Narada Michael Walden
Basically, Narada Michael Walden has credentials that fly in any area of the music community. He's one of Billboard magazine's top ten producers of No. 1 hits, with work on records by Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Tevin Campbell and many more (he even made Eddie Murphy a music star for a brief, brief moment in the mid-1980s). But before all his high-falootin' songwriting and knob-tweaking, he was one of the '70s most intense drummers. He skillfully replaced Billy Cobham's drum barrages in the Mahavishnu Orchestra, added his skills on piano and drums to Jeff Beck's seminal Wired, and laid tracks for Weather Report, Herbie Hancock and countless other musicians, mostly in the Fusion and Jazz-Funk vein. The '80s saw him writing urban R&B and having a good deal of success with it when he wasn't having a great deal of success on other people's albums. Recent recordings find him going back to his roots and playing gritty blues and Funk Rock.