Charles Lloyd just released "Sangam" with Zakir Hussain.
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Mickey Hart "Planet Drum" (percussion/World Music),
Christopher Hardy "Touch" (innovative percussion), Larry
Carlton "Sapphire Blue" (blues/jazz with really nice
drumming and sound), Tool "Lateralus" (Oh My God)...
All these have stellar musicianship and compositions in addition to
being audiophile-grade recordings.
Here are a few;
Police Synchronicity Murder by Numbers (Stuart Copeland)
Tom Petty Wildflowers You don't know how it feels (Steve Ferrone)
Rush (most live stuff includes extensive drum solos by Neil Peart)
Average White Band Person to Person Live Album Pick Up the pieces (Steve Ferrone)
The above are just example of three very good drummers. The AWB album is not a great recording but has a great drum solo. Neil Peart also released a Drum Solo DVD "Anatomy of a drum solo" - if you like that kind of stuff Neil is a legend. Neil Peart is probably the best known drummer since Buddy Rich.
However, my all-time favorite has to be Steve Ferrone - check out all the bands that paid him to play with them, I believe he still plays for Tom Petty (anything Tom Petty has done is fanatically well recorded BTW). Steve makes small changes throughout that keep even the most repetitve rock sound soulful and interesting. I like Neil too but he makes you all too aware that he is drumming with a sometimes numbing precision.
Incidently, for comparison purposes....try Donald Fagen The Nightfly.....this abum has the orginal drumming replaced by splicing in a specific drum sound repetitively throughout....the effect is that the drums sound perfectly identical throughout....a precursor to electronic drum machines perhaps (like New Order, Human League etc.). Some find this precise and audiophile grade....I find the sound flat and lifeless (even if it is precise)
If you compare this kind of fare to Steve Ferrone then you really appreciate how drumming adds so much to the "life" of music.
Howard is right on the money. Here is a second vote for Pierre Favre and
Singing Drums - Souffles. This is one of the best percussion recordings out
there and it is accesible. I also like Pierre Favre's recordings with Irene
Schweitzer (e.g. Ulrichsberg), but this Free Jazz mixture of piano and drums
might be not for everyone. Jazzloft.com has a couple or just look for the
INTAKT records distributor.
As a second recomendation for great percussion there is the best tabla-
player out there:
Zakir Hussein and the Rythm Experience
Below are some of my favorites. These aren't pure drum cd's, but have a particularly notable drum/percussion presence.
- Michael Shrieve/David Beal "The Big Picture"
- Billy Cobham "Spectrum" and "Total Eclipse"
- King Crimson "Red" (most anything with Bill Bruford on drums is worth having, but this one is the one I remember the most.
- Blue Man Group "Audio" they have a 10 ft bass drum and drum on all things in sight.
- Steve Tibbets "Exploded View" - no Drum kit - this is more Congas, Tabla based percussion.
- Brand X "Unorthodox Behavior" and "Morrocan Roll". Phil Collins doing great drum work
- Buckethead "Cholma" mellow guitar and great basic drum lines.
One more for you - Bill Bruford's World Drummers Ensemble -A Coat of Many Colors. Unbelieveable drumming, as always with anything associated with Bill Bruford. Also, Burning for Buddy, a tribute to Buddy Rich with Bruford, Neil Peart, etc is outstanding and very well recorded.
Try On Broadway, George Bensen, Weekend in LA, Harvey Mason on drums....Mike Lavigne recommended it on another thread and he was right .....it is simply superb!....you will feel that Harvey is there in the room in front of you. This track is not compressed at all and you can really crank it up full blast without fear of any harshness at all... in fact it blossoms as you crank it up over 100 decibels average (being live you can hear everything including some feedback hum from Bensen's microphone on low notes)
Another fun track is "What is hip" Tower of Power, Soul Vaccination.
Both of the above are superbly recorded...and the way these drummers swing is impressive. Neither of the above is a barrage or monotony of drumming...just good recording examples of great drumming...great timing.