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The World's 100 Most Influential Drummers

Classic Jazz Modern Jazz Rock Distinctive Parts

This list has been growing and changing over the past year, based on feedback from various drummers who have stopped by and made suggestions. The point of this list is to serve as a resource for drummers who want to increase their knowledge about who has come before them. I hope that the recordings recommended on this site will serve as good "starting points" for people wanting to learn more about the drummers listed here. Please contact me with any comments, suggestions, or questions, or particularly if you can recommend representative recordings that fill in the blanks that still remain. Thanks for your interest!

-Steve Anisman
Classic Jazz
This section is intended to represent jazz drummers who primarily played and recorded before 1970.
Player Group Album Track
Louis Bellson
Art BlakeyJazz MessengersFree For All
Sid Catlett
Jimmy CobbMiles DavisKind of Blue
Baby Dodds
Al Foster
Billy Hart
Louis Hayes
Roy HaynesRoy Haynes QuartetOut of the AfternoonRaoul
Billy Higgins
Papa Jo Jones
Philly Jo Jones
Elvin JonesJohn ColtraneA Love SupremePursuance
Gene KrupaBenny GoodmanSing Sing SingSing Sing Sing
Shelly Manne Cherokee
Joe MorelloDave BrubeckTime OutTake Five, Blue Rondo a la Turk
Bob Moses
Lewis NashClark TerryHavin’ FunFlintstones
Buddy RichBuddy Rich
Max RoachMax Roach+4
Ed Thigpen
Dave Tough
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Modern Jazz
This section is intended to represent jazz drummers who primarily played and recorded after 1970.
Player Group Album Track
Alex AcunaLyle MaysLyle MaysHighland Aire
Joey BaronJohn Zorn
Brian BladeJoshua Redmond
Dennis Chambers
Jon Christensen
Billy CobhamGlass Menagerie
Vinnie ColaiutaFrank ZappaJoe’s Garage
Jack DeJohnette
Peter ErskinePeter ErskinePeter Erskine
FuturemanBela FleckLive Art
Danny GottliebPat Metheny GroupPat Metheny Group (White Album)Lone Jack
John GuerinJoni MitchellCourt & Spark
Omar HakimStingDream of the Blue TurtlesShadows in the Rain
Gary HusbandAlan HoldsworthIOUWhere Is One
Harvey MasonHerbie HancockHead HuntersChameleon
Marvin "Smitty" Smith
Jeff "Tain" Watts
Dave WecklChick Corea Elektric BandElektric BandGot a Match?
Paul WerticoPat Metheny GroupFirst CircleThe First Circle
Maurice WhiteEarth, Wind & FireAll 'n AllFantasy
Tony Williams
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This section is intended to represent rock drummers from every era.
Player Group Album Track
Ginger BakerCream
Carter BeaufordDave Matthews BandUnder the Table and Dreaming
John BonhamLed Zeppelin
Terry BozzioFrank ZappaZappa inNew YorkThe Black Page
Bill BrufordYesFragileLong Distance Runaround
Danny CareyToolOpiateOpiate
Phil CollinsGenesis
Stewart CopelandPoliceRegatta de BlancWalking on the Moon
Liberty DevitoBilly JoelThe StrangerScenes from an Italian Restaurant
Steve GaddSteely DanAjaAja
David GaribaldiTower of PowerTower of PowerWhat is Hip?
Micheal GilesKing CrimsonIn the Court of the Crimson King21st Century Schizoid Man
Manu Katche’Peter GabrielSoIn Your Eyes
Stan LynchTom Petty
Mitch MitchellJimi HendrixElectric LadylandAll Along the Watchtower
Joseph ModelisteThe MetersFunkify Your LifeCissy Strut
John MoloBruce HornsbyHarbor LightsChina Doll
Keith MoonThe WhoWho Are YouWho Are You
Rod MorgensteinDixie DregsDivided We Stand
Ian PaiceDeep PurpleWhen We Rock, We Rock, and When We Roll, We RollHush
Carl PalmerEmerson, Lake & PalmerTarkusTarkus
Neil PeartRushHemispheresLa Villa Strangiato
Simon PhillipsPete TownshendWhite CityGive Blood
Jeff PorcaroTotoToto IVRosanna
Danny SeraphineChicagoChicago Transit AuthorityQuestions 67 & 68
Steve SmithJourneyEscapeEscape
Ringo StarrThe BeatlesWhite Album
Robert WyattSoft MachineLive at the Paradiso10:30 Returns to the Bedroom
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Solo Stuff / Distinctive Drum Parts
I was thinking of this section as the one where drum parts would go that everyone would know - even (maybe especially) non-drummers. The kind of song that someone would come over your house, see you had a drumset, and in an attempt to seem like they knew something about drums, would ask you if you could play "...", since it was a drum part that they might actually recognize if you played something that sounded even remotely like it. Kind of a collection of tunes in which the drum part is basically as famous as the song.
Player Group Album Track
Ron WilsonThe SurfarisThe SurfarisWipeout
Cesar ZuiderwijkGolden Earring Moontan Radar Love
Hans CleuverFocus Moving Waves Hocus Pocus
Garry PetersonGuess WhoAmerican WomanAmerican Woman
Joe MorelloDave BrubeckTime OutTake Five
Johnny BadanjekEdgar WinterThey Only Come Out at NightFrankenstein
Liberty DevitoBilly JoelStrangerJust the Way You Are
Steve GaddPaul SimonStill Crazy After All These Years50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
Carl PalmerEmerson, Lake & PalmerBrain Salad SurgeryKarn Evil #9
Neil PeartRushMoving PicturesTom Sawyer
Neil PeartRushMoving PicturesYYZ
Jeff PorcaroTotoToto IVRosanna
Jay DorfmanSweet SmokeJust a PokeSilly Sally
Frank BeardZZ TopTres HombresLa Grange
Charlie WattsRolling StonesHot Rocks 1964-1971Honky Tonk Woman
Ringo StarrBeatlesAbbey RoadCome Together
Chris SharrockIcicle WorksIcicle WorksA Whisper to a Scream
Bun E. CarlosCheap TrickLive at BudokanI Want You to Want Me
John BonhamLed ZeppelinZosoRock and Roll
John BonhamLed ZeppelinCodaBonzo's Mantreux
Joey KramerAerosmithAerosmithWalk This Way
Larry Mullen, Jr.U2Under a Blood Red SkyGloria
Larry Mullen, Jr.U2WarSunday Bloody Sunday
Gary MallaberSteve Miller BandFly Like an EagleTake the Money & Run
Gary MallaberSteve Miller BandBook of DreamsSwingtown
Alex Van HalenVan HalenVan Halen IIDance the Night Away
Alex Van HalenVan Halen1984Hot for Teacher
Don BrewerGrand Funk RailroadAmerican BandAmerican Band
Click here for a page of these parts transcribed (NOT YET AVAILABLE)

This list is always changing and improving - please contact me with suggestions, and if you can, help me fill in the blanks. E-mail me at

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