Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
An all-time great soul, R&B, funk, and pop drummer, Bernard Purdie's impeccable time and mastery of backbeats and grooves are celebrated. He moved to New York from Maryland in 1960, and recorded with James Brown, King Curtis, and many others. He was CTI's house drummer in the late '60s and early '70s, and worked with Grover Washington, Jr. and George Benson among several others. Purdie toured with Curtis and Aretha Franklin in 1970, and was Franklin's music director until 1975. During his studio days in the early '70s, Purdie recorded with Louis Armstrong and Gato Barbieri along with numerous rock, pop, and soul sessions. He recorded with Dizzy Gillespie in 1980 at the Montreux Jazz Festival and toured with him in 1983. Purdie recorded with Hank Crawford during the early '80s, and has continued working steadily into the '90s. He generated a firestorm of reaction in 1993 when he charged it was his uncredited drumming rather than Ringo Starr's on some Beatles tracks. Purdie claimed proof was forthcoming, but none was presented. He made a rare date as a leader for Flying Dutchman in 1972, Pretty Purdie, that has long since disappeared. But Purdie can be heard on countless discs by Brown, Franklin, Curtis, Gillespie, and Crawford among many others.