Gold Supporting Member
- Aug 18, 2014
- Reaction score
- Maine, USA
SKF NOTE: The late drummer Freddie Gruber is known by many drummers, including me, as an exemplary teacher. Other drummers, however, say Freddie is full of hot air, a charlatan, who has somehow put a spell on Neil Peart, Buddy Rich, Jim Keltner, Steve Smith, Mel Lewis, and other drumming legends.
Skeptics point out the absence of Freddie recordings. If Freddie Gruber was such a great player, they say, how come he never made any records? Of course, that’s asking to prove a negative.
What we’ve always had is the testimony of respected drummers who did hear Freddie Gruber drumming in his prime, and the praise of first-class contemporary players such as those named above.
Then last week I received an interesting email from Neal Sausen who provides new insight into Freddie Gruber. Here, in part, is what Neal wrote:
…I’ve been a Freddie Gruber drum student for over well 50 years. I started with him when I was 18 on April 2, 1969, and stayed with him continuously until around 1990-92. Then studied off and on with him, formally or informally, until shortly before his death in 2011. I was at his house almost every night the last year or so of his life, hanging out with him, and keeping him company.
Neal’s email also mentioned that there is, in fact, one album available with Freddie Gruber in the drum chair. On the Spotlite label, the album by the Gene Roland Big Band featuring Charlie Parker is called “The Band That Never Was.” The back on the album jacket features band photos, one of which clearly shows a young Freddie Gruber on the drums.
Full story - https://scottkfish.com/2021/11/09/freddie-gruber-on-record/