Born Jan 14, 1932 in Durham, NC
Self-taught as a drummer at first, he picked up the fundamentals of jazz drumming during his hitch in the Air Force (1951-55), and arranger Bill Berry made some vocal charts for him there.
After his discharge, he moved to Washington D.C. in 1959 to teach high school and take up a musical career with Wild Bill Davis.
In 1963 he moved to New York City which led to a gig with the Quincy Jones big band, and soon he caught on as a recording session drummer.
Tate played on many of Wes Montgomery's and Jimmy Smith's most popular recordings, as well as some by Nat Adderley, Stan Getz, Tony Bennett, Kenny Burrell, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Roland Kirk, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Duke Ellington, J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding, among countless other artists.