The master of grooves
Top 10 jazz drummers of all time
1. Buddy Rich
Bernard “Buddy” Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.
Known for his virtuoso technique, power and speed, Rich was billed as “the world’s greatest drummer” during his career. He performed with many bandleaders, most notably Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Count Basie, and led his own “Buddy Rich Big Band”.
2. Max Roach
Maxwell Lemuel “Max” Roach (January 10, 1924 – August 16, 2007) was an American jazz percussionist, drummer, and composer.
A pioneer of bebop, Roach went on to work in many other styles of music, and is generally considered alongside the most important drummers in history. He worked with many famous jazz musicians, including Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker,Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Billy Eckstine, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Clifford Brown, Eric Dolphyand Booker Little. He was inducted into the Down Beat Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1992.
Roach also led his own groups, and made numerous musical statements relating to the African-American civil rights movement.
3. Tony Williams
Anthony Tillmon “Tony” Williams (December 12, 1945 – February 23, 1997) was an American jazz drummer.
Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential jazz drummers to come to prominence in the 1960s, Williams first gained fame in the band of trumpeter Miles Davis and was a pioneer of jazz fusion. He was inducted into the Modern DrummerHall of Fame in 1986.
4. Gene Krupa
Eugene Bertram “Gene” Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was an American jazz and big band drummer, band leader, actor, and composer. Known for his highly energetic, flamboyant style and for his showmanship, Krupa is considered one of the most influential drummers in jazz history and one of the first major soloists on the instrument.
5. Art Blakey
Art Blakey (Arthur Blakey; October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He was known as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina after he became a Muslim.
Blakey made a name for himself in the 1940s in the big bands of Fletcher Henderson and Billy Eckstine. He worked with bebop musicians Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. In the mid-1950s Horace Silver and Blakey formed the Jazz Messengers, a group that the drummer was associated with for the next 35 years. The Messengers were formed as a collective of contemporaries, but over the years the band became known as an incubator for young talent, including Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter and Wynton Marsalis. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz calls the Jazz Messengers “the archetypal hard bop group of the late 50s”.
He was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame (in 1981), the Grammy Hall of Fame (in 1998 and 2001), and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1991.
6. Joe Morello
Joseph Albert “Joe” Morello (July 17, 1928 – March 12, 2011) was a jazz drummer best known for his 12½-year stint with The Dave Brubeck Quartet. He was frequently noted for playing in the unusual time signatures employed by that group in such pieces as “Take Five” and “Blue Rondo à la Turk”. Popular for its work on college campuses during the 1950s, Brubeck’s group reached new heights with Morello. In June 1959, Morello participated in a recording session with the quartet — completed by the alto saxophonistPaul Desmond and the bassist Eugene Wright — that yielded “Kathy’s Waltz” and “Three to Get Ready,” both of which intermingled 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures.
7. Billy Cobham
William Emanuel “Billy” Cobham (born May 16, 1944) is a Panamanian American jazz drummer, composer and bandleader, who permanently relocated to Switzerland during the late 1970s.
Coming to prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s with trumpeter Miles Davis and then withMahavishnu Orchestra, and on countless CTI releases. According to AllMusic’s reviewer, Cobham is “generally acclaimed as fusion’s greatest drummer”.He has an influential style that combines explosive power and exacting precision. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1987.
8. Neil Peart
Neil Ellwood Peart, OC (born September 12, 1952), is a Canadian-American musician and author, best known as the drummer and primary lyricist for the rock band Rush. Peart has received numerous awards for his musical performances, including an induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1983, making him the youngest person ever so honored. He is known for his technical proficiency and stamina.
9. Roy Haynes
Roy Owen Haynes (born March 13, 1925) is an American jazz drummer and group leader. Haynes is among the most recorded drummers in jazz, and in a career lasting more than 60 years has played in a wide range of styles ranging from swing and bebop to jazz fusion and avant-garde jazz. He has a highly expressive, personal style (“Snap Crackle” was a nickname given him in the 1950s) and is known to foster a deep engagement in his band mates.
He has also led his own groups, some performing under the name Hip Ensemble. His most recent recordings as a leader are Fountain of Youth and Whereas, both of which have been nominated for a Grammy Award.
10. Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette (born August 9, 1942) is an American jazz drummer, pianist, and composer.
An important figure of the fusion era of jazz, DeJohnette is one of the most influential jazz drummers of the 20th century, given his extensive work as leader and sideman for musicians including Charles Lloyd, Freddie Hubbard, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, John Abercrombie, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, and John Scofield. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2007.
(Bio source: wikipedia)