- 52 posts total
- 52 posts total
Neil Peart from Rush. The greatest drummer on the planet. Unless you know the song inside out, trying to predict his next move will leave you dumbfounded. Only an electronic drum machine can keep up with his rhythm, speed and stamina. Pay close attention to "YYZ" or "Red Barchetta" among many others.
It's interesting that almost all of the recommendations above are for pop artists, most of whom aren't talented enough to serve tea to the truly best musicians. Here's my list for what it's worth, by instrument, with living artists in CAPITALS and dead artists in small case. Violin: ITZHAK PERLMAN / Jascha Heifetz Cello: YO-YO MA / Pablo Casals Guitar (classical): CHRISTOPHER PARKENING / Andres Segovia Guitar (jazz): BILL FRISELL (altho' Jim Hall is a very close 2nd) / Django Reinhardt Piano (classical): NO NOMINATION / Artur Rubenstein Piano (jazz): MCCOY TYNER / Art Tatum Drums: MAX ROACH / Art Blakey Percussionist: TRILOK GURTU (Paulino DaCosta is a very close 2nd) / no nomination Jazz saxophone: SONNY ROLLINS / John Coltrane (Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young would be close 2nd's) Jazz trumpet: WYNTON MARSALIS / Louis Armstrong & Miles Davis (tie) Jazz Bass: CHARLIE HAYDEN / Charles Mingus. I'd really enjoy other people's choices in the categories I've outlined.
To your categories, the only amendment I would offer would be in the category of drumming, Tony Williams, recently deceased, is on a par with Coltrane, Heifetz and others. As a matter of fact, Jascha Heifetz' grandson, Danny, is a great drummer in his own right. I recommend to anyone interested, to listen to the guitarist I started this string off with, Shawn Lane. Many of the living guitarists mentioned in this list know of him, if not rever his playing. I actually spoke with Eric Johnson about Lane, and he willingly tabbed him as the greatest living electric guitarist. He went as far as to question whether or not Lane had sold his soul in the same fashion others had once claimed Paganini did. Holdsworth said no one on earth including himself could match the playing he had heard from Lane. I have tapes of him playing with Black Oak Arkansas at the age of 17 in 1978 that is so ridiculous as to be truly mind-boggling. He does a rendition of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D maj on an electric guitar that is as fast and precise- while still emotionally valid- as any work I have heard from Perlman or others. He was 17. His story is more fascinating than I could do justice to in such an (already-too-long)post.