TIR 36: How Doc Gibbs Prescribed Perfect Percussion for Funk-Jazz Masters

Leonard “Doc” Gibbs (back, second from left) launched his four-decade jazz-funk career as percussionist for Grover Washington Jr.’s 1970s band Locksmith, shown here with their own album from 1980.


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 this 2-part series: Jazz-funk percussionist Leonard “Doc” Gibbs, who for more than 40 years has added to the rhythm, groove and soul of dozens of albums and hundreds of performances with several topline acts. Those artists include Grover Washington Jr., George Benson, Bob James, Earl Klugh, Rodney Franklin, Breakwater, Pieces of a Dream, Al Jarreau, Kirk Whalum, George Howard, Erykah Badu and Anita Baker. He released his solo album, Servin’ It Up! Hot!, in 2002.

In 1997, Gibbs began a 10-year run as the musical director for Emeril Live! — the popular cooking show on cable-TV’s Food Network. He is also an elected member of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Recording Artists and Sciences, Philadelphia chapter. Gibbs has also performed drum workshops for children with Young Audiences of Eastern Pennsylvania and the Strings for Schools organizations.

Here he reflects on several of the amazing talents he collaborated with throughout his landmark career and music-making in general, especially percussion.

Recorded December 2017