Sack Full Of Dreams

Grady Tate

(January 14, 1932 – October 8, 2017)

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Grady Tate recorded “Sack Full Of Dreams” in 1969. It appears on his “Windmills Of My Mind” album.

Grady Tate was born on January 14, 1932 in Hayti, Durham, North Carolina The hard bop drummer and baritone voicalist moved to New York City in 1963. Once in New York City, Tate became the drummer in Quincy Jones’s band.

Tate’s drumming helped to define a particular hard bop, soul jazz and organ trio sound during the mid-1960s and beyond. His slick, layered and intense sound is instantly recognizable for its understated style in which he integrates his trademark subtle nuances with sharp, crisp “on top of the beat” timing (in comparison to playing slightly before, or slightly after the beat). The Grady Tate sound can be heard prominently on the many classic Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery albums recorded on the Verve label in the 1960’s.

He was the drummer on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for six years. During the 1970’s he was a member of the New York Jazz Quartet. In 1981 he played drums and percussion Simon and Garfunkel’s Concert in Central Park.

Grady’s popularity as choice sideman of accomplished musicians is due to his versatility and his interpretation of many different genres of music. He has played with Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Smith, Grant Green, Lena Horne, Astrud Gilberto, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Blossom Dearie, Chris Connor, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Cal Tjader, Peggy Lee, Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Tom Rapp, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Stanley Turrentine, Charles Earland, Quincy Jones, Stan Getz, and Wes Montgomery. One album that demonstrates Mr. Tate’s mastering of several musical styles may be heard on Jimmy Smith’s “Go For Whatcha Know” (1986), which also features a vocal track by Tate. An example of his virtuosic drumming abilities may be heard on Stan Getz’s “Sweet Rain” (1967).

Among his most widely heard vocal performances are the songs “I Got Six”, “Naughty Number Nine”, and “Fireworks” from Multiplication Rock and America Rock, both part of the Schoolhouse Rock series. For the 1973 motion picture Cops And Robbers, Tate sang the title song, written by Michel Legrand and Jacques Wilson.

*Grady Tate has been on the faculty of Howard University since 1989.


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