Larnell Lewis is a “one-off”, as in the old expression: After God created him, He broke the mold. Larnell towers over his drums—like a king over his kingdom. He lays down the law. You can’t begin to describe him in terms of beats or speed. After all, Larnell’s bass drum with single-pedal surpasses what most drummers would be pleased to accomplish with a double!
Search on youtube for Thing of Gold/Snarky Puppy live at the Rex. Larnell sets up an immutable groove that hinges on his snare striking beats 1 and 2 (shades of Ginger Baker, “Sunshine of Your Love”). Meanwhile, Larnell, who was new to the band at the time, keeps it intense & unwavering for seven-minutes. When you see Snarky Puppy’s leader Michael League turn around smiling—then unleash bass licks that’d stir Jaco—you know he’s feeling something special. What Larnell does is a thing of gold—like the Pacific Ocean at high tide pounding the beach. There’s no stopping it. Larnell is a force of nature.
Larnell Lewis is beyond conversant in all genres. If a musician can think it, Larnell can do it. You will need to work a whole lot to catch up with him. Which is why you’re here, right?