Topic: Buddy Rich - The Light Side, The Dark Side, and Somewhere in between  (Read 16215 times)

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Gadda

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I won't mention which website, but there is one which starts with the letter "k" that you can download a video of Buddy on a TV show in 1965.  Do a search for "video" on "Jerry Lewis" and look for a drum battle between him and Buddy Rich

Ive done that ... amazing technique !!

Its actually everything ive heard of buddy rich.
I would like some tips for albums to buy ( or go to the k website  ;D ) to hear some more of him playing. Anyone got something to recommend ? I would really appreciate it


SteveG

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I have to jump in here. Han Steevo my brother, get a grip. Virgil, great chops, independence etc., but have you ever heard the man swing? I haven't and I doubt that he could. Name me one shredder who can swing? Playing fast singles and ostinatos is only a tiny-tiny portion of what we do as drummers.

I'll put Joe Morello's chops, who turns 74 in July against Virgil (yeah, I know this sounds silly). And the independence stuff, Joe was doing it fifty years ago. Your just uninformed about it. Virgil hasn't re-invented the wheel here. I sat and spoke to Joe about Buddy. He is humbled by Buddy's chops. That says a lot for a master like Joe Morello who has done more for the drumming community that V and V, to be humbled by Buddy's chops. Wow!

BTW, when was the last time you heard Virgil driving a big band? I'm still waiting for your answer.

Han Steevo

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I don't think I ever said that Virgil could swing like Buddy - or even swing that well.  Someone made the comment that Buddy had the fastest singles and that's why I threw in Virgil.  Sure, playing independence-oriented rhythms isn't anything new, but what Virgil and Minneman can do is incredible.

I'm not going to start comparing who can swing better, because that's simply opinion.  As for me, I like Vinnie Colaiuta a hell of a lot more than Buddy for everything.

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Virgil can do that... and more.  Much more.

Virgil has what I call "drum clinic chops." He is capable of truly amazing stuff, with speed, independence, and flash out the wazoo. But apparently only when he's playing by himself.

I've seen him live with a band, and he bored me to tears. He brought NONE of that fire, excitement, or unique ability to his gig, and he was playing with freakin' Steve Vai, which is a great opportunity to play some amazing stuff if ever there was one. He just pounded away sounding and looking like every average rock drummer I've ever seen. Then, when he got a drum solo, he went nuts, and played some truly unbelievable stuff, complete with lots of flash - really amazing stuff. But after the solo, he went right back to being Joe Generic.

To me that was very illuminating. I think he's a great drummer, but I don't think much of him as a musician.

That was Buddy's strength. Same for  Vinnie, Steve Smith, Gadd, Bozzio  and Weckl - they all sound amazing playing MUSIC, not just drum solos. Buddy was an amazing accompanist, and exciting as hell to watch whether he was playing a blazing solo, or just playing brushes on a ballad. Each of the guys I named totally kick @ss live, driving their bands up to a higher level. Virgil totally phoned in the gig unless the spotlight was on him. NOT a sign of a mature musician.

With his incredible technical facility, he has the potential to be an amazing musician. But he ain't there yet. Drumming (to me) is far more than a measure of what challenging things you can do with your arms and legs - it's about making music sound good. Guys like Buddy, Vinnie, etc. know how to do that while simultaneously playing jaw-dropping stuff on the drums. In my opinion, Virgil's not even in the same league, at least not yet.

I say this having seen ALL of these drummers LIVE, not just on videos.
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RelientKngOdrums

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well said Mr. A ;)

paul

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I agree.  Buddy wasn't just a chopsmeister.  He was a musician.  Every band he played with got immediately better.

Somebody asked for album recommendations.  My own favorites are "Swinging New Big Band," with the West Side Story medley, "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," for Channel 1 Suite, "Wham!" just because it kicks butt, and "Time Being."

Also, check out "Art Tatum Group Masterpieces - Volume  3."  Buddy plays behind Tatum and Lionel Hampton, with no bassist, and rarely comes to the front.  An excellent example of his ability to play in a small group.

Offline KevinD

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Virgil has what I call "drum clinic chops." He is capable of truly amazing stuff, with speed, independence, and flash out the wazoo. But apparently only when he's playing by himself.


Have to agree with Mr. A here. Chops are fine, but they are only a means to an end. The end goal is to make music.

In reference to Buddy Rich, I did have the opportunity to see him with his big band a few times when I was a young,  impressionable drummer.

Yeah, he had great chops (by my definition anyway)  but what struck me was the way he drove the band, the way he comped the soloists and the way he set up the kicks with the brass sections. It sounded great, everything was tasteful as well as powerful where needed, the playing had dynamics that  perfectly compimented the songs. That is what making music is all about.

Jeff Porcaro never played very busily, and never exhibited a lot of flash (although I'm certain he had the ability) but he could say more in 4 bars of time with his feel than most drummers could in a full clinic. He made music, the fact that he was an  'A list" session player who backed a number hit records and with Toto and major artists attests to that fact.

In another example of taste vs. speed. Take a listen to the Bee Gees tracks on the Saturday Night Fever record. I'm no disco fan and the drumming there won't be confused with anything Virgil Donati has done but the feel and the grooves are amazing. It perfectly suits the music which appealed to millions of people. I'd like to think the drum tracks had some responsibility for that.  

That is Steve Gadd and he displays the ultimate in taste and musicality for that situation. I'm sure we've all heard him in other situations with other artists where the music calls for him to play way out and a over the top. He rarely disappoints there either. Bottom line is that he's making music.

"If it weren't for Thomas Edison we'd all be watching TV in the dark." - Attributed to various people over the years.

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Ratamatatt

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I think I'm the one drummer on this planet who doesn't think Buddy was as good as all the hype.

Han,

Your musical ear if not your sanity has been seriously called into question.  

I had the opportunity to see him play on two occasions.  IMHO, not only did, and does, Buddy have the greatest chops ever developed (and I don't believe for a minute his contention that he never practiced - impossible), he is the best musician to ever sit behind a drum kit.  When you see Buddy play a single stroke solo for 4 minutes at a tempo faster than most can play for 4 bars, and spontaniously make music that could only come from the mind of Buddy Rich, then you'll get it.  Sure some of Buddy's ideas have become cliche's, that is the stuff others are able to play, but they were Buddy's ideas.  I think it is safe to say that Buddy Rich has more imitators, who themselves are great drummers, than any other drummer in history.  I only wish that I had the physical gift to try to be a BR imitator.

And if nothing else, Buddy had great taste in other drummers.  According to Buddy, Steve Gadd was his favorite drummer, besides himself, I'm sure.

Ratamatatt

Ratamatatt

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I would bet the two big V's (Virgil and Vinnie) have faster hands - not like that makes a drummer good, anyhow.

The only drummer I've seen who might have faster hands than Buddy (but not the stamina) is Danny Gottleib in concert with Pat Metheny.

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RelientKngOdrums

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buddy was a true monster on the kit. the only way to describe his skill is insane. whether it's monster chops, or light jazz, he's got it.

Ratamatatt

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I won't mention which website, but there is one which starts with the letter "k" that you can download a video of Buddy on a TV show in 1965.  Do a search for "video" on "Jerry Lewis" and look for a drum battle between him and Buddy Rich

Ive done that ... amazing technique !!

Its actually everything ive heard of buddy rich.
I would like some tips for albums to buy ( or go to the k website  ;D ) to hear some more of him playing. Anyone got something to recommend ? I would really appreciate it

There are 4 recent complilations of the Best of BR.  One that I have is called "The Pacific Years" one is called "Big Swing Face" one is called "Wham" and I'm not sure of the other.  If you buy one, the liner notes should tell you about the others.  As for speed, check out the 4 bar single stroke roll toward the end of "Love For Sale" on the Pacific Years album.  OMG!  He's a freak of nature.

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Offline Mister Acrolite

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There are 4 recent complilations of the Best of BR.  One that I have is called "The Pacific Years" one is called "Big Swing Face" one is called "Wham" and I'm not sure of the other.  

 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/b00000db1h/002-0247112-6304865]THIS  is my favorite BR compilation. It was released in the 70's as a double album called SuperPak, but now it's on a single CD called The Buddy Rich Collection. It doesn't have any of the big drum-solo staples like West Side or Channel One - just some great big band tunes with Buddy kicking the hell out of them. Great stuff.
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Offline Scott

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Also check out "This One's for Basie."

There is no doubt Buddy KNEW how to swing a band.   8)

Offline Paul DAngelo

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I think I'm the one drummer on this planet who doesn't think Buddy was as good as all the hype.
Look like you possibly may be the only drummer on the planet that thinks that.  

He did it all and he did a lot of it first.  I agree with Mr_A about Virgil Donati, the one time (only once, I admit) I saw him, his solos were unbelievable, his band's music was boring.

Is Louis Armstrong any less of a legend because there are trumpet players that are technically better than he was, or is his artisitic ability called into play?

Except for obvious examples where someone is just learning to play, it's incredibly inaccurate to "compare" any two artists.
When you're going through Hell, keep going.  (Winston Churchill)

Han Steevo

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For the Nth time... I only compared Virgil's speed to Buddy (which IS faster, btw - I'd like to hear Buddy approach 16ths at 300bpm with singles).  Vinnie Colaiuta, on the other hand, I do believe is a better drummer all-round than Buddy.  He's faster and has a more advanced feel.  Buddy was good - very good - for his time.  There are many drummers now that smoke him.  Sorry guys.   :-\

If you guys don't see that, then you need to remove the blinders.

RelientKngOdrums

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For the Nth time... I only compared Virgil's speed to Buddy (which IS faster, btw - I'd like to hear Buddy approach 16ths at 300bpm with singles).  Vinnie Colaiuta, on the other hand, I do believe is a better drummer all-round than Buddy.  He's faster and has a more advanced feel.  Buddy was good - very good - for his time.  There are many drummers now that smoke him.  Sorry guys.   :-\

If you guys don't see that, then you need to remove the blinders.

ignorance isn't bliss in this case  ::)


Damo_Syzygy

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As much of a prick that Buddy was, he was an insanely talented prick.

Im with the majority here. I was not old enough to remember Buddy Rich but his stuff is still accessible and its mind boggling what he can do. I have met Virgil Several times, aswell as watched him practise on a 3 hour stint, and I can tell you he's also amazing, but no buddy.

Keep in mind also that the requirements of the day were a lot different. Its very easy these days to just slap on another tom or cymbal and create new sounds, but guys like Buddy were pioneers in doing more with less, that alone is worth credit.

RelientKngOdrums

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han steevo... if you truly believe what you're saying about Virgil having better chops than Buddy, you should email him.  I think it'd be cool to see what Virgil says about it. I will garantee that he's humble enough to know that he hasn't met buddy's hands, at least not yet.  I'm not being sarcastic or mean at all with this request, i'm being sincere. I think it be cool to email him, and afterward, copy and paste to let us check out what he says.

Gadda

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I just wanted to say thanks for the buddy rich albums recommendations you guys gave.

Now its time to go to the record store  ;D

Ratamatatt

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For the Nth time... I only compared Virgil's speed to Buddy (which IS faster, btw - I'd like to hear Buddy approach 16ths at 300bpm with singles).  Vinnie Colaiuta, on the other hand, I do believe is a better drummer all-round than Buddy.  He's faster and has a more advanced feel.  Buddy was good - very good - for his time.  There are many drummers now that smoke him.  Sorry guys.   :-\

If you guys don't see that, then you need to remove the blinders.

Han, I'm sorry to have to say this man but, I'm afraid it's confirmed - you're insane.  But seriously, if you believe what you've said, you just havn't listened to Buddy.  When it comes to pure chops, he's a freak of nature.  There is no one else who can do it like Buddy.  That's not to say that Vinnie isn't also a freak of nature in a different way (I've never heard Virgil Donati play so I have no opinion about him), but he simply can't play like Buddy Rich.  IMHO, as great as Vinnie is, and as great of a chart reader as he is, he's not one of the 10 best big band drummers today.  BR was the best big band drummer ever.  If you don't like the big band sound, and many young drummers don't, that's another matter.  

To prove my point, check out the tribute to Buddy Rich with Steve Gadd, Dave Weckle and Vinnie playing with the Buddy Rich Big Band.  They're all great, but they can't play like BR.  They don't have his hands, his sound, his attitude or his musical sensibilities.  As much of a curmudgeon as Buddy was when he got older, you'll notice that when BR was playing, he's always got a broad smile on his face with his huge mouth full of  teeth showing.  And his smile reflected his musical taste.  BR's musical taste was impecible.  IMHO, I've never heard him play a note that wasn't the right note to play at the time he played it.  To further prove my point, if you want to check out a guy who I think has a claim to the best "living" big band drummer, check out Duffy Jackson - a former Buddy Rich student.  There's nobody out there today who can swing like Duffy, nobody.

Don't give up Han, I truly believe there's hope for you.  (Psst, pass the thorazine, quick)!

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