10. Jonathan Pinson (Marquis Hill)
The Rhythm Best in drums 2017 polls have received over 137,000 votes, and we're now ready to roll out the winners. The nominees were what we considered to be the drummers and gear that have excelled in 2017. Here, we present the best new drummers of 2017. First up we have Marquis Hill drummer Jonathan Pinson...
2017 highlight: Pinson is a formidable American jazz talent who deserves far more attention. In the past 12 months he’s been on tour with jazz stars Kamasi Washington, Gilad Heksleman, Terrace Martin, Stefon Harris, Carmen Lundy, Marquis Hill and Braxton Cook, as well as appeared on multiple formidable jazz recordings. Looking towards 2018, the drummer will also be busy with his own band Boom Clap. We can’t wait.
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9. Chris Woollison (Poly-Math)
2017 highlight: Poly-Math’s crowdfunded new album House Of Wisdom is the first longplayer from the Brighton proggers, and it was well worth the wait. Chris Woollison is a rare talent behind the kit and together the trio makes a stunning and inventive noise. If you’re looking for a new drummer to namecheck down the pub, you won’t go far wrong with Chris Woollison.
8. Louise Bartle (Bloc Party)
2017 highlight: Following Matt Tong is no mean feat, but Louise has handled the indie band’s taught, frantic beats with aplomb ever since she took residence behind the Bloc Party kit in 2015. The band’s headliner at London’s Roundhouse at the start of 2017 was an absolute triumph.
7. Josh Dion (paris_monster)
2017 highlight: Josh Dion is a musician of many talents, singing and playing keys at the same time as he drums. The result is something completely out of this world. Not only does Josh possess a dynamic, soulful voice, but the grooves he can produce with just one stick is enough to make most two-handed drummers weep. Our personal favourite is the track A Vision Complete, but this year’s Ape is a sign of great things to come.
6. Anthony 'Sweetstix' Lewis (Jess Glynne)
2017 highlight: Anthony ‘Sweetstix’ Lewis started playing in church before making a name for himself on the London drum scene, getting noticed by the likes of Level 42’s funk master Pete Ray Biggin, and keeping busy with jam sessions until the pop world came calling – first with Taio Cruz, and lately with pop songstress Jess Glynne. If his recent, electric London Drum Show performance is anything to go by, Lewis’ career is clearly still on the rise.
5. Collette Williams (Rews)
2017 highlight: Collette first came to our attention alongside 30 other drummers in Gabrielle Aplin’s video for the track Sweet Nothing. More recently she has directed her focus towards punky rock duo Rews. The band released explosive new album Pyro in November 2017 with lead single Shine showing that Williams has the attitude and groove to make it big.
4. Anderson .Paak
2017 highlight: Rapper .Paak has been around since 2012, but it’s only recently that we’ve discovered what a phenomenal talent he is behind the kit with his band The Free Nationals. Watching him jump on the drums during a performance of Am I Wrong on Jools Holland earlier in 2017 was a magical moment.
3. Jami Morgan (Code Orange)
2017 highlight: Twenty-three-year-old singing drummer Jami Morgan commands Code Orange’s aggressive hardcore punk/metal hybrid from the back with gutteral vocals and an intense, cross-bred drumming style. They might be a young band, but the unbridled anger and power of acclaimed new album Forever, released right at the start of 2017, proves they mean business.
2. Ben Thomas (Rag'n'Bone Man)
2017 highlight: Taking Rag’n’Bone Man’s phenomenal debut album Human to the live arena was always going to require a serious drumming talent, and that’s why the British breakthrough act chose drummer Ben Thomas. Throughout 2017 the Brighton sticksman has delivered tons of soul groove and kept the Rag’n’Bone Man engine room running seamlessly.
Winner: Dan Mayo (Tatran)
2017 highlight: Our attention was first drawn to Israeli drummer Dan Mayo via a dazzling Meinl video showcasing his inventive approach to sound and grooving creativity. Delve deeper and it’s instrumental power-trio Tatran that really shows off Dan’s quirky playing style, particularly on their stunning 2017 album No Sides.