YESTERDAY, a post by Susan Sisko Carter went live on Huffington Post and I had to slow myself down to read it carefully.
Someone’s made off with some of drummer James Gadson’s gear — drums and mics and such . Stolen out of his home studio here in Los Angeles.
You may not know the name right off, but you know the records he’s been on and why his beats have worked their way into your memory … from Carter’s post:
“Are you the thief? Probably not. But, maybe, you know a guy who knows a guy who took James Gadson’s drums. Or, maybe, you bought the drums…unaware that they were stolen — stolen from a legend.
“They took all the punch out of me. I didn’t feel like playing,” James says.
Not the words I expect from the musician who created, propelled and sustained the rhythm for a dazzling array of artists: Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Bill Withers, Aretha, Smokey, Beck, Paul McCartney — so many names. So many hits. Give a legend his due. I mean, the man played on “Reunited” by Peaches and Herb, and “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor! His drumming is the heartbeat beneath the words: “As long as I know how to live, I know I’ll stay alive.” The heartbeat you’ve danced to! Yet, I doubt there is a more humble legend than James Gadson.”
Gadson was featured in a deeply engaging documentary about Soul/R&B and funk drummers Keepintime: Talking Drums and Whispering Vinyl directed by Brian Cross (B+) I wrote about another one of his related projects here in the L.A. Times Brasilintime: Batucada com Discos.
Here’s a little bit of it here :
Thanks Susan Sisko Carter for alerting us. We’re all getting the word out, quite literally, on the drum.
The rest of her HuffPost piece is here:
Gadson here with Bill Withers
(top image via midnightfunk.wordpress.com)