“No one ever made the beat sing and the melody swing with any more poetry and power than Grady Tate. Our music never had a better friend, and neither did I.” – Todd Barkan, jazz record producer
The drummer and vocalist Grady Tate, a veteran of hundreds of jazz recording sessions, died on Oct. 8, according to longtime colleague and producer Todd Barkan. He was 85 years old. Tate was a dual threat as a singer and a drummer, performing in the latter role on many seminal LPs with the likes of Jimmy Smith, Oliver Nelson and Wes Montgomery. Most closely associated with the soul-jazz style of the ’60s popularized by Smith, Montgomery, Lou Donaldson and Stanley Turrentine, he also recorded about a dozen albums as a leader, nearly all featuring his sultry baritone voice as well as his stylish drumming.