Drums 20 Living Greats

1 Jack DeJohnette A thrill to hear the great Chicagoan, always. Out of the AACM and ex-Charles Lloyd, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, standards, avant garde, rocking the room – he...

Published: 5 Dec 2019. Updated: 45 days.


1 Jack DeJohnette

A thrill to hear the great Chicagoan, always. Out of the AACM and ex-Charles Lloyd, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, standards, avant garde, rocking the room – he can do it all.

2 Roy Haynes

Last of the bebop greats. Universal vibrations.

3 Terri Lyne Carrington

Composition and a sense of song are crucial in the TLC sound. Speaks to the world.

4 Jimmy Cobb

On Kind of Blue. Three very significant century-changing words.

5 Jeff 'Tain' Watts

With Branford Marsalis he was in one of the best acoustic quartets since the 1960s.

6 Eric Harland

An Elvin Jones for our times.

7 Nasheet Waits

Son of Freddie: powers the Bandwagon.

8 Jon Christensen

Belonging Band poet of the kit.

9 Billy Cobham

Hugely influential jazz-rock monster, Massive Attack owe him a big debt.

10 Brian Blade

Wayne Shorter drummer par excellence.

11 Andrew Cyrille

Free jazz icon and hero.

12 Tyshawn Sorey

Hugely influential on the US avant garde scene as a conceptualist and thinker.

13 Tony Allen

Afrobeat innovations with Fela feed directly into jazz.

14 Herlin Riley

Wynton's best ever drummer. Currently, and for quite a few years, with Ahmad Jamal.

15 Tootie Heath

With Coltrane at his most tender. Beautiful on 'Violets for Your Furs'. Incredible brushes touch.

16 Vinnie Colaiuta

A revelation in recent years with Herbie Hancock, feverish and compulsive. Inspires cult-like devotion from other drummers and understandably so.

17 Steve Gadd

Groove incorporated. Perfect on the new Blicher-Hemmer-Gadd.

18 Cindy Blackman Santana

Check out Cindy's Muse albums. Code Red etc, and work with Lenny Kravitz as well as currently with husband Carlos Santana.

19 Billy Hart

Made history with Herbie Hancock in the Mwandishi band. Jabali.

20 Chris ('Daddy') Dave

Chris Dave has created his own sound forged from the pulse of hip-hop and spliced it with bebop and neosoul.

Jack DeJohnette, photo: Wikipedia

Tags: The Greats