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Did you ever recorded Vinnie? Share your history!
Old 3rd February 2011
  #1
Lives for gear
 
JulianFernandez's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Did you ever record Vinnie? Share your history!

As a fan of Mr. Colaiuta, I would like to hear some histories about the man...

Tell us about the gear, the whole experience recording such a legend like him, anything related to the experience...

CanΒ΄t wait to hear it! heh
Old 3rd February 2011
  #2
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Man I'd love this too! One the greatest drummers of all time!
Old 3rd February 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Steve G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianFernandez ➑️
As a fan of Mr. Colaiuta, I would like to hear some histories about the man...

Tell us about the gear, the whole experience recording such a legend like him, anything related to the experience...

CanΒ΄t wait to hear it! heh
I've done probably hundreds of sessions with Vinnie over the years, and I can say without a doubt in my mind he's the best all around drummer I've ever seen. There may be guys who are better at certain things ( Jeff Hamilton for jazz, Keltner for groove, etc) but no one is better at everything than Vinnie. I've done Rock dates, country dates, jazz, big band, TV shows, you name it, he's never the wrong call.

As far as gear it's pretty simple from my perspective, not being a drummer. A great sounding Gretch kit, a great collection of snares, and great cymbals. He changes stuff around once in a while, but not too often.

He's never difficult to record, his only request is that the headphone are right, so he can hear what he's doing. The least unreasonable request any musician can make in the studio.

Best of all, not only is he the best drummer around, he a great hang. One of my all time favorites, and a good friend.

Steve
Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah!
Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
JulianFernandez's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Awesome Steve, thanks for chiming in!

Does he have some preferred mics or pres or just trust the engineer about getting the drum sound?

(any pics you can share?)
Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I have done 2 sessions with him, he has the best timing in the business as far as locking to a click. One of the songs had a loop that was way off timing wise, that I thought no drummer could play with. He nailed it one take. This was about 10 years ago for the artist Robb Boldt, I was a cowriter and guitar player on the songs.
Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I recorded him last year for the Jeff Lorber album that is nominated for a Grammy this year.

Being a drummer myself, Vinnie is my favorite. Here's a couple things I noticed about him while recording him.

The click is VERY low in his headphone mix. He kept asking me to turn it down, and down and down... so I put headphones on to hear what he was hearing. He had it tucked in the mix so you pretty much couldn't hear it while everyone was playing.

He is literally an atomic clock. I started looking at how close to the "grid" he was in protools. At 96KHz he was roughly at most +/-50 SAMPLES from the grid line, and most of the time he was even closer than 50. That's 50 96-thousandths of a second!

Between takes he would noodle... He was doing advanced drum rudiments, stuff like Pata-fla-flas, Shirley Murphys, Ratamacues, etc WITH HIS FEET (on his double pedal) faster than I can do them with my hands! And this was no big deal for him, he wasn't even straining to do it.

And with all this techinque and skill, the thing that impressed me most about him was his musicianship. One of the songs we were recording had a very basic and repetitive drum groove. And man, he laid it down with such focus, every single bar was just as perfect as the last. And he purposefully left out a lot of fills and whatnot to make it feel more "sampled" like a loop. He always plays to the song, and even though he has these incredible chops, he knows when NOT to use them as much as he knows when to use them... which to me is the most important part of any musician.

What makes Vinnie the best in my book is that he, while being phenomenally proficient, he can also be completely transparent. You'd never know it was him on some of the tracks unless you read the credits. For being the best drummer in the world, he is humble and doesn't have any ego and comes in to make the song sound the way the producer wants it to sound and nothing else. He's not trying to put "vinnie-isms" into everything he does.

Seriously, if it were up to me, I would hire him for every session I record. heh
Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Semi-OT, but I love this one from Beck at Ronnie Scotts, with Vinnie on drums. Very tastey, and Tal blows out a pretty monster solo as well.

Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #9
Deleted 0825e84
Guest
I never recorded him, but I was invited to a session he played on for a Russian pianist. They were doing a very difficult song from charts. He seemed to nail it on the first try. Amazing.

Mike McRoberts
Old 4th February 2011 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Pretty much the same experience. I've never worked with anybody who was any better than Vinnie.
Old 4th February 2011 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Unexplainedbacon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
He played drums on a friends record, and I asked about the experience. Apparently he reads charts lightning fast and nails it down in one or two takes. What a pro!
Old 4th February 2011 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Kinda young, kinda wow!
Old 4th February 2011 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
artbeat77's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I love this story:

Steve Vai on Vinnie Colaiuta:
"I was just enamored with Vinnie. Back in the Frank days, his whole approach, when I heard Vinnie play, his phrasing - it satisfied something in my heart. It was easy to get certain rhythmic gratification from straight up-and-down-type players. Playing grooves, alternate grooves here and there. But Vinnie just came in and threw a wrench into the works. The guy is an alien. He was able to touch buttons with his sense of polyrhythms that no one has ever done. Frank's band was the perfect soundboard for that. I started transcribing his playing for The Frank Zappa Book. I mean, there's five to six different notations for the hi-hat!" [laughs]

"I'll tell you a really great Vinnie story. He's one of the most amazing sight-readers that ever existed on the instrument. One day we were in a Frank rehearsal, this was early '80s, and Frank brought in this piece of music called "Mo 'N Herb's Vacation." Just unbelievably complex. All the drums were written out, just like "The Black Page" except even more complex. There were these runs of like 17 over 3 and every drumhead is notated differently. And there were a whole bunch of people there, I think Bozzio was there."

"Vinnie had this piece of music on the stand to his right. To his left he had another music stand with a plate of sushi on it, okay? Now the tempo of the piece was very slow, like "The Black Page." And then the first riff came in, [mimics bizarre Zappa-esque drum rhythm patterns] with all these choking of cymbals, and hi-hat, ruffs, spinning of rototoms and all this crazy stuff. And I saw Vinnie reading this thing. Now, Vinnie has this habit of pushing his glasses up with the middle finger of his right hand. Well I saw him look at this one bar of music, it was the last bar of music on the page. He started to play it as he was turning the page with one hand, and then once the page was turned he continued playing the riff with his right hand, as he reached over with his left hand, grabbed a piece of sushi and put it in his mouth, continued the riff with his left hand and feet, pushed his glasses up, and then played the remaining part of the bar."

"It was the sickest thing I have ever seen. Frank threw his music up in the air. Bozzio turned around and walked away. I just started laughing."
Old 4th February 2011 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Unexplainedbacon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
^ That story is amazing
Old 4th February 2011 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
JulianFernandez's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great storys, guys!

Time for the picsss! heh
Old 7th February 2011 | Show parent
  #16
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msquared's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch ➑️
What makes Vinnie the best in my book is that he, while being phenomenally proficient, he can also be completely transparent. You'd never know it was him on some of the tracks unless you read the credits. For being the best drummer in the world, he is humble and doesn't have any ego and comes in to make the song sound the way the producer wants it to sound and nothing else. He's not trying to put "vinnie-isms" into everything he does.
Having played the drums as my main instrument for decades, I've always been a huge fan of Vinnie but only knew of him from stuff like Zappa, Chick Corea, and Sting - where he gets to put in the Vinnie-isms.

I was floored when I heard Mega's "The System Has Failed" album for the first time and, wondering who the absolute bad ass thrash metal drummer behind the kit was, looked at the liner notes. I never in a million years would have guessed it was Vinnie based on how it was performed.
Old 7th February 2011 | Show parent
  #17
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by artbeat77 ➑️
I love this story:

Steve Vai on Vinnie Colaiuta:
"I was just enamored with Vinnie. Back in the Frank days, his whole approach, when I heard Vinnie play, his phrasing - it satisfied something in my heart. It was easy to get certain rhythmic gratification from straight up-and-down-type players. Playing grooves, alternate grooves here and there. But Vinnie just came in and threw a wrench into the works. The guy is an alien. He was able to touch buttons with his sense of polyrhythms that no one has ever done. Frank's band was the perfect soundboard for that. I started transcribing his playing for The Frank Zappa Book. I mean, there's five to six different notations for the hi-hat!" [laughs]

"I'll tell you a really great Vinnie story. He's one of the most amazing sight-readers that ever existed on the instrument. One day we were in a Frank rehearsal, this was early '80s, and Frank brought in this piece of music called "Mo 'N Herb's Vacation." Just unbelievably complex. All the drums were written out, just like "The Black Page" except even more complex. There were these runs of like 17 over 3 and every drumhead is notated differently. And there were a whole bunch of people there, I think Bozzio was there."

"Vinnie had this piece of music on the stand to his right. To his left he had another music stand with a plate of sushi on it, okay? Now the tempo of the piece was very slow, like "The Black Page." And then the first riff came in, [mimics bizarre Zappa-esque drum rhythm patterns] with all these choking of cymbals, and hi-hat, ruffs, spinning of rototoms and all this crazy stuff. And I saw Vinnie reading this thing. Now, Vinnie has this habit of pushing his glasses up with the middle finger of his right hand. Well I saw him look at this one bar of music, it was the last bar of music on the page. He started to play it as he was turning the page with one hand, and then once the page was turned he continued playing the riff with his right hand, as he reached over with his left hand, grabbed a piece of sushi and put it in his mouth, continued the riff with his left hand and feet, pushed his glasses up, and then played the remaining part of the bar."

"It was the sickest thing I have ever seen. Frank threw his music up in the air. Bozzio turned around and walked away. I just started laughing."
I saw this Thread and was going to post the exact same tale. Being a massive Zappa fan it just makes me shiver reading it, especially when you consider just how good Bozzio is in his own respect, popping his glasses, turning pages and eating sushi. Good god...
Old 7th February 2011 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Steve G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by artbeat77 ➑️
I love this story:

Steve Vai on Vinnie Colaiuta:
"I was just enamored with Vinnie. Back in the Frank days, his whole approach, when I heard Vinnie play, his phrasing - it satisfied something in my heart. It was easy to get certain rhythmic gratification from straight up-and-down-type players. Playing grooves, alternate grooves here and there. But Vinnie just came in and threw a wrench into the works. The guy is an alien. He was able to touch buttons with his sense of polyrhythms that no one has ever done. Frank's band was the perfect soundboard for that. I started transcribing his playing for The Frank Zappa Book. I mean, there's five to six different notations for the hi-hat!" [laughs]

"I'll tell you a really great Vinnie story. He's one of the most amazing sight-readers that ever existed on the instrument. One day we were in a Frank rehearsal, this was early '80s, and Frank brought in this piece of music called "Mo 'N Herb's Vacation." Just unbelievably complex. All the drums were written out, just like "The Black Page" except even more complex. There were these runs of like 17 over 3 and every drumhead is notated differently. And there were a whole bunch of people there, I think Bozzio was there."

"Vinnie had this piece of music on the stand to his right. To his left he had another music stand with a plate of sushi on it, okay? Now the tempo of the piece was very slow, like "The Black Page." And then the first riff came in, [mimics bizarre Zappa-esque drum rhythm patterns] with all these choking of cymbals, and hi-hat, ruffs, spinning of rototoms and all this crazy stuff. And I saw Vinnie reading this thing. Now, Vinnie has this habit of pushing his glasses up with the middle finger of his right hand. Well I saw him look at this one bar of music, it was the last bar of music on the page. He started to play it as he was turning the page with one hand, and then once the page was turned he continued playing the riff with his right hand, as he reached over with his left hand, grabbed a piece of sushi and put it in his mouth, continued the riff with his left hand and feet, pushed his glasses up, and then played the remaining part of the bar."

"It was the sickest thing I have ever seen. Frank threw his music up in the air. Bozzio turned around and walked away. I just started laughing."
Great story. Doesn't surprise me though. I've seen Vinnie read the paper sitting on the floor tom, and play a killer take 1 at the same time.

That being said, I've never seen Vinnie show up at a session less than totally prepared to play. And I've never seen him not give 100% every take.

Steve
Old 7th February 2011 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
as a drummer when I hear a song with something special in the drums I always find it's because of him. great great drummer
Old 7th February 2011 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by msquared ➑️
Having played the drums as my main instrument for decades, I've always been a huge fan of Vinnie but only knew of him from stuff like Zappa, Chick Corea, and Sting - where he gets to put in the Vinnie-isms.

I was floored when I heard Mega's "The System Has Failed" album for the first time and, wondering who the absolute bad ass thrash metal drummer behind the kit was, looked at the liner notes. I never in a million years would have guessed it was Vinnie based on how it was performed.
Exactly! Same here. He's on tons of pop albums and filmscores too. He played on the James Newton Howard score for Duplicity a couple years ago... Not to mention Leann Rimes, Backstreet Boys, Boys II Men, Celine Dion, Andre Bocelli, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Faith Hill, The Pussycat Dolls, Linsay Lohan, Queen Latifah, The Bourne Supremacy Soundtrack, SheDAISY, Christina Aguilera, etc...

If you go here you can see his discography...

Vinnie Colaiuta | Discography

I don't even think this is a full list because I know he's done a lot of Big National TV commercials and stuff too. But just thumbing through the 21 pages of credits you start to really see just how much of a chameleon he really can be.

To me that is what makes the ultimate musicians, one day he's in the studio laying down the drums on a Pussycat Dolls or Christina Aguilera hit, the next day he's playing on a huge filmscore, and the day after that he's playing his ass off with someone like John McLaughlin or Chick Corea, and then he goes and plays metal with a band like Megadeath!

I personally would love to get him involved in a serious metal project. His double bass chops are freaking INSANE!!!
Old 7th February 2011 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
andyspiller's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Just in case none of you have seen this

YouTube - Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd

3 greats together
Old 8th February 2011 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyspiller ➑️
Just in case none of you have seen this

YouTube - Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd

3 greats together
That was awesome!
Old 8th February 2011 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
geareyes's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyspiller ➑️
Just in case none of you have seen this

YouTube - Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd

3 greats together

Monsters

Mike
Old 8th February 2011 | Show parent
  #24
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyspiller ➑️
Just in case none of you have seen this

YouTube - Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd

3 greats together
By far my favourite drum video ever.
Old 8th February 2011 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
here's a great video of Vinnie jamming during soundcheck to "Seven Steps to heaven".

YouTube - Vinnie Colaiuta and Nathan East jamming

This one is of vinnie just grooving his ass off...
YouTube - Vinnie Colaiuta groovemaster

And here's a funny one, The "Alf" TV show theme. Vinnie played drums on it!
YouTube - VINNIE COLAIUTA on drums ALF THEME SONG

And Vinnie with ChickJust freakin amazing, especially around 2:00 in!
YouTube - Vinnie Colaiuta John Patitucci w/ Chick Corea

And just an amazing solo by Vinnie w/ Herbie Hancock.
YouTube - Vinnie Colaiuta Solo during "Actual Proof"
Old 8th February 2011 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
And what sucks is some of the coolest stuff Vinnie does will never be heard! I remember I did overdubs for a Michael Franks album that had Vinnie playing drums. There was one song called "Remembering Take Five" which was based off "Take Five", and was in 5/4. At the end of the song Vinnie takes a solo. We had 4 takes of it. I had to comp the drums before doing any overdubs and man it was difficult!!! Everything he did on each take was so amazing I didn't want to leave anything out!

But there was one take the producer said was too "out" to put on the record. The song is in 5/4 and is swung. Vinning in the middle of his solo, turns the 8th note triplet into 8ths notes and starts doing a rock groove between the floor tom and snare drum with his left hand... So it creates this 3 over 2 kind of thing... while his right hand and feet keep doing the normal "take 5" drum pattern in time with the song... he keeps it going and going over the bar lines keeping the rock groove going (it was 1 and 3& on the floor tom and 2 and 4 on the snare... but since it was triplets it was 1 and the &-ah after 2 on the floor and the Ah after 1 and 3 on the snare. But it keeps cycling around since the groove starts over again on the "ah" after 3. You completely lose track of where "1" is... At the end of the solo there's a big "4 - 5 - 1" accent by the whole band... I'm listening and I have no idea where the time really is because vinnie is doing this straight rock groove on the floor tom and snare... and all of a sudden out of nowhere he just nails the "4 - 5 - 1" with the band, right in time, right on the grid in PT. It was by far one of the craziest things I've heard. I Soooo wanted to put that on the album, but they wouldn't let me. :-(

I asked the bass player if he really did that live with the rhythm section or if that was an overdub... and no, it was live. I asked the bass player how the heck he stayed in time while Vinnie was doing this and he said something to the effect of, "man, when Vinnie starts taking it out you really just need to focus in on the click and COUNT. Cuz Vinnie is going to follow the chart and hit the kicks perfectly no matter how far out he takes it!" I really wish I could have copied that solo to have for later, it was just crazy. It makes me wonder how many other amazing solos vinnie has done that for one reason or another don't make it out to the general public.
Old 8th February 2011 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I only know Vinnie's Zappa stuff, so when I think of his drumming I think of the unbelievably subdivided/polyrhythmic stuff in the guitar solos on Joe's Garage and Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar. That would be amazing enough even if he weren't excellent at completely different styles of drumming too. As a very mediocre drummer myself, that sushi story just makes my head hurt.
Old 9th February 2011 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
zvenx's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett ➑️
Man I'd love this too! One the greatest drummers of all time!
+1
certainly of my time......

strange enough most of the posts mention his technical prowess, what always grabs me about his playing is his sense of groove...always grabs me....
rsp
Old 9th February 2011 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Addict
 
rjacobsen's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great thread, thanks to all of you for sharing the great stories and clips.

rjacobsen
Old 9th February 2011 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Levi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a couple, but there's one in particular I love...

I was producing a project at The Sound Kitchen in the late 90's. Larry Carlton was tracking in the next room. No doubt, it would have been a session to witness. This was on a Saturday.

The next day, I was playing keys for our church worship band. It was a small group, nothing phenomenal. We met in the local YMCA. Kirk Whalem, saxophone great, was an elder at our church at the time. He comes up to me before the service and says "Hey, hang around after the sermon. I've got some friends who want to jam at the end as everyone is leaving." OK, sure, why not. So, as we begin our worship that morning, two guys sit on the front row right in front of me. Hmmm... one guy looks pretty familiar... Anyway, sure enough, we do our typical playing at the end, a final prayer, and then everyone gets up to leave. These two guys come up by me, give a pat on the shoulder, and then I realized that it was Vinnie and Abe Laboriel! OH S&$T!!!!! heh So Kirk yells out "Jesus Loves Me, Bb, Bossa Nova, HIT IT!!!" Well, I hung for a bit, then eventually lost "1," slowly began to slide the volume down on the keyboard... you know... "One of these things is not like the others..."

Anyway, we wrapped up, Abe gave me a big hug and Vinnie hunted me down across the room to thank me for playing, ask me about church and what I do, etc. He then mentioned that he, Kirk and Abe were in town doing a session for Larry Carlton. DOH!!!! heh

What fantastic individuals, above and beyond their ridiculous abilities!!!

Now, I DO have a VERY funny Vinnie story, having to do with Rascal Flatts, but I'd better refrain... I wasn't there and I'd hate to mess it up... but one of my dear friends was producing it and told me the whole story... perhaps he'll jump on here and tell it... it's a DOOSIE!!!!
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