Photo by: Rob Shanahan
As one of the founding fathers of the musical movement known as “fusion,” Lenny White earned a worldwide reputation as the drummer in the super group Return to Forever. Lenny’s legendary work with RTF, although important in the history of jazz, hardly represents the entirety of his musical contributions. A teenager in 1967, Jackie McLean asked him to join his band ... and within a year, he had played on two of the most important “fusion” records ever made, Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” and Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay.”
After Return to Forever’s split in 1976, Lenny, recorded three critically acclaimed jazz rock records of his own, Venusian Summer, Big City and The Adventures Of Astral Pirates. His late’70s recordings, Best of Friends and Twennynine, are often cited as outstanding examples of a new transitional sound made famous by friends Earth, Wind, and Fire. Lenny’s versatility, lead to collaborations with many of the finest Jazz musician as Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Gato Barbieri, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Jaco Pastorius, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana just to mention a few names.
In the early 1980’s, he teamed with Chick and Stanley again, and he produced, The Griffith Park Collection and the Grammy-nominated Echoes of an Era with vocalist Chaka Khan. He wrote music for Spike Lee’s “School Daze” and along with Marcus Miller, scored the soundtrack to the Huddlin brothers’ movie” House Party”.
To complete Lenny’s living-legend drum circle, he joined Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Al Di Meola for the 30-year-in-the-making, successful Return to Forever Reunion World Tour, summer of 2008, then in 2009, he toured with Corea and Clarke for an unplugged version of RTF. In May of 2010, Lenny released his 13th album entitled “ANOMALY”, in con junction with Absrtact Logix; he also co-produced The Stanley Clarke Band CD along with a documented version of the Corea, Clarke and White tour of 2009 entitled “Forever”. In February of this year, Lenny won his second Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Jazz Album” for The Stanley Clarke Band. Lenny recently produced the new recording from Italian vocalist Letizia Gambi. A project which teams Gambi up with White, Chick Corea, Ron Carter,Wallace Roney, Patrice Rushen & Gato Barberi among others.
For more information go to www.lennywhite.com