When Purdie wasn’t feeling a track, he let it show.

“O-o-h Child” wasn’t clicking. They were trying everything.

Purdie explains: “In the last twenty minutes of the session, Vince (Stan Vincent, writer) gave me my head. Bam! Fifteen minutes later, we have ‘O-o-h Child’. My way.”1

“O-o-h Child” is Purdie’s magnum opus.

My high school jazz teacher would tell me to “drive the bus.” Purdie is driving the bus, getting directions over the phone, and sniping lollypop-sucking kid in the mirror.

He always manages to take it higher every key change, to the point of cracking every beat on the snare near the end of the tune.

The transcribed↑ phrase comes in at the first key change. It has that disco hi-hat with a busy snare and kick part. It’s a good starting point for getting into this song.


  1. Michael Shelley interviews Bernard Purdie ↩

Bernard Purdie