Buddy Rich

Mercy, Mercy

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This CD reissue brings back the finest all-round recording by Buddy Rich's big band. The original version of "Channel 1 Suite" is a classic and contains tenor saxophonist Don Menza's most memorable solo, plus a couple of brilliant improvisations from the explosive drummer/leader. Another highlight is an inventive Phil Wilson arrangement of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," and even "Alfie" (a melodic feature for altoist Art Pepper) and "Ode to Billie Joe" come across well. In addition to the original LP program, three selections were released for the first time on this CD. "Chelsea Bridge" is particularly significant, for it showcases Pepper, who was making a brief (and unsuccessful) comeback seven years before he finally returned to the scene. This spirited and often-exciting set is a real gem and is essential.

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