I became a fan of Jeff Porcaro pretty naturally for a couple reasons. First, both he and a muso buddy of mine were part of the late ‘70s through early ‘90s L.A. music scene as session/touring players. Through that connection, I had the privilege of seeing Jeff from the wings backstage at a Boz Scaggs New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival performance (I’m pretty sure either in ‘88 or ‘90). I will never forget seeing him so masterfully work every piece of gear within his reach on that hot, humid-afternoon, Deep South stage.
I also appreciated his work since I was a drummer early in my musical experience and am still a drummer at heart. Every time I hit a percussion instrument now, I owe a debt to the great ones. Jeff Porcaro is certainly in that category of elites.
So in honor of Jeff, and on the twentieth anniversary of his early death (thanks to Nathan East for memorializing Jeff today in the Photo section of his facebook page), I offer the one performance that he may be most remembered for. Enjoy the definitive “shuffle”.
“Rosanna” by Toto (Jeff Porcaro on Drums)