Throughout musical history, the influences of substantial artists, recorded works, or certain epochal periods, have their effect on contemporaries and ensuing generations.
For those that make music, it shows up in their playing or composing. Tracking those influences, whether well-known sources or those under the radar, is not as important as the end result of an individual's statement.
Forward-thinking artists can find inventive ways of incorporating influences into personal statements. That's what Brooklyn-based drummer George Schuller has done in his new recording. For a man who was exposed to all kinds of great music during his lifetime--being the son of a musical giant, composer/arranger/author/historian/Pulitzer Prize-winner Gunther Schuller--the drummer's recent project, Like Before, Somewhat After (Playscape Recordings, 2008), with his band Circle Wide, draws on the influence of superb music and musicians, but lone that doesn't spring to mind immediately when contemplating a tribute project.
Check out R.J. DeLuke's insightful interview, George Schuller: Like Before, But Fresh at AAJ today!