Footprints - Garvin Blake

Belle Eau Road Blues

New York, USA - This is the Garvin Blake-rendition of Wayne Shorter’s classic “Footprints.”  This performance is part of the Belle Eau Road Blues CD as produced, recorded and mastered at Basement Recordings.

Wayne Shorter’s classic “Footprints” - performed by Garvin Blake

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The story outside the story

Everyone knows that When Steel Talks called the young Jonathan Scales a “bad man” many moons ago. However, before Scales there was another young cat named Garvin Blake. In many ways the polar opposite of Jonathan Scales, Blake is the silent, methodical and strategic type - but just as potent.

Garvin Blake  and Max Roach

It was on hearing this track “Footprints” that Max Roach (considered by many to be the greatest drummer/percussionist to ever live) moved to calling Garvin Blake a major talent. And that says a lot coming from a man who played with many of the musicians that walked with the gods of American music.

Well as faith would have it, I was simultaneously working as engineer/producer on Garvin’s Belle Eau Road Blues CD - while working on another project spearheaded by the late legendary drummer Max Roach, which would feature the master panist Len “Boogsie” Sharpe. Max would say to me on numerous occasions that “Boogsie” reminded him of his former legendary band mate Charlie “Bird” Parker - so the general operating procedure was to capture everything because as Max would say - “You never knew when he (Boogsie) would do something magical.”  Max had seen Boogsie up-close and personal in Trinidad and took him on tour to Europe with him as part of his group M’Boom.

The plan was to record Boogsie with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Ray Drummond, Tyrone Brown, Odean Pope, Cecil Bridgewater and Lafayette Harris, Jr. to name a few. Plain and simple:  when Max Roach called, you showed up.

Up until Max heard Bella Eau Road Blues, he would refer to Boogsie as ‘his guy,’ and Garvin was ‘your’ (my) guy -- but after listening to the CD - Garvin became ‘our’ guy.

"Garvin knows what he is doing...  Part of a history of great musicians."   -- Max Roach

And as we say in Brooklyn y’all know what time it is...

Footprints Garvin Blake

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