This is an excellent collection of Buddy Rich compiled from his tenure with Liberty Records in the '70s. As is typical of Great Britain's BGO label, the sound quality is excellent, there are decent liner notes and the tune selection is impeccable and includes Rich's fantastic readings of Burt Bacharach's "Alfie," Johnny Burke's "Preach and Teach," Bobby Troup's "The Meaning of the Blues," and a hyper modern take on Vernon Duke's nugget "I Just Can't Get Started." Rich was able to take the big band into very progressive areas, and other cuts, such as the arrangement of Bill Holman's "Winning the West," illustrate why. Holman, along with Oliver Nelson, Bill Potts, Don Sebesky, and Don Menza were some of those who wrote charts for the group. This band not only swung, they used elements of Kenton's advanced harmonics, Duke Ellington's blues roots, and the sheer dynamic, in-your-face verve of the Don Ellis bands. Add to this the personnel Rich was lucky enough to work with at the time -- he would claim it was they who were lucky to work with him -- and it's no surprise these sides burn: Richie Cole, Art Pepper, Ernie Watts, Bobby Shew, Chuck Findley, Pat La Barbera and John Boice, just to name a few. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek