I would love to get some input on which players that made you a better studio musician.
The people who gave you great ideas for licks...better dynamics..and knowing when to fill and when to back off.
Even if its a lesser known player, nothing better that getting ideas off the beaten path. Everyone has their favorite solo artist, but I'm talking more about the guys who amaze you but only appear in the liner notes.
Kevin Grantt (bassist) is my main influence. He plays outside the bass player box alot. But only where it fits.Its good if you can cut loose on your instrument but always know where the line is at. And besides that, everyone usually agrees he is just a grooving machine. Jason Street
Tony Levin. He plays such a wide variety of genres, plays pockets a mile deep, and is a master at knowing where to lay out, sometimes as much as every other measure. The spaces he leaves make you sit up and pay attention. Every year that goes by, I strive to play fewer notes and make them count more.
As I was growing up, I would hang out on my Dad's sessions and watch the drummers. Jerry Kroon was one of the first guys to take me in. He let me play his kit on a run-down. At the time, I was amazed that a drummer knew so much about charts and theory! I later hung out with John Hammond in the same way. I was a goofy kid with too many questions but he was patient with me and let me ramble (thanks, John!).
Steve Turner was probably the most influential drummer I've ever met. He was on these Wayne Newton sessions that my Dad and Rick Goodman were producing in 1991. His approach to a ballad was incredible. He played so LOUD! I sat in the piano booth at Sound Stage and watched during the sessions, learned every lick he played. He's one of the reasons I can get through a session today.
The "ways to get to a note" reminds of the better musicians who taught me how you can take a simple lick and twist it infinite ways. Learning to play it tastefully over any tempo, swing it, or in the pocket. Either way, it usually doesn't stick unless I make sure it sounds right over a metronome.
Also I've always been told the worst musicians want to be heard the most. So I try to play more with less, but I have to remind myself too often.
For me, there are a couple of favs. for the rock stuff, a few guys come to mind. Ian Mclagan, Max Middleton, especially for electric piano. Nicky Hopkins is another, but more for acoustic piano. and for the funkier side, I've always loved Bernie Worrell. I know that Ian Mclagen and Bernie Worrell have solo albums, but probably hard to find. You can tell, 'cause I called them albums. For Max Middleton, Check out Jeff Beck's "blow by blow" (early 70's) and for Nicky Hopkins, of course, it's the old Stones stuff
Well for me it was quiet a few,Larrie Londin,Eddie Bayers,Paul Leim,Owen Hale,Jerry Kroon,Steve Turner.Lonnie Wilson and Milton Sledge as far as the Nashville session world goes.Wow, did I leave anybody out?lol One of my all time favorite ablums was "New Grass Revival" on which Eddie Bayers played on,and I was knocked out by what he "didn't" play that was very cool.He played what was needed but stayed out of the way at the same time.That says alot considering they were a bluegrass band and never used OR needed drums.Larrie is the reason I am a drummer/perc. player.The very first song that I remember keeping time to was "Joshua"by Dolly P.which I found out later,Larrie was the drummer.I also loved all the Hank Jr ablums that he played on along with some of the other drummers mentioned here.All of these guys bring there own style to the table and I have tried to learn somthing from all of them.I love all styles of music from Jazz to Rock and there are too many to mention here but in that world a few are Jeff Pacaro,Neil Peart,Dave Weckel,Barry Borden AKA",B.B.Queen",Richie Hayward,Steve Gadd and J.R Robinson to name a few.I also have met some incredible drummers here in Nashville that have become close friends with ,who influence me still everytime I hear them play,whether its out touring or around town.I am very blessed to be a part of the Nashville scene and I couldn't think of anywhere else I'd want to live.This town and its talent and this site ROCKS!!! Tom Drenon