This next one is dedicated to my brother in drums, Syke.
Till now when I thought of Jeff Porcaro my mind automaticaly went to the 80’s and their cheesy drum sound. I knew he was the one that played in MJ’s “Beat It” and he had his own super cool version of the half-time shuffle in Toto’s “Rosanna”. What I didn’t know was that the man was a taste-machine as fas as session drumming goes.
By that I mean, that yes, obviously the guy could play his arse off anytime but when he went in the studio he chose not to. He rather prefered to show his skills by emphasising their absence (see what I did?). Example: this next song.
This song was released in 1982. Porcaro plays in this entire “If That’s What it Takes” record but the song that makes him shine the most is this one. I should point out that the 16ths on the hihat are played with one hand. I repeat.. one.. hand. The recipe sounds dated now: slap bass licks, cheesy synth sounds and a “session” atmosphere in general. I don’t care. It’s captivating.
It also wasn’t the last time that beat would be heard on the radio. In 1994, the “I Keep Forgetting” groove returns in Warren G’s feat. Nate Dogg, Regulate:
And the story goes on, with Daft Punk’s 2013 “Random Access Memories”. There’s a track in there where Omar Hakim was asked to replicate the same groove. He, though, played it with alternate hands I think, giving the tune a more disco vibe with a push-forward from the tempo rather than the previous laid back approach.