I have revisited a handful of albums, for inspiration and/or pleasure, all my adult life. A handful of albums I’ve owned first as vinyl LP’s, then as audiocassettes, then as CD’s, and now in MP3 format. Something about the feel of the music on these albums is always positive, inspiring.
Two examples: Nat Adderley’s “Live at Memory Lane,” and the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet’s “Here and Now.” Roy McCurdy plays drums on both dates. Every time I listen to Roy McCurdy’s drumming on those albums I smile, shake my head in wonder, feel inspired.
Here’s my 2004 Amazon review of “Live at Memory Lane.”:
About 30 years ago I bought a cutout vinyl copy of “Live at Memory Lane” from a drug store. I didn’t know Nat Adderley at all, but this is one of my all-time favorite records. The band is superb – Roy McCurdy on drums and Joe Zawinul on a slightly-out-of-tune acoustic piano are especially good. Just a great album of great musicians making great music.
Mid-November of last year I came across an MP3 version of “Here and Now” and bought it right away. While listening, I thought, “I wonder what happened to Roy McCurdy?” I did a web search and found he is an Adjunct Professor in the Jazz Studies Department of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California.
I sent Roy McCurdy email on 11/17/14 that said, in part:
Dear Professor McCurdy:
I’m writing to thank you for giving me decades of inspiration through your drumming. Just yesterday I found on Amazon the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet’s “Here and Now” album. I had that on vinyl for years and years, but lost it somewhere along the way.
Also, your playing on Nat Adderley’s “Live at Memory Lane” remains a favorite. Crisp, musical – you play great.
I was managing editor of Modern Drummer magazine (1980-83). I never lost my love of drums and drumming, even when my career path took different turns. I always played and I always kept listening.
Well, Roy McCurdy wrote back. Turns out there is no Modern Drummer Roy McCurdy interview. So tonight I am interviewing Mr. McCurdy. He and I will make his interview public either as a text interview, a podcast, or both. I’m using Google Voice to record with for the first time. I can’t vouch, at this writing, for Google Voice’s audio quality.
I am excited about this interview – my first drummer interview in about 30 years. Roy is probably best known for his work with Cannonball Adderley. It will be fun seeing where our conversation takes us.
If anyone has questions they would like me to ask Roy McCurdy, please feel free to post them here or email them to me at ScottFish422@gmail.com .
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