I'm not sure how I got so interested in listening to drummers. Mario probably had something to do with it.
The best drummers just have the right feel. I can't quantify it. I' not sure I even thought of it in those terms until recently. But I can tell pretty quickly if a drummer has it or not.
I have already written (maybe too much) on this blog about a number of drummers who have it. Some of them are obvious choices: Elvin Jones, Harvey Mason, Tony Williams, Neil Peart, John Bonham, Keith Moon, and of course Bernard Purdie. I've also written about some who aren't such obvious choices, but who also plainly have it (if you listen I'm sure you'll agree): Alex Acuna, Charlie Watts, Ringo, Nigel Olson, Chester Thompson, and the least-known great drummer I can think of, Buffin.
How about some others? Here are a few, some of whom I may have mentioned before, but some I'm sure I haven't yet (and many of them aren't exactly household names), in no particular order:
Stuart Copeland: you think The Police were great just because of Sting?
David Garibaldi: every bit as essential to the success of TOP as the horns.
Bruce Gary: I don't care what you think of his most famous group, just listen to him.
Aynsley Dunbar: the best jazz/rock player of them all.
Frank Beard: all you have to do is listen to Heard It On the X.
Lenny White: the undeservedly least-famous member of Return to Forever.
Sometime soon, I'll do a post about the place to go on the web to see just about all the great drummers.
A lawyer who likes to write music commentary.