Bernard Purdie: American drummer (born: 1939) | Biography, Filmography, Discography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Bernard Purdie
American drummer

Bernard Purdie

Bernard Purdie
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American drummer
Is Jazz musician Musician Drummer
From United States of America
Field Music
Gender male
Birth 11 June 1939, Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland, USA
Age 84 years
Star sign Gemini
Soul music
Drum kit
The details (from wikipedia)


Bernard Lee "Pretty" Purdie (born June 11, 1939) is an American drummer, and an influential R&B, soul and funk musician. He is known for his precise musical time keeping and his signature use of triplets against a half-time backbeat: the "Purdie Shuffle." He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2013.

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).

In the mid-1990s he was a member of The 3B's, with Bross Townsend and Bob Cunningham.


Purdie was born on June 11, 1939 in Elkton, Maryland, US, the eleventh of fifteen children. At an early age he 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, Art Blakey, as well as Cozy Cole, Sticks Evans, Panama Francis, Louis Bellson, and Herbie Lovelle.

In 1961, he moved from his home town of Elkton, Maryland, to New York City. 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 a 1978 interview, Purdie claimed to have added drum overdubs to "several [tracks] of the Beatles' Hamburg recording" with Tony Sheridan, including "Ain't She Sweet", "Take Out Some Insurance On Me Baby" and "Sweet Georgia Brown", to give them a punchier sound for the US market. He can be seen drumming for the house band at Murray the K's 1965 Brooklyn Fox show excerpts of which were shown on CBS that year.

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. Purdie is credited on the James Brown's albums Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud (1969) and Get on the Good Foot (1972).

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, saxophonist King Curtis and The King Pins. 5–7 March 1971 he performed with both bands at the Fillmore West; the resulting live recordings were released as Aretha Live At The Fillmore West (19 May 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".

Purdie was credited on the soundtrack album for the film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) and later he was the drummer for the 2009 Broadway revival of Hair and appeared on the associated Broadway cast recording.

Purdie has been a resident of New Jersey, living in Edison, Teaneck and Springfield Township.

Encounter Records

Purdie founded Encounter Records in 1973 and released five albums:

Drumming style

Purdie shuffle variants Play .
Purdie shuffle variant Play .

Purdie is known as a groove drummer with immaculate timing who makes use of precision half note, backbeats, and grooves. Purdie's signature sixteenth note hi-hat lick pish-ship, pish-ship, pish-ship is distinct. He often employs a straight eight groove sometimes fusing several influences such as swing, blues and funk. He created the now well-known drum pattern Purdie Half-Time Shuffle that is a blues shuffle variation with the addition of syncopated ghost notes on the snare drum. Variations on this shuffle can be heard on songs such as Led Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain", the Police's "Walking on the Moon", and Toto's "Rosanna" (Rosanna shuffle). Purdie plays the shuffle on Steely Dan's "Babylon Sisters" and "Home At Last".


As leader/co-leader

  • Soul Drums (Date/Columbia, 1968)
  • Purdie Good! (Prestige, 1971) [note: reissued as Legends of Acid Jazz: Bernard Purdie in 1996]
  • Stand by Me (Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get) (Mega Records [in the 'Flying Dutchman Series'], 1972) with The Playboys
  • Soul Is... Pretty Purdie (Flying Dutchman, 1972; reissued on BGP/Ace in 2014)
  • Shaft (Prestige, 1973) recorded 1971 [note: reissued as Legends of Acid Jazz: Bernard Purdie in 1996]
  • Lialeh (Original Movie Soundtrack) (Bryan, 1974)
  • Delights of the Garden (Douglas/Celluloid, 1975) with The Last Poets
  • Purdie as a Picture (Kilmarnock, 1993) with Galt MacDermot's New Pulse Jazz Band
  • Bernard Purdie's Jazz Groove Sessions in Tokyo (Lexington/West 47th, 1993)
  • Coolin' 'N Groovin' (A Night At 'On-Air') (Lexington/West 47th, 1993)
  • After Hours with The 3B's (3B's Music, 1993)
  • Soothin' 'N Groovin' With The 3B's (3B's Music, 1994) with Houston Person
  • The Hudson River Rats (3B's Music, 1995)
  • Fatback! The Jazz Funk Masters Featuring Bernard Purdie (Seven Seas, 1995)
  • Kick 'N Jazz (Drum Beat Blocks, 1996)
  • Soul to Jazz I (Act, 1996) with The WDR Big Band
  • Soul to Jazz II (Act, 1997) with The WDR Big Band
  • In the Pocket (P-Vine, 1997)
  • Get It While You Can (3B's Music, 1999) with The Hudson River Rats
  • The Masters of Groove Meet Dr. No (Jazzateria, 2001) with Reuben Wilson, Grant Green Jr., Tarus Mateen
  • King Of The Beat (3B's Music, 2001)
  • Purdie Good Cookin' (3B's Music, 2003) with Purdie's Powerhouse
  • The Godfathers of Groove (18th & Vine, 2007) with Reuben Wilson, Grant Green Jr., Jerry Jemmott [note: originally released as The Masters of Groove]
  • The Godfathers of Groove 3 (18th & Vine, 2009) with Reuben Wilson, Grant Green Jr., Bill Easley
  • Jersey Blue (Running Rogue, 2009) with Gene McCormick, Jack Hoban
  • Selling It Like It Is (Cadence Jazz, 2009 [rel. 2013]) with David Haney
  • Cool Down (Sugar Road, 2018)

As sideman

  • Herbie MannOur Mann Flute (Atlantic, 1966)
  • Jack McDuffA Change Is Gonna Come (Atlantic, 1966)
  • Freddie McCoyFunk Drops (Prestige, 1966)
  • Gábor Szabó – Jazz Raga (Impulse!, 1966)
  • Benny GolsonTune In, Turn On (Verve, 1967)
  • King Curtis & The Kingpins – Instant Groove (Atco, 1967)
  • Tim RoseTim Rose (Columbia, 1967)
  • Nina SimoneNina Simone Sings the Blues (RCA Victor, 1967)
  • Phil UpchurchFeeling Blue (Milestone, 1967)
  • Tom RushThe Circle Game (Elektra, 1968)
  • The Soul Finders – Sweet Soul Music (RCA Camden CAS-2170, 1968)
  • Wilson PickettThe Midnight Mover (Atlantic, 1968)
  • David "Fathead" Newman – Bigger & Better (Atlantic, 1968)
  • David "Fathead" Newman – The Many Facets of David Newman (Atlantic, 1969)
  • Freddie McCoyListen Here (Prestige, 1968)
  • Albert AylerNew Grass (Impulse!, 1968)
  • Shirley ScottSoul Song (Atlantic, 1968)
  • Solomon Burke - King Solomon (Atlantic, 1968)
  • Jimmy McGriffElectric Funk (Blue Note, 1969)
  • Sonny PhillipsSure 'Nuff (Prestige, 1969)
  • John Lee HookerSimply the Truth (BluesWay, 1969)
  • Randy BreckerScore (Solid State, 1969)
  • Carla Thomas - Memphis Queen (Stax, 1969)
  • Al KooperYou Never Know Who Your Friends Are (Columbia, 1969)
  • Hank CrawfordMr. Blues Plays Lady Soul (Atlantic, 1969)
  • Gary BurtonGood Vibes (Atlantic, 1969)
  • Shirley ScottShirley Scott & the Soul Saxes (Atlantic, 1969)
  • Yusef LateefYusef Lateef's Detroit (Atlantic, 1969)
  • Boogaloo Joe Jones – Boogaloo Joe (Prestige, 1969)
  • Johnny "Hammond" Smith – Soul Talk (Prestige, 1969)
  • Gene AmmonsThe Boss Is Back! (Prestige, 1969)
  • Gene AmmonsBrother Jug! (Prestige, 1969)
  • Rusty BryantNight Train Now! (Prestige, 1969)
  • Herbie HancockFat Albert Rotunda (Warner Bros., 1969)
  • Dizzy GillespieCornucopia (Solid State, 1969)
  • Johnny "Hammond" Smith – Black Feeling! (Prestige, 1969)
  • Larry CoryellCoryell (Vanguard, 1969)
  • Sonny PhillipsBlack on Black! (Prestige, 1970)
  • Jimmy McGriff & Junior ParkerThe Dudes Doin' Business (Capitol, 1970)
  • Johnny "Hammond" Smith – Here It 'Tis (Prestige, 1970)
  • Louis ArmstrongLouis Armstrong and His Friends (Flying Dutchman/Amsterdam, 1970)
  • Boogaloo Joe JonesRight On Brother (Prestige, 1970)
  • Boogaloo Joe Jones – No Way! (Prestige, 1970)
  • B.B. KingCompletely Well (ABC, 1970)
  • Robert Palmer's Insect Trust – Hoboken Saturday Night (Atco, 1970)
  • Charles KynardAfro-Disiac (Prestige, 1970)
  • Five Stairsteps – O-o-h Child (Buddah, 1970)
  • Charles KynardWa-Tu-Wa-Zui (Beautiful People) (Prestige, 1970)
  • Houston PersonHouston Express (Prestige, 1970)
  • Eddie PalmieriHarlem River Drive (Roulette, 1971)
  • Hank CrawfordIt's a Funky Thing to Do (Cotillion, 1971)
  • Boogaloo Joe JonesWhat It Is (Prestige, 1971)
  • Eddie Harris & Les McCannSecond Movement (Atlantic, 1971)
  • David "Fathead" Newman – Captain Buckles (Cotillion, 1971)
  • Oliver NelsonSwiss Suite (Flying Dutchman, 1971)
  • King CurtisLive at Fillmore West (Atlantic, 1971)
  • Johnny "Hammond" Smith – Wild Horses Rock Steady (Kudu/CTI, 1971)
  • Larry Coryell – Fairyland (Mega/Flying Dutchman, 1971)
  • Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson – You Can't Make Love Alone (Mega/Flying Dutchman, 1971)
  • Herbie MannPush Push (Embryo/Atlantic, 1971)
  • Dizzy GillespieThe Real Thing (Perception, 1971)
  • Gato BarbieriEl Pampero (Flying Dutchman, 1971)
  • Gil Scott-HeronPieces of a Man (Flying Dutchman, 1971)
  • Les McCannInvitation to Openness (Atlantic, 1972)
  • Hank CrawfordHelp Me Make It Through the Night (Kudu/CTI, 1972)
  • Aretha FranklinYoung, Gifted and Black (Atlantic, 1972)
  • Hubert LawsWild Flower (Atlantic, 1972)
  • Leon ThomasBlues and the Soulful Truth (Flying Dutchman, 1972)
  • Esther PhillipsAlone Again Naturally (Kudu/CTI, 1972)
  • Miles DavisGet Up with It (Columbia, 1972)
  • Dakota StatonMadame Foo-Foo (Groove Merchant, 1972)
  • Ronnie FosterSweet Revival (Blue Note, 1972)
  • Hank CrawfordWe Got a Good Thing Going (Kudu/CTI, 1972)
  • Roberta Flack & Donny HathawayRoberta Flack & Donny Hathaway (Atlantic, 1972)
  • Jackie Lomax - Three (Warner Bros., 1972)
  • B.B. KingGuess Who (ABC, 1972)
  • Buddy TerryLean on Him (Mainstream, 1973)
  • David "Fathead" Newman – The Weapon (Atlantic, 1973)
  • Gato BarbieriBolivia (Flying Dutchman, 1973)
  • Leon Thomas – Full Circle (Flying Dutchman, 1973)
  • Richard "Groove" HolmesNight Glider (Groove Merchant, 1973)
  • Garland JeffreysGarland Jeffreys (Atlantic, 1973)
  • Cat StevensForeigner (A&M, 1973)
  • Hall & Oates – Abandoned Luncheonette (Atlantic, 1973)
  • Bette MidlerBette Midler (Atlantic, 1973)
  • Jimmy McGriff & Richard "Groove" Holmes – Giants of the Organ Come Together (Groove Merchant, 1973)
  • Richard "Groove" Holmes − New Groove (Groove Merchant, 1974)
  • Robert PalmerSneakin' Sally Through the Alley (Island, 1974)
  • Gato BarbieriYesterdays (Flying Dutchman, 1974)
  • Aretha FranklinWith Everything I Feel in Me (Atlantic, 1974)
  • Richie HavensMixed Bag II (Verve, 1974)
  • Joe CockerI Can Stand a Little Rain (A&M, 1974)
  • Rusty BryantUntil It's Time for You to Go (Prestige, 1974)
  • Aretha FranklinLet Me in Your Life (Atlantic, 1974)
  • Bama The Village Poet – Ghettos Of The Mind (Chess, 1974)
  • Arif MardinJourney (Atlantic, 1974)
  • Roy Ayers Ubiquity - Change Up the Groove (Polydor, 1974)
  • Cornell DupreeTeasin' (Atlantic, 1975)
  • Todd RundgrenInitiation (Bearsville, 1975)
  • Joe CockerJamaica Say You Will (A&M, 1975)
  • Roy Ayers Ubiquity - A Tear to a Smile (Polydor, 1975)
  • Jorge DaltoChevere (United Artists, 1976)
  • Hummingbird – We Can't Go On Meeting Like This (A&M, 1976)
  • Michael BoltonMichael Bolotin (RCA, 1975)
  • Steely Dan – The Royal Scam (ABC, 1976)
  • Steely Dan – Aja (ABC, 1977)
  • Hummingbird – Diamond Nights (A&M, 1977)
  • Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis – Home In The Country (Savoy, 1977)
  • Joe CockerLuxury You Can Afford (Elektra, 1978)
  • Cheryl LynnCheryl Lynn (Columbia, 1978)
  • Felix PappalardiDon't Worry, Ma (A&M, 1979)
  • Cheryl LynnIn Love (Columbia, 1979)
  • Dizzy GillespieDigital at Montreux, 1980 (Pablo, 1980)
  • Steely Dan – Gaucho (MCA, 1980)
  • Aretha FranklinAretha (Arista, 1980)
  • B.B. KingThere Must Be a Better World Somewhere (MCA, 1981)
  • Houston Person – Heavy Juice (Muse, 1982)
  • Houston Person – Always on My Mind (Muse, 1985)
  • Bob Cunningham – Walking Bass (Nilva [Fr], 1985)
  • Hank Crawford & Jimmy McGriff –– Soul Survivors (Milestone, 1986)
  • Hank CrawfordMr. Chips (Milestone, 1986)
  • Jimmy McGriff – The Starting Five (Milestone, 1987)
  • Flip Phillips & Scott HamiltonA Sound Investment (Concord, 1987)
  • Jimmy McGriff – Blue to the 'Bone (Milestone, 1988)
  • Hank Crawford – Night Beat (Milestone, 1989)
  • Jimmy McGriff – You Ought to Think About Me (Headfirst, 1990)
  • Hank Crawford – Groove Master (Milestone, 1990)
  • Garland JeffreysDon't Call Me Buckwheat (BMG, 1991)
  • Cissy Houston & Chuck JacksonI'll Take Care of You (Shanachie, 1992)
  • Al GreenDon't Look Back (BMG, 1993)
  • Laura NyroWalk the Dog and Light the Light (Columbia, 1993)
  • Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers – Jungle Strut (Lexington/West 47th, 1993; reissued as Pucho's Descarga on ¡Andale! in 2014)
  • Jimmy SmithDamn! (Verve, 1995)
  • Houston Person – The Opening Round (Savant, 1997)
  • Hank Crawford & Jimmy McGriff – Road Tested (Milestone, 1997)
  • Jimmy McGriff – The Dream Team (Milestone, 1997)
  • Hank Crawford – After Dark (Milestone, 1998)
  • Jimmy McGriff – Straight Up (Milestone, 1998)
  • Hank Crawford & Jimmy McGriff – Crunch Time (Milestone, 1999)
  • Jimmy McGriff – McGriff's House Party (Milestone, 2000)
  • Reuben Wilson – Organ Blues (Jazzateria, 2001)
  • Oliver DarleyIntroducing Oliver Darley (East West, 2001)
  • Jimmy McGriff – McGriff Avenue (Milestone, 2002)
  • Elliott RandallStill Reelin' [EP] (Private Collection Records, 2007)
  • Larry CoryellEarthquake at the Avalon, (Inakustik, 2009)
  • Hair – Broadway Cast Recording (Ghostlight/Razor & Tie, 2009)
  • Chihiro YamanakaReminiscence (Verve, 2011)
  • Mick Taylor – 'East Coast Tour Appearances' (2012)
  • Vulfpeck – 'Various Tour Appearances' (2016)
  • Eddie PalmieriSabiduria (Wisdom) (Ropeadope, 2017)
  • Gonzalo Aloras – Nuestra Canción (2020)
  • Vulfpeck – Something (2020)


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  • Payne, Jim and Weinger, Harry. The Great Drummers of R&B Funk & Soul. Mel Bay Publications (2007). ISBN 978-0-7866-7303-2
  • Rabb, Johnny; Brych, Ray and Lohman, Gregg. Jungle/Drum 'n' Bass for the Acoustic Drum Set: A Guide to Applying Today's Electronic Music to the Drum Set. Alfred Publishing (2001). ISBN 0-7579-9025-8
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The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 02 Nov 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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