Grady Tate – Be Black Baby

Grady Tate - Be Black Baby

The record I bring you today has something very much in common with last week’s selection – it’s one that I rarely play out (in fact I’m trying to remember if it’s ever made it’s way into one of my sets). This isn’t due to it being too well-known/overplayed but more because it’s not really something that fits too well within my usual vibe. Anyone who has seen me dj before will attest to the fact that I generally like to play uptempo dance floor destroyers – I figure if you’re at a club, you should be there to dance otherwise you should sit at home and listen to the slow burners on your stereo!! That’s why this doesn’t work it’s way into my set – it’s just too mid-tempo.

However, just because it’s mid-tempo that doesn’t mean it isn’t good (or indeed funky) because this has the funk (and attitude) drippin’ from it. It’s a kinda role reversal from how people are perceived to be these days. The rise of black culture has led to many people trying to be black, however back then Grady’s song was about the opposite problem – black people trying to be too white!

Anyone who knows anything about Grady Tate will be aware that he made his name in the music business due to his skills behind a drum kit – in fact some people consider him to be one of the greatest ever stick-men in jazz circles. Certainly the artists that he has performed with reads like a who’s-who of the jazz world’s finest, from Jimmy Smith, Lou Donaldson & Miles Davis to Nat Adderley, Grant Green & Dizzy Gillespie, you name them he’s played with them. He also enjoyed a career as a solo artist of which this track was the highlight. 

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