Burning for Buddy: A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Rich, Vol. 1 assembles a shifting cast of virtuoso trap-set players sitting in with the Buddy Rich and His Big Band in order to pay tribute to its legendary founder. Some of the musicians come from rock & roll, often with experience in prog rock or rock/jazz fusion (i.e., the Cult/Guns N' Roses' Matt Sorum, Winger/Dixie Dregs' Rod Morgenstein, Rush's Neil Peart, Yes/King Crimson's Bill Bruford). Others made their mark primarily in the jazz world, including Max Roach, Dave Weckl, Billy Cobham, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith, among others. There are also some drummers who are primarily known for their versatile session work, able to play both rock and jazz; while these players' work is almost always competent, they rarely display much individuality. So overall, Burning for Buddy has more of a modern flavor than one might expect, and it's as uneven as most tribute albums, but the high points may make it worth picking up for some.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Huey