Fabled drummer Bernard Purdie plays the Falcon this Saturday

Bernard Purdie (James Rice Photography)

Bernard Purdie (James Rice Photography)

Master drummer Bernard Purdie has become almost as famous for his legendarily high-spirited instructional videos as for his 3,000 album credits, which may or may not have included some ghost drumming for the Beatles. (According to Purdie’s own oft-disputed claim, he played on “Yeah Yeah Yeah” and 20 other early tracks). There is no such controversy surrounding his contributions to records by Aretha Franklin, B. B. King, Steely Dan, James Brown, the Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker, Isaac Hayes, Tom Jones and countless other names that make you go “Whoa!”

Further, Purdie is one of a very select group of drummers or musicians of any kind who can claim to have a staple rock groove named after them: the Purdie shuffle, a half-time feel of such internal action and complexity that the instructional video devoted to it amounts to little more than a laughing Purdie saying, “Don’t worry; you can’t really play this.” The Purdie shuffle has driven a number of big hits, including John Bonham’s memorable pass at it on the Led Zeppelin hit “Fool in the Rain,” Jeff Porcaro’s adaptation on Toto’s “Rosanna” and Purdie himself elevating the late Steely Dan hit “Babylon Sisters.”

Big score for the Falcon: One of the most significant and delightful drummers in history, Bernard Purdie (and Friends) visits Marlboro on Saturday, February 8. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7. Per usual in Tony Falco’s hallowed hall of jazz, blues, funk and soul, there is no cover – just the owner’s inspired call to “support living artists” with generous donation.


The Falcon is located at 1348 Route 9W in Marlboro. For more information, visit www.liveatthefalcon.com.