TIR 47: Bill Summers Calls It What He Wants


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in TIR Episode 47 (three segments): Jazz, R&B, funk and Latin percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Bill Summers. Summers first forged his impeccable reputation as a leading-edge player by capturing the fancy of jazz keyboard legend Herbie Hancock who placed Summers as a founding member of his Headhunters lineup that unleashed a string of groundbreaking electronic jazz-funk albums during the 1970s. That included such landmark tracks as “Chameleon,” “Actual Proof” and “Hang-up Your Hang-ups,” that last one from the 1975’s remarkable Manchild.

Future P-Funk guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight was also a member of the Headhunters, which released its own albums and recorded masterful tracks like “God Made Me Funky.” While Summers continued to record with Hancock, including later funk classics like “Ready or Not,” he ventured out to release four albums under his own name. The in 1981 he hit it big as Bill Summers & Summers Heat with the album and slamming title track Call It What You Want. That band wound up releasing four albums and placing 7 songs on the U.S. R&B chart.

At the same time, in the 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Summers added his hand drums expertise to projects by Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, the Bar-Kays, Con Funk Shun, Stanley Clarke, the Pointer Sisters; Bobby Womack; Lenny Williams; and Patrice Rushen. In the late-1990s he established the popular Latin-jazz trio Los Hombres Calientes, and he continues to perform today.

In this interview, the still energetic and talkative Summers takes a cultural and musical excursion chock-full of nuggets on percussion, jazz and funk. His fanciful stories demonstrate that 45 years into an astonishing career, Summers can still bring the heat!

Recorded March 2018



Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.