The 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards air LIVE on Sat, Feb 21 5p ET/2p PT.
Independent Spirit Award-nominated Whiplash is about a young jazz drummer finding his way, and in tribute we decided to run down the all-time masters of the sticks.
10. Max Roach
One of the most influential stickmen ever, Roach transformed the drummer from a glorified metronome to an essential part of the jazz ensemble.
9. Neil Peart
Although opinions on Rush vary wildly, nobody can deny that Peart is one of the most idiosyncratic and progressive drummers to ever walk the cold Canadian soil.
8. Clyde Stubblefield
The most-sampled drummer of all time brings an incredible innate sense of rhythm to his work with James Brown and others.
7. Dave Lombardo
Heavy metal is a playground for drum pyrotechnics, and Slayer’s Dave Lombardo perfectly combines aggression and technique.
6. John Bonham
The Led Zeppelin drummer brought incredible speed, power and precision to the ensemble’s jams.
5. Gene Krupa
Super-energetic Krupa brought his performance behind the kit into the spotlight, paving the way for drummers to become stars.
4. Elvin Jones
To drum with John Coltrane, you need to be on the next level, and Elvin Jones was a cut above the competition.
3. Keith Moon
The Who could have been just another British Invasion combo were it not for Moon’s unpredictable playing, which was unlike any other drummer of his era.
2. Tony Allen
Holding down the drums for Nigerian mastermind Fela Kuti’s epic jams would be a challenge for any percussionist, but Allen handled it in style.
1. Buddy Rich
Rich actually figures into Whiplash, and for good reason – he was a tornado behind the kit with talent only matched by his brutal temper.