I was just rolling through my Twitter feed and caught from Modern Drummer that today is the day that in 2008, Buddy Miles passed away. A lot of drummers don't know about Buddy Miles, whose claim to fame was as Jimi Hendrix's second drummer as he evolved from the Experience to the Band of Gypsies incarnation.
Buddy Miles is an important drummer to me for two reasons. One, he was one of the first drummers that really helped me see the difference between just being a drummer and being a musician. Man! Hearing him sing Them Changes while playing the kit totally blew me away. The second reason was how much soul he brought to Jimi's playing, which I had previously associated as being so much more rock. Mitch Mitchell's playing, as incredible as it truly was, also was much more busy and aggressive, so hearing how much change came to the music through Miles' deep and soulful pocket was very profound to me as a young drummer.
If you've never listened to the Band of Gypsies album, it's a must hear. And of course, if you have, now is a good time to remind yourself how much soul and groove Buddy Miles had. Rest in peace.
You can catch a great article about him on Modern Drummer's website here: