Bernard Purdie

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

Bernard’s Website