[JPL] Betty Mabry Davis

Eric Jackson eric-jackson at comcast.net
Thu Nov 16 16:07:27 EST 2006

On Thursday 16 November 2006 14:48, Jae Sinnett wrote:

> Here's an informative note in reference to this topic I received off JPL
> from my friend....drumming historian, educator, writer and drummer
> extraordinaire. Also, thanks to the others for the off JPL comments as
> well.
> Jae,
>  The story even goes a little deeper than that. Drummer Gregg Errico
> (the first and funkiest Sly drummer), appeared on Betty's first and yes
> amazing record. Miles heard Gregg there (Gregg remembers him being at
> the sessions, and really digging it), and also at The Isle Of Wight
> festival (?), and really dug Gregg (and the whole Sly vibe). As did
> Zawinul and Wayne, and this is how and why Gregg was tapped to replace
> Gravatt in Weather Report. This is a fact that has always embarrased
> Gregg, as he had heard Eric in the Bay area, and was amazed by him. I
> have several live boots of WR with Gregg, and it's amazing how the band
> changed from Eric to Gregg. The Sly influence on Miles (and Sly's
> popularity) is what changed Miles. Not too much has been done or said
> about this, unfortunately.
>  Gregg joining WR also marked a decided change in WR, and it is when
> they became a "funkier band", and when they began to attract more
> attention (Zawinul has commented on this in print several time, and in
> his book). For a while after that (until Acuna, and then Erskine), WR
> was always looking for funk drummers  who had a little bit of jazz in
> them (Daryl Brown, Ndugu,  Narada etc).
>  Gregg was hired alot back then by many artists from Lee Oskar to
> Hubert Laws to David Bowie and W.R. , to provide a "Sly vibe", he never
> really understood it, but he went with it. I interviewed Gregg a while
> back (the first time he had ever been approached by a drum mag for an
> interview, what a crime) for Stick It magazine, he had a lot to say,
> nice guy.
>  I also remember hearing Larry Graham saying that it was Doug Rauch,
> that was the first cat he had heard "slapping" a little bit. He picked
> up on the concept, and ran with it!!! Doug died, and is on very few
> recordings, but he is the bassist on the first Betty Davis recording.
>  That first Betty Davis is a VERY important recording for MANY reasons,
> as an aside do you have Betty's "They Say I'm Different", I've never
> heard it, what's it like, and who's on it?
>  Mark Griffith

Very interesting! Thanks for passing this along.

Did you answer his question about who is on "They Say I'm Different?" I have 
the lp and I used to play 3 or 4 different tunes from it when I worked at 
WBCN in the early 70s.

Eric Jackson
8 pm - mid Mon - Thurs
WGBH Boston
89.7 FM

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