioning and searching I think that God had engineered these circumstances providentially to bring me to him and that led up to me going to Switzerland [where friends of Vinnie would lead him to Christ]. So, it wasn’t like a situation where I was “SHOPPING” and looked at a laundry list: “Buddhism, Hinduism, etc, oh Christianity – that one looks good.”