Grady Tate’s Drum Lesson from Papa Jo Jones


SKF NOTE: Count me among the listeners blown away by Grady Tate’s drumming with Stan Getz on the Sweet Rain album (1967). Chick Corea (piano), and Ron Carter (bass) make up the rest of that Getz quartet. Clean, musical, swinging on great sounding drums and cymbals — Grady Tate’s Sweet Rain drumming alone set the bar high for other drummers. I was an instant Grady Tate fan.

Here’s a rite of passage story about Papa Jo Jones and a young Grady Tate from Mr. Tate’s New York Times obituary.


Grady Tate, Jazz Drummer Turned Vocalist, Dies at 85

Grady Bernard Tate was born on Jan. 14, 1932, in Durham, N.C.

At 13, he had an odd if inspiring experience watching the jazz drummer Jo Jones perform at the Durham Armory….

He recalled being mesmerized as Mr. Jones, “the craziest man I’ve ever seen in my life,” played with unalloyed joy. Afterward, Mr. Jones invited him onto the stage and asked if he had brought his drumsticks with him.

“No, sir,” Mr. Tate said, and Mr. Jones offered his own pair but whacked one of [Grady Tate’s] hands with them. “That’s just a tiny bit of the pain that you’re going to get,” Mr. Jones said, “if you’re gonna pick these damn things up and use ’em.”

Full story 

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