I'm so saddened to say I just found out that one of the greatest drummers ever and also a tremendous vocalist, Grady Tate passed away. I am dedicating this post to the memory of Grady because I performed with him many times while touring with Michel Legrand He was the drummer of choice for Michel's concerts. A world renowned musician who performed and recorded with the best of the best from Legrand, Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones to Paul Simon, the list is endless..Grady was kind, cool and an incredibly brilliant musician and also an incredible vocalist. He recorded several of Legrand songs, one of which he was the first to record and that was Legrand/Bergman's Oscar winning "The Windmills Of Your Mind" which I was lucky enough to hear him sing at some of our concerts.
I thought I would talk about a particular run of performances when Grady Tate performed with us in New York at the one and only St. Regis Hotel in the elite Maisonette Room for the show "Michel Legrand & Friends". The Maisonette was a dinner and show room known for featuring the biggest names in the business. We were there for 13 days, off Sundays, performed 11 days two shows a night. It was a wonderfully intimate room where you could really connect with the audience which created a very personal ambiance and warmth on the stage.
As you can see on the poster, trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, was scheduled to perform, unfortunately he was unable to make the show dates so I didn't have the pleasure of performing with him, but I did get to perform with these outrageously talented musicians: Pianist/Composer Michel Legrand, Alto Saxophonist Phil Woods Bassist Ron Carter, Trumpet/Flugelhornist Randy Brecker, Drummer Grady Tate & Guitarist Joe Beck. It's hard to put into words how phenomenal each show was but with this band packed full of jazz greats I am sure you can imagine the magic!
If that wasn't exciting enough, to top that off they recorded several of the shows and made it into an album on RCA called "Michel Legrand and Friends" which I was lucky enough to be featured on singing a duet with Michel. We performed his beautiful song "Pieces Of Dreams"
God Bless and thank you Grady, what a gift and an honor making music with you... rest in music heaven.