Bernard "Pretty" Purdie

Purdie Good/Shaft

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This two-fer reissue of his two 1971 solo albums Purdie Good/Shaft is a pounding demonstration of why Bernard "Pretty" Purdie was considered one of the premier "funky drummers" of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The set opens with a cracklin' cover of James Brown's standard "Cold Sweat" and includes other pop covers such as "Everybody's Talkin'" and a thumping, purely instrumental version of Isaac Hayes' "Theme From Shaft," with a dash of reggae sun splashed in from "Montego Bay." According to the liner notes (the originals from Purdie Good), Purdie patterned the bands on this release (which included pianists Harold Wheeler and Neal Creque, guitarists Billy Nichols, Ted Dunbar and Lloyd Davis, bassist Norman Edwards and Norman Pride on congas) after the soul/rock stylings of Blood Sweat & Tears. If that's truly the case, the collection pulsates and burns with soul/rock fire that thoroughly and absolutely eclipses Purdie's original inspiration. This is the sound of funky jazz from the end of the 1960s, so funky and swinging it just about dares you to stand still and not dance.

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