The drums, more than any other instrument, have developed significantly in recent years in terms of playing technique and musical function. Jazz drummers have moved beyond the role of the accompanist, to an equal musical partner. Indeed, now they are often band leaders and composers. Their playing is not only defined by the beat, but also through their sound. Extremely fast tempi, huge dynamic range, as well as highly virtuosic poly-rhythmic playing are these days generally a matter of course. German drummer, Oliver Steidle, “ who pulls all the strings with sensitivity and efficiency “, “ an ace of dynamic and rhythmic flexibility”, “ a drummer who has developed from rhythmic servitude into a totally emancipated and unique musician”, has been influential in this development. Not only German music critics, but also the international press agrees that Oliver Steidle is “one of the most innovative young jazz musicians”, “a like-minded collaborator for many renowned musicians, [he] has admirably developed a distinctive style; he beats, whispers, and controls his instrument so fabulously as if it were the easiest thing in the world”.
_DSC1095 The latter, a comment from the British music magazine The Wire, perhaps sums up the quintessence of Oliver Steidle’s accomplishments. Although he moves for the most part between the musical worlds of free jazz and new music, he is always focused on clarity of sound. He makes even the most complex rhythms comprehensible, while playing uncomplicated music with intense expression is a professed goal. Like so few, he succeeds in finding the right proportion of sound and energy. Beneficial no doubt was the shaping of musical versatility and variability from an early age. In his hometown Nürnberg, he started on piano before changing to drums at the age of 11. At 14, he was a fan of hardcore rock and punk bands the likes of Slayer, Mr. Bungle, or Napalm Death. Even today he describes rock as his musical origin, reconnecting to these roots in many of his recent projects.