Grady Tate, 85; jazz drum­mer

Woonsocket Call - - Region / Obituaries - By MATT SCHUDEL

Grady Tate, a jazz mu­si­cian who was nom­i­nated for Grammy Awards as a singer but was best known as a ver­sa­tile drum­mer who helped pro­pel the "soul-jazz" style of the 1960s and who ap­peared on hun­dreds of al­bums, died Oct. 8 at his home in New York. He was 85.

The cause was com­pli­ca­tions from Alzheimer's dis­ease, his son, Grady Tate Jr., said in a so­cial me­dia post­ing.

Be­gin­ning in the early 1960s, Tate was one of the most sought-af­ter drum­mers in mu­sic, per­form­ing in big bands led by Quincy Jones and with singers as var­ied as Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne and Bette Mi­dler. He played del­i­cately enough to work in a trio led by pi­anist Billy Tay­lor, yet also had enough en­ergy to an­chor the "Tonight Show" band with Doc Sev­erin­sen for six years in the 1960s and 1970s. He per­formed with Si­mon and Gar­funkel at the duo's cel­e­brated 1981 re­union con­cert at New York's Cen­tral Park.

A self- taught drum­mer, Tate was known for a crisp, con­trolled style that was both pre­cise and re­laxed. He sel­dom launched into loud, showy drum so­los.

"I hate so­los," he told Mod­ern Drum­ming. "I can't play one to save my life. I think of my­self as some­one who can keep time."

Although drum­ming was his bread- and- but­ter as a mu­si­cian, Tate was also a singer with a rich, bur­nished bari­tone well suited for bal­lads. He re­leased his first vo­cal al­bum, "Wind­mills of My Mind," in 1968. His con­tri­bu­tions to the an­i­mated "School­house Rock" short films of the 1970s, "I Got Six" and "Naughty Num­ber Nine," re­ceived Grammy nom­i­na­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.