Jazz at the Philharmonic

Gene Krupa & Buddy Rich

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Drum battles are always much better live than on record. For this Jazz at the Philharmonic LP, the emphasis is on the soloing of both Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa. Rich is heard in 1954 driving an all-star group (with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton and the Oscar Peterson Trio) which climaxes with Hampton apparently jumping on his own set of drums. Gene Krupa in 1952 plays "Drum Boogie" in a trio with altoist Willie Smith and pianist Hank Jones and at the same concert Rich has a solo on "Cottontail" that is preceded by short spots from trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Charlie Shavers, altoist Benny Carter, and the tenors of Lester Young and Flip Phillips. Krupa joins the band on second drums during a brief version of "Perdido" that is a feature for Phillips's honking and the two drummers have the stage to themselves on a mercifully brief piece accurately titled "The Drum Battle." Of the ten JATP releases, this is the least significant but it still has its fun moments.