|Birth name||Leonard White III|
|Born||December 19, 1949|
New York City, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz fusion, funk|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, Bandleader, Producer, Professor|
|Labels||Nemperor, Elektra, Wounded Bird|
|Associated acts||Return to Forever, Twennynine, Azteca, Jamaica Boys|
Leonard "Lenny" White III (born December 19, 1949) is an American jazz fusion drummer who was a member of the band Return to Forever led by Chick Corea in the 1970s. White has been called "one of the founding fathers of jazz fusion".
Early life and education
Born in Queens, New York City, White became interested in music at a young age. As a self taught drummer he started off his career playing with groups at the New York jazz scene. While he was living at home, his father would take him to gigs. Early on he played clubs in Queens New York such as the Aphrodisiac, Slugs, and The Gold Lounge. It was at The Gold Lounge where he had his first gig with saxophonist Jackie McLean. During the late 1960s he began performing with Mclean around Queens. Through this, White was recommended to play on Miles Davis' landmark 1969 LP Bitches Brew and feature on Freddie Hubbard's 1970 LP Red Clay. Within 1972 White joined the jazz group Return to Forever.
In 1977 White released his debut solo album entitled Big City. During 1978 he released his sophomore LP The Adventures of Astral Pirates and his third solo album Streamline. He eventually formed the jazz/soul group Twennynine who went on to issue three studio albums, 1979's Best of Friends, Twennynine with Lenny White in 1980, and 1981's Just Like Dreamin'.
White then made a guest appearance on Chick Corea's 1982 album Touchstone and produced Chaka Khan's 1982 LP Echoes of an Era. He later released his 1983 album Attitude and co-produced Pieces of a Dream's 1986 LP Joyride. White now teaches at NYU Steinhardt where he has an ensemble as well as a lecture class on Bitches Brew called “The Miles Davis Aesthetic.”
Awards and honors
White has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, of which he has won three. The Grammy Award is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievement in the mainly English-language music industry.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1975||No Mystery||Best Jazz Performance by a group||Won|
|2010||The Stanley Clarke Band||Best Contemporary Jazz Album||Won|
|2011||Forever||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||Won|
- Venusian Summer (Nemperor, 1975)
- Big City (Nemperor, 1977)
- The Adventures of Astral Pirates (Elektra, 1978)
- Streamline (Elektra, 1978)
- Best of Friends (Elektra, 1979) - with Twennynine
- Twennynine with Lenny White (Elektra, 1980)
- Just Like Dreamin' (With the Twennynine) (Elektra, 1981) - with Twennynine
- Attitude (Wounded Bird, 1983)
- In Clinic (DCI, 1983)
- Present Tense (Hip Bop, 1995)
- Renderers of Spirit (Hip Bop Essence, 1996)
- Edge (Hip Bop Essence, 1999)
- Collection (Hip Bop, 2002)
- The Love Has Never Gone: Tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire (Trauma, 2004)
- Hancock Island (Chesky, 2008)
- Anomaly (Abstract Logix, 2010)
- Lenny White Live (BFM Jazz, 2013)
- Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (Polydor, 1973)
With Chick Corea, Al Di Meola and Stanley Clarke
- Where Have I Known You Before (Polydor, 1974)
- No Mystery (Polydor, 1975)
- Romantic Warrior (Columbia, 1976)
- Returns (Eagle, 2009)
As Corea, Clarke & White
- Sylvia St. James – Magic (Elektra, 1981)
- Chaka Khan – Echoes of an era (Elektra, 1982)
- Tina Harris – I must not be kinky (Shanachie, 1985)
- Nicki Richards – Naked (To the World) (Elektra, 1991)
- Letizia Gambi - Introducing Letizia Gambi (Jando Music / Via Veneto Jazz, 2012)
- Letizia Gambi - Blue Monday (RP / IYOUWE, 2016)
- Azteca (Columbia, 1972)
- Pyramid of the Moon (Columbia, 1973)
- From The Ruins (Inakustic Gmbh, 2008)
With Cyrus Chestnut
With Stanley Clarke
With Al Di Meola:
- Electric (Chesky, 2005)
- Traffic (Chesky, 2006)
- Echoes of an Era (Elektra, 1982)
- Echoes of an Era 2 – The Concert (Elektra, 1982)
- Dreyfus Night in Paris (Dreyfus Jazz, 2003) - also with Kenny Garrett, Biréli Lagrène. live. recorded in 1994.
With Wallace Roney
With Buster Williams
- Houdini (Sirocco, 2001)
- Griot Libertè (HighNote, 2004)
- 65 Roses (BluePort Jazz, 2008) – recorded in 2006
- 1969 – Andrew Hill: Passing Ships (Blue Note) [not released until 2003]
- 1970 – Joe Henderson: If You're Not Part of the Solution, You're Part of the Problem (Milestone)
- 1970 – Freddie Hubbard: Red Clay (CTI)
- 1970 – Woody Shaw: Blackstone Legacy (Contemporary)
- 1970 – Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Columbia)
- 1971 – Gato Barbieri: Fenix (Flying Dutchman)
- 1971 – Curtis Fuller: Crankin' (Mainstream)
- 1972 - Buddy Terry: Pure Dynamite (Mainstream)
- 1973 - Eddie Henderson: Realization (Capricorn)
- 1976 – Don Cherry: Hear & Now (Atlantic)
- 1976 – Jaco Pastorius: Jaco Pastorius (Epic/Legacy/Sony)
- 1977 - With Brian Auger's Oblivion Express: Happiness Heartaches (Warner Bros.)
- 1986 – Eliane Elias: Illusions (Denon)
- 1990 – The Manhattan Project (Blue Note)
- 1990 – Michel Petrucciani: Music (Blue Note)
- 1993 - Bobby Hutcherson: Acoustic Masters II (Atlantic)
- 1995 – Urbanator: Urbanator (Hip Bop)
- 1997 – The Geri Allen Trio & The Jazzpar 1996 Nonet: Some Aspects of Water (Storyville)
- 1998 – Geri Allen: The Gathering (Verve, 1998)
- 2001 – Ron Carter Stardust (Somethin' Else)
- 1999 – Stanley Clarke, Karen Briggs, Rachel Z and Richie Kotzen Vertú (Sony)
- 2009 – The Stanley Clarke Trio: Jazz in the Garden (Heads Up)
- 2011 – Jamey Haddad, Lenny White, Mark Sherman: Explorations in Space and Time (Chesky)
- 2012 – Letizia Gambi: Introducing Letizia Gambi (Jando Music/Via Veneto Jazz)
- 2016 – Letizia Gambi: Blue Monday (ArtistShare)
- 2019 - Buster Williams and Geri Allen - Houdini
- 2020 - Geri Allen and Palle Danielsson - Some Aspect of Water
- "All About Jazz: Lenny White biography". allaboutjazz.com. All About Jazz.
- Yanow, Scott. "Lenny White". allmusic.com. Allmusic.
- Kara Yorio (December 19, 2013). "Teaneck's Lenny White to play four nights at Jazz Standard". The Record. Archived from the original on January 14, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
White, a two-time Grammy winner, is one of the founding fathers of jazz fusion. His first recording gig was with Miles Davis on the groundbreaking "Bitches Brew" album that was released in 1970.
- "Fusion Star Lenny White". Modern Drummer Magazine. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- "Lenny White". NYU Steinhardt. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- "A Bridge To The Future: A Conversation with Lenny White". New York Jazz Workshop. July 16, 2018. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- O'Neill, Thomas (1999). The Grammys: The Ultimate Unofficial Guide to Music's Highest Honor. Perigee Trade.