I am so excited. I am going to see a legend in drumming tonight, Eric Gravatt, play with McCoy Tyner at the Regattabar in Cambridge MA. In the 1970’s he became one of the greatest drummers in demand for jazz music, playing with Freddie Hubbard, Weather Report, McCoy Tyner and many others. He had such a groove, beautiful swing, gut-feeling polyrhythmic fills and incredible swooping dynamics.
After having such success being one of the greatest drummers in the world, Gravatt dropped out of the scene to support his family and gain financial stability. What a dad! He became a nightshift prison guard in Missouri for almost twenty years.
He had a serious effect on drummers Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Colaiuta, Tony Williams, Jack DeJohnette and countless others. Joe Zawinul once said in an interview that of all the great drummers he had played with, Eric Gravatt was the best, the most profound. That says a heck of a lot about a person, because Zawinul has played with the best of the best.
I never thought I’d get a chance to see Gravatt live in concert. What an opportunity! I know that having expectations is not wise but I cannot help myself. I believe Gravatt is going to turn my head around and inspire me in new ways. I hope so.