Published Nov 09, 2009If you've never heard the name Bernard Purdie, rest assured you are very familiar with his grooves. One of all time great breakbeat authors on the drumkit, at this stage of the game, even if people don't sample him as much as they once did, his sense of swing is bred in hip hop's bones.
Purdie is one of the most recorded drummers of all time. A stalwart New York sessioneer during the sixties and seventies, Purdie's list of credits is too long to mention but a few stand out: James Brown, Aretha Franklin - even the Beatles and Bob Marley have benefitted from his Soul Drums. His characteristic swing combined with mixing techniques of the era continues to provide the backbone for so much funk-inspired music.
And now you too can experience Purdie's funky miracle (to paraphrase the Meters). He recorded very few albums as a leader, and those few titles are coveted slabs o' wax. Last month his first solo album Soul Drums was reissued on the Nature Sounds label and the title track made the rounds of the interweb. You'll want to start free-styling some rhymes from the very first note.
Listen to Bernard Purdie's "Soul Drums" via Okayplayer here.