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Drummers the world over know of Steve Gadd (or should know about him). He is the reknowned studio and concert drummer who’s been on over 600 recordings and by virtue is probably the most influential and most-heard drummer in the world. Everyone from James Taylor to Paul Simon has used him on the pop/rock spectrum, and he was the drummer on Steely Dan’s Aja album, playing the title track.
Stephen Victor Gadd (born April 9, 1945 in Rochester, New York) is a well-known session and studio drummer, mainly known for work with Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Al Jarreau, Joe Cocker, Stuff, Bob James, Chick Corea, Eric Clapton, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Eddie Gomez, The Manhattan Transfer, Michal Urbaniak, Steps Ahead, Al Di Meola, Manhattan Jazz Quintet, Richard Tee and many others. Gadd is arguably the most recorded drummer in history, featured on over 600 albums. Gadd is renowned for his incredible ability to play “in the pocket,” or to groove especially well with the music, or other instruments/musicians he is playing with.
At 63, he’s still busy on tour with James Taylor and Paul Simon. He currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, 3 dogs and 2 cats. He received, along with jazz keyboardist/singer Patrice Rushen and bassist Abraham Laboriel, an honory doctorate for his vast contributions to modern music.
I’ve been studying the above video because I’ve been playing more Latin rhythms on the drums. Steve Gadd’s technique and execution are flawless, though he missed the cue to end the song. Still, he quickly recovered. Have been listening/watching a lot of Steve Gadd videos lately. Thanks to YouTube, a drummer can watch and learn by searching for your favorite drummers. Okay, I need to seriously woodshed!
Okay, I leave you with… a younger Steve Gadd playing the legendary drum intro to Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”. It’s time to get ready for my gig.