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The clinical nature of modern recording was presaged uncannily by Gadd. He foretold the ’80s by introducing a super-precision into recording, almost as if preparing drummers for the arrival of the drum machine and sequenced tracks.
Despite his clarity of execution, Gadd is also the most passionate and deeply groove-oriented drummer imaginable. However technically slick his beats, no one could accuse him of lacking soul or groove. It’s a remarkable gift and it’s hard to put your finger on how he does it. Thousands have copied his beats but no one sounds like him. He remains utterly distinctive.
Here is Steve playing his famous ‘Rosario’ solo in 1986 – it’s Steve at his busiest in performance with the Manhattan Jazz Quintet.