In my latest article, I discussed Bernard Purdie’s drumming on “Babylon Sisters” by Steely Dan, analyzing his playing and presenting the complete drum transcription. Today I want to share a collection of 10 legendary Bernard Purdie grooves, performed and recorded between 1967 and 1995, with artists such as Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Joe Cocker, and others. These are some of the most remarkable Purdie grooves, including the legendary drum beat on “Memphis Soul Stew” by King Curtis, the unstoppable funky groove on “Rock Steady” by Aretha Franklin, the timeless Purdie Shuffle on “Home At Last” and “Babylon Sisters” and other groovy gems. The transcriptions are presented chronologically and available for free in a printable PDF file.
Be sure to check out Bernard Purdie’s album Master Drummers, available in two volumes. This album represents a heartfelt homage to the drummers of the early seventies, who formed the foundation of the captivating and unrefined genre known as funk. It’s a powerful reminder of the authenticity and vitality that characterized their drumming style. This release is a resounding reality check, a stirring wake-up call, and a passionate protest against the mundane and lifeless nature of drum machine-driven music, urging listeners to rediscover and appreciate the irreplaceable magic that funky drumming brings to the world of music.
The complete drum transcriptions for “Babylon Sisters” and “Green Earrings” by Steely Dan are now available on Francis’ Drumming Store, along with more than 100 drum sheet music, transcriptions, and eBooks. Keep on drumming!
* There is a debate on who recorded the drum part for “Memphis Soul Stew” by King Curtis. Some sources provide evidence that it was recorded by Memphis-born drummer Gene Chrisman, one of the founding members of the American Sound Studio. However, I found several sources on the web, including Drummerworld.com and drum magazines, crediting Bernard Purdie as the original drummer. One thing is unquestionable—the groove is incredibly captivating and funky.