This crack sextet recording by Buddy Rich is one of the long lost treasures in his vast discography as a leader, featuring a band he took on a State Department-sponsored tour of the Far East and Asia not long after the recording sessions were completed for this album. The band includes flutist Sam Most, trumpeter Rolf Ericson (who achieved his greatest fame with Duke Ellington), Wyatt Ruther (previously a sideman with Dave Brubeck), vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, and the somewhat obscure pianist Johnny Morris. Rich's pulsing drums are right in front in their aggressive arrangement of Horace Silver's blues "Blowin' the Blues Away," in which each soloist seems stimulated by the musician preceding him. "Caravan" begins with the leader's thunderous solo, though it quickly softens with Rich taking a backseat to Most and Ruther; the remainder of the band makes a delayed entrance. Mainieri contributed the exciting blues "Young Blood," which showcases his best solo on the date. The vibraphonist is also the featured soloist in the mellow interpretation of "I Remember Clifford," where he is backed by the haunting blend of trumpet and flute, with Rich staying very much in the background. Reissued as a limited-edition CD by Verve in 2005, this should be considered an essential Buddy Rich recording.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden