LIVE: Bernard Purdie & Friends @ The Falcon, 4/30/16

May 12th, 2016, 4:15 pm by Greg
Bernard Purdie

Bernard Purdie

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Smiles and pure joy. Bernard Purdie has held the drummer’s chair behind a who’s-who of diverse music greats from B.B. King to Aretha Franklin, from Miles Davis to Paul Simon, from Louis Armstrong to James Brown. He was the drummer behind more than a dozen Steely Dan recordings. He is quite simply the most recorded drummer of the modern music era.

Bernard Purdie entertained a full house at Marlboro’s Falcon recently with a quartet of crack musicians, opening with “You Made Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” and winding their way through classic rock, R&B and jazz.

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Keyboard player Miho Nobuzane concentrated primarily on the grand piano with occasional fingerings on her electronic keyboard. An accomplished musician-composer specializing in Brazilian jazz, she sailed through all of the music with grace and ease, adding her own voice in the many solo opportunities she was given throughout the evening.

Bass player Tetsuya Sato provided a solid backbeat, nestling together with the famous Purdie shuffle fueled by a solid beat and detailed flourishes. Veteran guitarist George Naha, who been Purdie’s band mate in the Hudson River Rats, provided fluid, soulful leads and rhythm.

The famous Grover Washington instrumental “Mr. Magic” was covered with a great funky feel. Steely Dan’s “Home at Last” was fired up with that great groove and drive that Bernard is famous for. Closing with Vince Guaraldi’s “Samba de Orpheus,” which was announced as “a country tune,” Purdie & Friends surprised the audience by performing the often-heard jazz standard with a reggae beat.

Known as a player of a steady groove, Bernard Purdie’s rock solid performances underscored the fact that a drummer’s role of accompanying and embellishing a tune is often the cornerstone for a song. And Purdie’s approach was as crucial and skillful as that of some of the flashier drummers in rock, R&B and jazz.

The opening act was the retro-jazz group Soulia & the Sultans, sporting vintage ’50s fashions which set the tone for a fun set of danceable standards from the era.

SECOND OPINIONS
More of Rudy Lu’s photographs of the concert at Rudy Lu Photos

Bernard Purdie & Friends

Bernard Purdie & Friends

Tetsuyo Sato

Tetsuyo Sato

Miho Nabuzane

Miho Nabuzane

Soulia & the Sultaon

Soulia & the Sultan