What do you say about the most-recorded drummer in the world?
3000+ recordings—– Bernard Purdie has done everything from R&B to funk, Pop to Country, Acoustic Jazz to Blues to Broadway shows. There is the common thread of the awesome groove he lays down in each of these tracks– it comes through in those 3000+ recordings. … and these are not your typical recordings. Legends all—Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan, James Brown, B. B. King, Hall and Oates, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Mann.
I met Bernard Purdie years before I was able to see him play. I knew him right away as a friendly, easygoing person who could instantly set everyone at ease— supremely confident, rock steady, able to make you feel better at what you were doing at the time—sort of the living embodiment of a terrific groove.
I was 15 years old when I first listened to an album called “Soul Is…..Pretty Purdie”. It had a great drum solo on it (Heavy Soul Slinger) that was different from the rat-ta-tat drum solos I was used to hearing at the time. It was a first-class groove serving as a drum solo. It was the ultimate groove!
Guests on this show often include tracks that were influential, or that changed the course of music and drumming in their eyes. Bernard? He PLAYED on tracks that changed the course of music and drumming in this world. I am glad that he is here to talk about some of them on Drummeradio. Welcome, Bernard!
Listen to the Bernard Purdie Podcast
Bernard Purdie Playlist
Drums on all tracks: Bernard Purdie
Please Please Please — James Brown
Album: Live at the Apollo Theater, 1962
Watermelon Man — Mongo Santamaria
Album: Watermelon Man, 1963
To Be Young Gifted and Black — Nina Simone
Album: Black Gold, 1970
Push Push — Herbie Mann
Album: Push Push, 1971
Rock Steady — Aretha Franklin
Album: Young, Gifted and Black, 1971
Until You Come Back to Me — Aretha Franklin
Album: Let Me In Your Life, 1973
Where is the Love — Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway
Album: Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, 1972
She’s Gone – Hall and Oates
Album: Abandoned Luncheonette, 1973
What a Difference a Day Makes — Esther Phillips
Album: What a Difference a Day Makes, 1975
Deacon Blues – Steely Dan
Album: Aja, 1977
Home At Last — Steely Dan
Album: Aja, 1977
Heavy Soul Slinger — Bernard Purdie
Album: Soul Is: Pretty Purdie, 1972