Basic Background Info

Birth: June 11, 1939
Location: Elkton, Maryland
Genres: Jazz, R&B
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician



Bernard Purdie started banging on improvised drums when he was six years old, and eight years later he bought his first real drum set and started playing professionally with country and carnival bands. This experience allowed Bernard Purdie to "feel my way into nearly every kind of music, 'cause I had to know all styles and was never afraid to try something new."

After graduating from high school in Maryland, Bernard Purdie moved to New York City in search of bigger and better music opportunities. Bernard Purdie played with Lonnie Youngblood and King Curtis before he caught his big break performing with Aretha Franklin in 1970. Bernard Purdie served as the diva's musical director for five years.

Bernard Purdie toured with trumepter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Hank Crawford. Bernard Purdie also performed with legend Max Roach. Bernard has also worked with Paul Butterfield, Larry Coryell, Miles Davis, Steely Dan, Joe Cocker, Hank Crawford, B.B. King, Lou Donaldson, Hall & Oates, Al Kooper, Herbie Mann, Todd Rundgren, Cat Stevens, and countless others.

Bernard Purdie's playing maintained a funky soul beat throughout his long career. With jazz anchoring his repertoire, Bernard Purdie forayed naturally into R&B as well as rock and pop. For example, Bernard has worked with the Rolling Stones, James Brown, and Tom Jones. While characterized by its groove and funk, Bernard's rhythm is consistently precise. Bernard created a unique tolling shuffle he calls "the Purdie shuffle"; this shuffle appears on Steely Dan's "Home at Last" and "Babylon Sisters." Bernard Purdie's forward approach to music led him to help develop the Acid Jazz movement.

In addition to his performances accompanying other brilliant musicians, Bernard Purdie created a notable solo career for himself.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1967 Tim Rose Tim Rose
1968 Soul Drums Bernard Purdie
1968 Soul Fingers Bernard Purdie
1968 Insect Trust Insect Trust
1969 Young Gifted and Black Aretha Franklin
1969 Coryell Larry Coryell
1969 Reincarnation Fat City
1969 You Never Know Who Al Kooper
1969 Orpheus Orpheus
1970 Bitches Brew Miles Davis
1970 Hoboken Saturday Night Insect Trust
1970 Completely Well B.B. King
1971 unknown Bernard Purdie
1971 Purdie Good Bernard Purdie
1971 Stand By Me Bernard Purdie
1971 Live At Fillmore West Aretha Franklin
1971 Live At Fillmore West King Curtis
1971 Fairyland Larry Coryell
1971 Push, Push Herbie Mann
1972 Soul Is....Pretty Purdie Bernard Purdie
1972 Three Jackie Lomax
1973 Abandoned Lunchonette Hall& Oates
1973 Garland Jeffreys Garland Jeffreys
1973 Cul De Sac Eric Kaz
1973 Guess Who B.B. King
1973 Breezy Stories Danny O'Keefe
1973 Foreigner Cat Stevens
1974 Delights Of The Garden Bernard Purdie
1974 Shaft Bernard Purdie
1974 I Can Stand A Little Rain Joe Cocker
1974 Sweet Lou Lou Donaldson
1974 Come Together Jimmy McGriff
1975 Michael Bolton Michael Bolton
1975 Put In Your Ear Paul Butterfield
1975 Jamaica Say You Will Joe Cocker
1975 I Hear A Symphony Hank Crawford
1975 Teasin' Cornell Dupree
1975 Free Beer Free Beer
1975 Tim Moore Tim Moore
1975 Is Having A Wonderful Geoff Muldaur
1976 We Can't Go On Hummingbird
1976 Basucs (68/69) Larry Coryell
1977 Home In The Country Pee Wee Ellis
1977 Diamonds In The Night Hummingbird
1977 Essra Essra Mohawk
1977 Scarlet Rivera Scarlet Rivera
1977 You Can't Make Love Alone Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
1978 Luxury You Can Afford Joe Cocker
1978 Pronto Monto Kate& Anna McGarrigle
1979 Don't Worry Ma Felix Pappalardi
1980 The Best Of Donny Hathaway Donny Hathaway
1988 Blue To The Bone Jimmy McGriff
1993 After Hours With The 3B's Bernard Purdie
1993 Tokyo Jazz Groove Sesssions Bernard Purdie
1993 Purdie as A Picture Bernard Purdie
1994 The Hudson River Rats Bernard Purdie
1994 Coolin and Groovin Bernard Purdie
1994 Every Now and Then Carrie Smith
1995 Jazz Matazz Voll. II Guru
1996 Kick N Jazz Bernard Purdie
1997 Soul to Jazz I Bernard Purdie
1997 Smiles For Miles Tino Gonzales
1998 Soul to Jazz II Bernard Purdie
1998 In The Pocket Bernard Purdie
1999 Get It While You Can Bernard Purdie
1999 Yes Tonight Josephine Johnnie Ray
1999 The Weapon/At Home and Abroad David 'Fathead' Newman
1999 The Legends of Acid Jazz Charles Kynard
1999 The Best of the Early Years Gato Barbieri
1999 The Anthology Joe Cocker
1999 Skin on Skin: The Mongo Santamaria Anthology 1958-95 Mongo Santamaria
1999 Mr. Blues/Mr. Blues Plays Lady Soul Hank Crawford
1999 Mongo's Way/Up from the Roots Mongo Santamaria
1999 Let Us Replay Coldcut
1999 Legends of Acid Jazz Vol. 2 Boogaloo Joe Jones
1999 Left Hook, Right Cross Rahsaan Roland Kirk
1999 Improvisations: Best of the Vanguard Years Larry Coryell & Eleventh House
1999 From Q, With Love Quincy Jones
1999 Evolution (And Flashback): The Very Best of Gil Scott-Heron Gil Scott-Heron
1999 Crunch Time Hank Crawford
1999 Congragulations Dakota Staton
1999 Blues in Love Effie Jansen
1999 As Phat As It Gets Leslie West
1999 Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings Aretha Franklin
1999 A Change Is Gonna Come/Double Barreled Soul Jack McDuff
2000 The Hits Teddy Pendergrass
2000 The Best of Arthur Prysock: The Milestone Years Arthur Prysock
2000 Spotted Owl Galt MacDermot
2000 Soul Song/The Diverse Yusef Lateef Shirley Scott
2000 Showbiz Kids: The Steely Dan Story (1972-1980) Steely Dan
2000 Quality Control Jurassic 5
2000 My Life, More Than It Is: Not Just the Blues Frankye Kelly
2000 Mercy!/Seesaw Don Covay & the Goodtimers
2000 McGriff's House Party Jimmy McGriff
2000 Love Songs The Manhattans
2000 Les Incontournables Herbie Hancock
2000 Jimmy Smith's Finest Hour Jimmy Smith
2000 If You Could See Me Now Julie Budd
2000 I Need Some Money/Bigger Better Eddie Harris
2000 Horizons/The Little Giant Ira Sullivan
2000 Gentle Jug Vol. 3 Gene Ammons
2000 Cold Shoulder Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers
2000 Charlie's Greatest Hits Charles Earland
2000 Bittersweet: The Very Best of Nina Simone Nina Simone
2000 Anthology B.B. King
2000 Actual Size Peggy Stern
2000 A Soul Experiment/Autobiography Freddie Hubbard
2001 Woman Is Sweeter/Shapes of Rhythm Galt MacDermot
2001 The Very Best of Orpheus Orpheus
2001 The Country Side of Esther Phillips/Set Me Free Esther Phillips
2001 The Best of Hank Crawford and Jimmy McGriff Jimmy McGriff
2001 The Very Best of Teddy Pendergrass Teddy Pendergrass
2001 Swing Live Bucky Pizzarelli
2001 Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones Quincy Jones
2001 On the Road to Find Out Cat Stevens
2001 Natty Rebel Bob Marley & the Wailers
2001 Matrix Dizzy Gillespie
2001 Masters of Groove Meet Dr. No Masters of Groove
2001 King of the Beat Bernard Purdie
2001 Discovery: The First Recordings Grover Washington Jr.
2001 Complete Orpheus Orpheus
2001 Beautiful Soul: The ABC/Dunhill Collection Dusty Springfield
2001 Angel in the Dark Laura Nyro
2001 American Trash Betty Dylan
2002 What You Hear Is What You Get Melvin Sparks
2002 Ultimate Collection Quincy Jones
2002 Pure Cane Sugar The Sugarman 3
2002 Plenty Good Lovin': The Lost Solo Album Sam Moore
2002 Organ Blues Reuben Wilson
2002 McGriff Avenue Jimmy McGriff
2002 Louis Armstrong & Friends Louis Armstrong
2002 Flame  Betty Dylan
2002 Brand New Day Betty Dylan
2002 Birdfingers Larry Coryell
2003 Up From the Basement Galt MacDermot
2003 To Communicate Bob Dorough
2003 The More Things Change Far Cry
2003 The Best of the Headfirst Years Jimmy McGriff
2003 Purdie Good Cookin' Bernard Purdie
2003 Lialeh Bernard Purdie
2003 Home By Now Animators
2003 Heart Land Betty Dylan
2003 Greatest Love Songs Joe Cocker
2003 Get It While You Can Bernard Purdie
2003 Gaucho/Aja/Countdown to Ecstasy Steely Dan
2003 Congragulations to Someone Dakota Stanton
2003 Carry On (DVD) Peter, Paul and Mary
2003 Bolivia/Under Fire Gato Barbieri
2004 Virgin Ubiquity: Unreleased Recordings (1976-81) Roy Ayers
2004 The New Message/Standing Here Wondering Marion Williams
2004 The Most Important Educational Function with Bernard Bernard Purdie
2004 The Mighty Burner: The Best of His Highnote Recordings Charles Earland
2004 Sands Of Time Profile
2004 One Never Knows Myanna
2004 Night Glider (Get Back) Richard 'Groove' Holmes
2004 New Groove Richard 'Groove' Holmes
2004 My Place in the World Neva Small
2004 It's a Funky Thing to Do Hank Crawford
2004 In Film: 1969-73 Galt MacDermot
2004 Home Is Where the Hatred Is: The Kudu Years 1971-77 Esther Phillips
2004 Holy Ghost: Rare & Unissued Recordings (1962-70) Albert Ayler
2004 Greatest Hits: Love TKO Teddy Pendergrass
2004 Fy-Ah Fy-Ah The Jad Masters: 1967-70 Bob Marley
2004 Captain Buckles/Front Money David 'Fathead' Newman
2004 Brown N' Serve Frank Owens
2004 Anthology: Sound + Vision B.B. King
2004 Soulful Journey Burt Conrad
2005 Virgin Ubiquity Vol. 2: Unreleased Recordings 1976-81 Roy Ayers
2005 Touch Me Again/Hapnin' Bernard Purdie
2005 Ultimate Collection B.B. King
2005 The Soul of Nina Simone Nina Simone
2005 Sweet Soul/Everybody's Talkin' King Curtis
2005 Late Rent Jon Hammond
2005 Humbled Michael Amante
2005 Gold Cat Stevens
2005 Don't Fight the Feeling Aretha Franklin
2005 Big Fun Tonite Danny Draher
2005 America the Beautiful/Does the Sun Really Shine on the Moon? Gary McFarland
2006 The Very Best of Roberta Flack Roberta Flack
2006 The Masters of Groove Masters of Groove
2006 The Many Facets Of/Hands Up David 'Fathead' Newman
2006 The Journey Continues Burt Conrad
2006 The Impulse Story Albert Ayler
2006 The Definitive Collection Steely Dan
2006 Stax Profiles Carla Thomas
2006 On the Subway The Last Poets
2006 Inroducing: Rahsaan Roland Kirk Rahsaan Roland Kirk
2006 Introducing: Herbie Mann Herbie Mann
2006 I've Been Around Ben E. King
2006 I'm Alive Garland Jeffreys
2006 Hooker John Lee Hooker
2006 From Then to Now Eddie Pardocchi
2006 Forever Young Gifted & Black: Songs of Freedom and Spirit Nina Simone
2006 Embrace Me Liv Warfield
2006 Collectibles Classics Esther Phillips
2007 The Singles Vol. 4 1966-67 James Brown
2007 The Godfathers of Groove Masters of Groove
2007 The Complete On the Corner Sessions Miles Davis
2007 Summer in the City Quincy Jones
2007 Smokin' Aces (Movie Soundtrack) Smokin' Aces
2007 Simple Somgs of Freedom: The Tim Hardin Collection Tim Hardin
2007 Rare and Unreleased Recording from the Golden Reign of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin
2007 Just Like a Woman: Sings Classic Songs of the 1960s Nina Simone
2007 Jazz James Brown
2007 I Love Kudu: Best 20 Johnny 'Hammond' Smith
2007 Frankie Plays! Frankie Cicala
2007 First Take Hudson River Rats
2007 After Hours with the 3B's Bernard Purdie
2008 To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story Nina Simone
2008 Then and Now: The Deinitive Herbie Hancock Herbie Hancock
2008 Sweet Talking Soul 1965-90 The Manhattans
2008 Sketch of Summer Gary McFarland
2008 Screamin' Jay Rocks Screaming Jay Hawkins
2008 Incontournables Yusef Lateef
2009 Only the Best of Rahsaan Roland Kirk Vol. 1 Rahsaan Roland Kirk
2009 Only the Best of Nikki Giovanni Nikki Giovanni
2009 Only the Best of Mongo Santamaria Mongo Santamaria
2009 The Singles Vol. 8 1972-73 James Brown
2009 The Never Learned to Dance: Anthology 1967-71 Harvey Averne
2009 Only the Best of Yusef Lateef Yusef Lateef
2009 Only the Best of Hank Crawford Hank Crawford
2009 Only the Best of Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
2009 Les Jazz RTL Nina Simone
2009 Jersey Blue Jersey Blue
2009 Earthquake at the Avalon Larry Coryell
2009 3 The Godfathers of Groove
2011 We're New Here Gil Scott-Heron
2011 The Essential Laura Nyro Laura Nyro
2011 The Complete RCA Albums Collection Nina Simone
2011 The Singles Vol. 10 (1975-79) James Brown
2011 Scorched, Seared & Smokin': The Best of the Mighty Burner Charles Earland
2011 Mamblues Cal Tjader
2011 Initiation + Faithful Todd Rundgren
2011 I Can't Make a Friend 1965-68 The Vagrants
2011 For Losers/Kwanza Archie Shepp
2012 Reminiscence Chihiro Yamanaka
2012 Knew You Were Waiting: The Best of Aretha Franklin (1980-98) Aretha Franklin


  • Purdie is one of fifteen children.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Basix
Cymbals: Sabian, Zildjian

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