“I know that ad nauseam, when you hear a drummer/composer, the compositions are centered on the drumming,” Tyshawn Sorey told JazzTimes in 2009 in a discussion of his then-new album Koan. “This music, this album, is challenging the idea of what drummer/composers are supposed to do.”
There is indeed a history (oft-overlooked) of drummer/composers in jazz, and they do indeed tend toward drum-centric compositions. It’s understandable and expected. But there have also been plenty of drummer/composers who weren’t willing to rest on those laurels, and wanted a bigger piece of the tonal action. More than 10, in fact, making this limited selection mostly a matter of prominence and taste.