The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 1
Few of us who are not drummers are likely to have a favourite drummer, and if we do they are probably a member of a band, say Keith Moon or John Bonham. My favourite drummer is Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, whose contribution to music has been mostly as a session musician. I have no competence to declare Purdie the “best” drummer ever, though he has been massively influential on others in his craft (inluding Bonham).
Purdie plays on two songs on which I have always loved the drumming in particular: The Five Stairsteps’ “O-o-h Child” and Tim Rose’s version of “Hey Joe”, the one that inspired Jimi Hendrix. And from there it’s a short leap to two mixes… Yes, two mixes, since he is the world’s most recorded drummer.
The native of Elkton, Maryland, did overdubs for the album Tony Sheridan recorded with The Beatles (looks like Pete Best didn’t quite cut it), played with James Brown, served as Aretha Franklin’s musical director, backed Gil Scott-Heron and played on a succession of Steely Dan albums. You hear his drumming on James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”, Hall & Oates’ “She’s Gone”, BB King’s “The Thrill Is Gone”, and on Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway’s “Where Is The Love”.
Over the two mixes I’ve kept things down to one song per artist, with one exceptions: King Curtis appears in successive songs: on his own version of “Whole Lotta Love” from the Fillmore West live album and on the track by Shirley Scott.
As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R. The mix includes home-skinned covers. PW in comments.
1. Bernard Purdie – Soul Drums (1968)
2. The Five Stairsteps – O-o-h Child (1970)
3. Tim Rose – Hey Joe (1967)
4. King Curtis – Whole Lotta Love (1971)
5. Shirley Scott & The Soul Saxes – You (1968)
6. Aretha Franklin – Rock Steady (1972)
7. Nina Simone – Real Real (1967)
8. John Lee Hooker – I Don’t Wanna Go To Vietnam (1968)
9. Bama The Village Poet – I Got Soul (1972)
10. Gil Scott-Heron – The Needle’s Eye (1971)
11. Esther Phillips – Sweet Touch Of Love (1972)
12. David Newman – Captain Buckles (1971)
13. Margie Joseph – Touch Your Woman (1973)
14. Roberta Flack – Sunday And Sister Jones (1971)
15. Wayne Davis – I Like The Things About Me That I Once Despised (1973)
16. Donal Leace – Country Road (1972)
17. Gabor Szabo – Paint It Black (1966)
18. Leon Thomas – Let’s Go Down To Lucy (1972)
19. Ralfi Pagan – La Vida (1975)
20. Brother Jack McDuff – A Change Is Gonna Come (1966)
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