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The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1

November 26th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1

There are many session drummers who are valid contenders for the label “greatest ever” or “most influential”, if one is into these absolutes. Some have featured in this series: Hal Blaine, Jim Keltner and Bernard Purdie might make it into a four-way final with Steve Gadd (and that’s not to mention Earl Palmer).

Gadd is responsible for one of my all-time favourite single drum hits, on Grover Washington’s Be Mine Tonight (with vocals by another fine drummer, Grady Tate). At 5:44 minutes into the song, as Grover is climaxing his sax solo, he hits the cymbals with such exquisite and eloquent timing. The song would be masterful without it; this easily missed moment elevates it to the sublime.

You’ll have heard Gadd on many famous records, and perhaps even seen him in action: he backed Simon & Garfunkel in the famous Concert in Central Park. He also appeared in the Paul Simon movie One Trick Pony (and drummed on the album of that name, including Late In The Evening). If you caught Eric Clapton in concert between 1994 and 2004, or in 2009, chances are you saw Gadd playing live.

Inspired by his uncle, Gadd took up drumming as a seven-year-old. By the time he was 11, in 1956, he reputedly sat in with Dizzy Gillespie. He made his first recording in 1968, backing Gap Mangione.

Apart from the artists that will feature over the three Steve Gadd Collections I have queued up, he has also backed — deep breath now —Bette Middler, Bob James, Joe Farrell, Rusty Bryant, Ellie Greenwhich, Jackie DeShannon, O’Donel Levy, Chet Baker, Hubert Laws, Herbie Mann, Deodato, Stanley Clarke, Hank Crawford, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Merry Clayton, David Sanborn, Leon Redbone, Kenny Vance, Chick Corea, Maynard Ferguson, The Brecker Brothers, Jon Lucien, Alessi Brothers, Freddie Hubbard, Ashford & Simpson, Eric Gale, Phoebe Snow, Lou Courtney, Al Di Meola, Harry Chapin, Earl Klugh, Sergio Mendes, Garland Jeffreys, Ringo Starr, Frankie Valli, Lolleatta Holloway, Manhattan Transfer, Weather Report, The Sylvers, Mongo Santamaria, Sadao Watanbabe, Richard Tee, Charles Mingus, Yusef Latif, Meco, Larry Carlton, Herb Alpert, Joe Sample, Jennifer Holliday, Diana Ross, Tania Maria, Paul Shaffer, Laurie Anderson, John Sebastian, Mark Cohn, Edie Brickell, Buddy Rich, Angela Bofill, Stephen Bishop, Eric Clapton, Tracy Chapman, Joss Stone, Randy Crawford, Nils Landgren, Kate Bush — and many others…

And, yes, the Steely Dan track he drummed on will feature in a future mix!

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes home-drummed covers.

1. Steve Gadd – My Little Brother (1984)
2. Paul Simn – 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (1975)
3. Bill LaBounty – Livin’ It Up (1982)
4. George Benson – Love Ballad (1981)
5. Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – The Hustle (1975)
6. David Ruffin – Walk Away From Love (1975)
7. Al Jarreau – Love Is Waiting (1983)
8. Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb – Guilty (1980)
9. Grover Washington Jr. – Be Mine (Tonight) (1981)
10. Michael Franks – When The Cookie Jar Is Empty (1978)
11. Dave Grusin – Anthem Internationale (1982)
12. Diane Schuur – Talkin’ ’Bout You (1988)
13. Kate Taylor – A Fool In Love (1978)
14. Dr. John – Dance The Night Away With You (1978)
15. Bonnie Raitt – What Is Success (1974)
16. Art Garfunkel – Since I Don’t Have You (1993)
17. Aztec Camera – Paradise (1987)
18. Carol Townes and Fifth Avenue – Number One (1976)

GET IT!

Previous session musicians’ collection:
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 1
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 2
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 1
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 2
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 2
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 1
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 2
The Bobby Keys Collection
The Louis Johnson Collection
The Bobby Graham Collection
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 2
The Ringo Starr Collection

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  1. halfhearteddude
    November 26th, 2015 at 06:54 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Dave B
    November 26th, 2015 at 21:50 | #2

    Ahhh! Three you say? I’m gonna soak in this glory for a while….

  3. Rhod
    November 27th, 2015 at 21:47 | #3

    Thanks Amd

    Will give this a thorough listen.

    Regards

    Rhod

  4. dogbreath
    December 1st, 2015 at 14:13 | #4

    I guess I’m most familiar with Steve Gadd’s drumming on tours or albums with Clapton, where I felt he was able to kick things up a gear or two when necessary. Plus his work on Kate Bush’s “50 Words for Snow” album is sublime, sophisticated and downright intelligent. A fine collection – many thanks!

  5. Sergej
    December 1st, 2015 at 14:43 | #5

    Thank you very much.
    Any chance to upload entire Kate Taylor record?

  6. halfhearteddude
    December 2nd, 2015 at 06:53 | #6

    Sergej, just for you, the whole Kate Taylor album:
    http://www48.zippyshare.com/v/k4b4aYGD/file.html

  7. peacenik
    December 4th, 2015 at 02:46 | #7

    I really dig Gadd’s drumming on Jim Hall’s “Concierto” LP. He keeps the title track subtle, yet propulsive enough to keep it moving forward, underneath great solos by Hanna, Baker, Desmond & Hall. He’s one of the reasons I like it more than Miles’ original. It’s sublime.

    Thanks for this mixtape, I’m sure it’ll be a good listen.

  8. Sergej
    December 4th, 2015 at 03:42 | #8

    You are wholehearted!
    Thank you very much.

  9. Sergej
    December 4th, 2015 at 03:47 | #9

    I have this one.
    I’m looking for the second album from 1978.
    Thanks anyway!

  10. Jim McKeon
    January 8th, 2016 at 21:59 | #10

    Since Steve Gadd is my all-time favorite drummer, and since I’m a huge admirer of great drummers in general, I’m sure you can imagine how pleased I was to come across both this mix and your site. As soon as I saw your comment about Gadd’s great single drum hit on Grover Washington Jr.’s “Be Mine Tonight,” I heard it in my head without having to go back and listen to it. Even though as a long time Gadd-o-phile I was already familiar with a number of the tracks in your mix, I was very impressed with the ones you selected that I hadn’t heard. (Especially the Carol Townes and Fifth Avenue track.) Needless to say, I’m eagerly looking forward to your next Gadd mix. Keep up the great work.

  11. halfhearteddude
    January 10th, 2016 at 13:12 | #11

    The second of three Gadd mixes will run this month, possibly on the 21st.

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