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Once in a generation, a special drummer comes along who changes the way every other drummer plays. Steve Gadd is one of maybe half a dozen such drummers in the past century of drumset evolution. He’s one of the most recorded drummers of all time and certainly the most revered session drummer.
Indeed, during the 1980s he made the idea of the session drummer cool, an artist in his own right, when previously every drummer wanted to be in a band. 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.
Yet despite his clarity of execution he is also the most passionate and deeply groove-oriented drummer imaginable. He also put Yamaha drums out front (in the ’80s) and introduced the fusion kit concept with small top toms and shallow floor toms on stands instead of legs. In short, drummers owe him a lot.
Rhythm magazine caught up with the legendary Steve Gadd and his drum tech Yard Gavrilovic to talk drumming feel and session work, as well as to show off the kit he took out on last year’s Eric Clapton tour.
Among the exclusive shots of Steve’s setup you’ll see in this gallery are snippets from Rhythm’s interview, finishing off with a Q&A with Yard Gavrilovic. Check out Rhythm’s current issue 186 featuring an exclusive interview with another in-demand session ace Keith Carlock. Or subscribe to Rhythm here.