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Publication: Modern Drummer : MD
Author: Stemkovsky, Ilya
Date published: July 1, 2011

More than thirty years after his first recordings, VINNIE COLAIUTA is still the most intriguing drummer on the planet. A couple of recent releases remind us why.

Two bassist-led albums featuring the illustrious Vinnie Colaiuta, with the green light to play with equal parts sensitive restraint and explosive chops? Yes, please! Mark Egan's Truth Be Told finds the drummer in classic funk/fusion mode, laying it down thick on "Café Risque" and blowing hard over the ending double-time vamp on "Pepé." Colaiuta engages in a head-spinning call-and-response during the organ solo of "Rhyme or Reason," and later throws in furious kick/snare combos guaranteed to make the uninitiated throw their sticks in the air. (

Reunited with his 1970s Berklee buddies Bill Frisell and Kermit Driscoll, Colaiuta shows his free side on Driscoll's Reveille-listening, improvising, springing surprises, and fitting right in with his cohorts' envelope-pushing downtown aesthetic. "Thank You" opens with a beautifully textured drum solo in 9/4, while "Great Expectations" highlights the drummer's signature beat displacement and locomotive singles. (

Like your Vinnie with some extra sauce? Between these two records, you need look no further.

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