Funky Mozart

If you enjoyed the Gasface series “New York Minute” there is a new documentary that just dropped today made by the same French director duo – “Pretty As I Wanna Be”. This project is a tribute to Bernard “Pretty” Purdie who started off in Maryland hitting cans with sticks and ended up in New York as the world’s most recorded drummer. His funky drum patterns have been imitated, sampled and looped into a new generation of music enthusiasts. Collaborating with the human beat box champions Under Kontrol, we rediscover a musical bridge that is sonically obvious but publicly forgotten. Funk, soul and blues are foundational for any new musical genre of today, but where are the credits?

Bernard Purdie is still active, with a recent show in New Jersey, New York. Drum Magazine voted him Blues Drummer of the Year 2011 for his unique time keeping mastery of backbeats. Purdie can be heard on countless albums by Brown, Franklin, Curtis, Gillespie, Crawford and was the uncredited drummer on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) by The Beatles. This fact unravelled in the early 90’s and turned into quite a scandal. Purdie has been living under death threat ever since, while Ringo cashed in. This documentary is an important project, amplifying the political side of the music business while celebrating a key figure in the development of classic funk and soul grooves.

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