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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bernard "Pretty" Purdie


Bernard Lee "Pretty" Purdie (born June 11, 1939) is an American session drummer, and is considered an influential and innovative exponent of funk. He is known for his strict musical time keeping and "The Purdie Shuffle".
Purdie recorded Soul Drums (1968) as a band leader and although he went on to record Alexander's Ragtime Band, the album remained unreleased until Soul Drums was reissued on CD in 2009 with the Alexander's Ragtime Band sessions. Other solo albums include Purdie Good (1971),Soul Is...Pretty Purdie (1972) and the soundtrack for the Blaxploitation film Lialeh (1973).

Purdie was credited on the sound track album for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) and more recently he was the drummer for the 2009 Broadway revival of Hair and appeared on the associated Broadway cast recording. In 2010, he had his portrait painted by Jane Moorhouse, an artist based in London.

At an early age Purdie began hitting cans with sticks and learned the elements of drumming techniques from overhearing lessons being given by Leonard Heywood. He later took lessons from Heywood and played in Heywood's big band. Purdie's other influences at that time were Papa Jo Jones, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Joe Marshall and Art Blakey.

In 1961 he moved from his home town of Elkton, Maryland, to New York. There he played sessions with Mickey and Sylvia and regularly visited the Turf Club on 50th and Broadway, where musicians, agents, and promoters met and touted for business. It was during this period that he played for the saxophonist Buddy Lucas, who nicknamed him 'Mississippi Bigfoot'. Eventually Barney Richmond contracted him to play session work. In the same year original Beatles drummer Pete Best and guitarist Tony Sheridan recorded tracks in Hamburg with the Beatles. Later Bernard Purdie added drum overdubs to tracks from these sessions, including "Ain't She Sweet", "Take Out Some Insurance on Me Baby" and "Sweet Georgia Brown". The main reason for this was to give them a punchier sound for the US market. These tracks were eventually released on January 31, 1964 by Polydor. Ringo Starr's physical approach to drumming was probably influenced by Purdie's Motown style.

Purdie was contracted by arranger Sammy Lowe to play a session with James Brown in 1965 and recording session records also show that Purdie played on "Ain't That A Groove" at the same session. This was one of several sessions he played with Brown and the track "Kansas City" from Brown's album Cold Sweat (1967), displays one of the most sophisticated and driving shuffles recorded for Brown's catalogue. Purdie is also credited on the albums Say It Loud-I'm Black and I'm Proud (1969) and Get on the Good Foot (1972) on which "Ain't That A Groove" appeared.

Purdie started working with Aretha Franklin as musical director in 1970 and held that position for five years, as well as drumming for Franklin's opening act, King Curtis and The King Pins. In 1970 he performed with both bands at the Fillmore West; the resulting live recordings were released as Aretha Live at the Fillmore West (1971) and King Curtis's Live at Fillmore West (1971). His best known track with Franklin was "Rock Steady", on which he played what he described as "a funky and low down beat". Of his time with Franklin he once commented that "backing her was like floating in seventh heaven".

In 1973 Purdie founded Encounter Records and released five albums

EN 3000: Seldon Powell - Messin' With
EN 3001: Sands of Time - Profile (with Jimmy Owens, Garnett Brown)
EN 3002: East Coast - East Coast (with Larry Blackmon, Gwen Guthrie)
EN 3003: Frank Owens - Brown N Serve (with Hugh McCracken)
EN 3004: Harold Vick as "Sir Edward" - The Power of Feeling


Discography:

Albums
  • Soul Drums -Direction (1968)
  • Stand By Me-Mega (1971)
  • Purdie Good -Prestige (1971)
  • Soul Is ... Pretty Purdie" -Flying Dutchman (1972)
  • Lialeh - Bryan (1973)
  • Shaft - Prestige (1974)
  • Delights of the Garden- Celluloid (1975)
  • Purdie As a Picture - Kilarnock (1993)
  • Tokyo Jazz Groove Sessions - Lexington (1993)
  • Coolin' 'n' Groovin' - Lexington/West 47th 1993 (1993)
  • After Hours with The 3B's - 3B's (1993)
  • The Hudson River Rats - 3B's (1994)
  • Kick N Jazz Drum Beat- Blocks (1996)
  • Soul to Jazz I -Act(1997)
  • In the Pocket- P Vine (1997)
  • Soul to Jazz II- Act (1998)
  • Get It While You Can- 3B's (1999)
  • Purdie Good Cookin' Own Label (2003)
  • The Godfathers of Groove(2008)
  • The Godfathers of Groove _vol 3 (2010)  

Contributions

  • Gabor Szabo - Jazz Raga (1966)
  • James Brown - Cold Sweat (1967)
  • King Curtis and his Kingpins - Instant Soul (1967)
  • The Soul Finders - Sweet Soul Music (1968)
  • Albert Ayler - New Grass (1968)
  • James Brown - Say It Loud-I'm Black & I'm Proud (1969)
  • Al Kooper - You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (1969)
  • Gary Burton - Good Vibes (Atlantic, 1969)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Cornucopia (Solid State, 1969)
  • Aretha Franklin - Young, Gifted and Black (1972)
  • James Brown - Get On the Good Foot (1972)
  • Larry Coryell - Coryell (1969)
  • BB King - Completely Well (1970)
  • Robert Palmer's Insect Trust - Hoboken Saturday Night (1970)
  • Eddie Palmieri - Harlem River Drive (1970)
  • Aretha Franklin - Aretha Live at Fillmore West (1971)
  • King Curtis - Live at Fillmore West (1971)
  • Larry Coryell - Fairyland (1971)
  • Herbie Mann - Push, Push (1971)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Real Thing (1971)
  • Hubert Laws - Wild Flower (Atlantic, 1972)
  • Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace (1972)
  • Esther Phillips - Alone Again Naturally (1972)
  • Miles Davis - Get Up with It (1972)
  • Ronnie Foster - Sweet Revival (1972)
  • BB King - Guess Who (1973)
  • Cat Stevens - Foreigner (1973)
  • Hall & Oates - Abandoned Luncheonette (1973)
  • Jimmy McGriff - Come Together (1974)
  • Joe Cocker - I Can Stand a Little Rain (1974)
  • Bama The Village Poet - Ghettos Of The Mind (1974)
  • Cornell Dupree - Teasin' (1975)
  • Todd Rundgren - Initiation (1975)
  • Jorge Dalto - Chevere (1976)
  • Hummingbird - We Can't Go On Meeting Like This (1976)
  • Steely Dan - The Royal Scam (1976)
  • Steely Dan - Aja (1977)
  • Hummingbird - Diamond Nights (1977)
  • Pee Wee Ellis - Home in the Country (1977)
  • Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson - You Can't Make Love Alone (1977)
  • Joe Cocker - Luxury You Can Afford (1978)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Digital at Montreux, 1980 (Pablo, 1980)
  • Steely Dan - Gaucho (1980)
  • Jimmy McGriff - Blue to the Bone (1988)
  • Elliott Randall - Still Reelin (2006)
  • Hair - Broadway Cast Recording (2009)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Legendary Nite-Liters(The)

Harvey Fuqua and Tony Churchill formed the Nite-Liters in 1963 in Louisville. When the band subsequently expanded to 17 members, with a pair of vocal groups and a instrumental ensemble, they were renamed New Birth, Inc. Churchill, Austin Lander, James Baker, Robert Jackson, Leroy Taylor, and Robin Russell were the original bandmembers. Ben Boxtel, Roger Voice, and James Hall were later recruits. They had two mild instrumental hits for RCA in 1971 and 1972, with "K-Jee" making the R&B Top 20.
1970 - Instrumental Directions
1970 The Nite-Liter
1971 - Morning, Noon & The Nite-Liters
1972 - Different Stroke
1973 A-Nal-Y-Sis

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