On February 18th, the world of music lost one of its brightest shining stars, the inimitable Clyde Stubblefield. The “Funky Drummer,” as he was affectionately known, laid down the rhythmic foundation for some of James Brown‘s biggest hits, adding drums to the albums Cold Sweat, I Got the Feelin’, It’s a Mother, Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud, and the groundbreaking Sex Machine record. His drumbeat on the track “Funky Drummer” was so influential that it has become one of the most sampled segments of music of all time, and is heavily featured in classic hip hop tracks by legends like Run-D.M.C., N.W.A., Beastie Boys, and more.
Musicians came together to celebrate Stubblefield on Friday, March 10, at American Beauty NYC. The band was made up of Fred Thomas (James Brown Band, bass), Daru Jones (Jack White, drums), Eric Kalb (Eric Krasno Band, drums), Marcus Machado (Jamie Lidell, guitar), Chris Rob (Talib Kweli, keys), Elise Testone (vocals), Justin Stanton (Snarky Puppy, trumpet), V. Jeffery Smith (The Family Stand, sax), and Smair Zarif (sax).
Thanks to Tom Pragliola, you can watch a click of the “Funky Drummer” tribute below: