Dennis Chambers

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Dennis Chambers
Born (1959-05-09) May 9, 1959 (age 56)
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, funk, Latin rock
Instruments Drums and Percussion

Dennis Chambers (born May 9, 1959) is an American drummer who has recorded and performed with John Scofield, George Duke, Brecker Brothers, Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic, John McLaughlin, Niacin, Mike Stern, CAB, Greg Howe, and many others. Despite a lack of formal training, Chambers has become well known among drummers for his technique and speed.[citation needed] Chambers is particularly regarded for his ability to play "in the pocket" but can also stretch very far out of the pocket which is also a hallmark of his technique.[citation needed] Chambers exhibits a powerful style that is technically proficient, yet highly musical and groove-oriented.[citation needed] He can play in a wide variety of musical genres, but is perhaps most notable for his jazz-fusion, funk, and Latin music playing. He is mostly known for his fast hands and triplets on the bass drum. He has helped many young drummers, the most prominent being Tony Royster, Jr.

In 2007, just before Led Zeppelin were scheduled to play at the O2 Arena in London, John Bonham's son Jason was asked in an interview that if he himself were to pass up the opportunity, which drummer would he recommend to fill the coveted drum throne. His reply was 'If I were to choose, I would probably want a jazz drummer with a strong swing feel. You know what - Dennis Chambers. I think he would "get it", whereas other rock drummers wouldn't.'

In an interview by Bonedo in 2011 Dennis Chambers was asked who some of his influences and favorite drummers were and he mentioned Clyde Stubblefield, Al Jackson Jr., Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Husband, Jack Dejohnette, Billy Cobham, Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, and Tony Williams.

He performed on the critically acclaimed Maceo Parker live album "Roots and Grooves" album with long time friend Rodney "Skeet" Curtis (bass) and the WDR Big Band. He has toured extensively with Carlos Santana and makes appearances with his band Niacin.

He plays and endorses Pearl drums, pedals, hardware & racks, Zildjian cymbals, Zildjian drumsticks & general accessories and Evans drumheads.[1]

Chambers began drumming at the age of four years, and was gigging in Baltimore-area nightclubs by the age of six. He was recruited in 1981 by the Sugar Hill Label to be their "house drummer." Dennis plays on many Sugar Hill releases including, "Rapper's Delight." In 1978 (at 18 years old) he joined Parliament/Funkadelic, and stayed with them until 1985.[2] In 1986 he joined the John Scofield band. Since then he has played with most of the major figures in jazz fusion music.[1]

On August 26, 2011 Chambers appeared as a featured drummer on the Late Show with David Letterman's Drum Solo Week II, alongside other such notable players as Tony Royster, Jr., Gavin Harrison, Neil Peart and Stewart Copeland.

Selected discography[edit]

Year Constellation Title Label
1983 P-Funk All Stars Live at the Beverly Theater in Hollywood Westbound
1986 John Scofield Blue Matter Gramavision
1987 John Scofield Loud Jazz Gramavision
1987 John Scofield Pick Hits Live Gramavision
1989 Gary Thomas By Any Means Necessary JMT
1990 Bill Evans Group (Bill Evans, Chuck Loeb, Jim Beard, Darryl Jones, Dennis Chambers) Let The Juice Loose (Live at the Blue Note, Tokyo) Bellaphon
1990 Gary Thomas While the Gate Is Open JMT
1991 Dennis Chambers Big City Glass House
1991 Gary Thomas The Kold Kage JMT
1992 Carl Filipiak Group (Carl Filipiak, Dennis Chambers, Paul Soroka, Jim Charlsen, Victor Williams, George Gray, Dave Fairall, Rod Daniels) Right on Time Geometric Records
1992 Petite Blonde (Bill Evans, Chuck Loeb, Mitch Forman, Victor Bailey, Dennis Chambers) Live Recording Lipstick Records
1992 The Return Of The Brecker Brothers The Return Of The Brecker Brothers GRP Records
1992 Dennis Chambers Getting Even Glass House
1993 Graffiti (Dennis Chambers, Haakon Graf, Gary Grainger, Ulf Wakenius) Good Groove ESC Records
1993 Charles Blenzig (Mike Stern, Will Lee, Alex Foster, Dennis Chambers, Manolo Badrena, Michael Brecker) Say what you mean Big World
1994 John McLaughlin & The Free Spirits Tokio Live Japan Import
1995 Steely Dan Alive in America Giant
1997 John McLaughlin, Gary Thomas The Heart of Things Verve/Universum
1999 Victor Bailey Low Blow ESC Records
2000 John McLaughlin The Heart Of Things / Live In Paris Polygram
2000 CAB, Bunny Brunel, Tony MacAlpine, Tone Center Records
2001 CAB 2, Bunny Brunel, Tony MacAlpine, Tone Center Records
2001 Brett Garsed, TJ Helmerich, Gary Willis, Scott Kinsey Uncle Moe's Space Ranch Tone Center Records
2002 CAB 4, Bunny Brunel, Tony MacAlpine, Tone Center Records
2002 Dennis Chambers Outbreak Esc
2003 Greg Howe, Victor Wooten, Dennis Chambers Extraction Tone Center Records
2003 Bireli Lagrene, Dominique Di Piazza, Dennis Chambers Front Page Sunny Side Records
2006 Dennis Chambers Planet Earth BHM
2006 Dennis Chambers, Jeff Berlin, David Fiuczynsky, T Lavitz Boston T Party Tone Center
2006 True Spirit John Grant, Victor Williams Dennis Chambers, Najee, True Spirit Indy release
2007 The Carl Filipiak Group I Got Your Mantra Art of Life Records
2007 Maceo Parker WDR Big Band Cologne Michael Abene conductor, Rodney "Skeet" Curtis (bass) Roots and Grooves Heads Up
2007 Brett Garsed, TJ Helmerich, Gary Willis, Scott Kinsey Moe's Town (Uncle Moe's Space Ranch) Tone Center Records
2008 Paul Hanson Frolic in the Land of Plenty Abstract Logix Records
2009 Dean Brown DBIII:live at the Cotton Club Tokyo BHM records
2009 Tony Bunn Small World ATP Records Group
2010 Greg Howe, Tetsuo Sakurai, Dennis Chambers Vital World Abstract Logix Records


  1. ^ a b Wynn, Ron. "Dennis Chambers: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  2. ^ "Dennis Chambers: Biography". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 

External links[edit]