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Bernard Purdie

The couch literally buckled under the weight of Bernard Purdie and the huge number of heavy breaks he's unleashed upon the world. Whether it's James Brown or Aretha Franklin, jazz heavyweights like Jimmy Smith or Galt MacDermot, firing Latin leaders like Pucho and Mongo Santamaria or even - controversially - The Beatles, his innate timekeeping has provided the foundation for innumerable hit tracks, and the Purdie break has become the stuff of drum folklore. But growing up in the '40s in a family of fifteen meant the young Purdie had to get out there and make some corn - and he took that work ethic from group to group, whether carrying 'water' for band leader Leonard Hayward, pestering people for whatever session work he could get, or putting up his 'if you need me, call me' hitmaker signs in the studio. A the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy the metronome broke it down - it's all about counting, begging, and working real hard.

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