What a treat to hear one of my childhood inspirations, leading his own band. Lenny played the Catalina Bar & Grill last week, sitting behind his Innovation drum set that costs more than a Mercedes. It sounded incredible, and what really struck me was how softly Lenny played. He had all the drums mic’d very well, and he played so relaxed…

His cymbals were a wash of perfect sound, and he still has a jack rabbit right foot. His musical composition behind the drums was a thing of beauty, and at the end of one masterful solo, he simply said, “Not all drum solos have to be loud…”

Lenny was promoting his new album, Anomoly, with a two-guitar, one keyboard and one bass band. Tight, to the point, never excessive, and they left you wanting more. The closing number mixed measures of 5/8 in a very musical way, nothing forced or contrived.

I had the opportunity to shake Lenny’s hand after the show, which was something I’d wanted to do since I was 16. He smiled big when I said, “There’s no mistaking the sound of a Lenny White flam or a Lenny White triplet,” and believe me, there’s not. I first heard him on my 16th birthday, with Return to Forever, and then not again until two years ago in Los Angeles with a reunited Return to Forever. At that show, each group member has a chance to speak, and Lenny made very strong mention about how what they were playing was difficult and challenging music. Fusion was a dirty word for years, but these guys created the style and drove it hard.

It was a real treat to hear Lenny offer his latest version of the style he contributed to so strongly in the 70s. We should all be so relevant thirty years after doing anything…