Buddy Rich

The Greatest Drummer That Ever Lived With...The Best Band I Ever Had

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Although the title of this reissue is not necessarily accurate (Buddy Rich's 1966 big band was a stronger unit), this is a high-quality jazz album. Rich surprisingly does not solo much (just on Chick Corea's "Fiesta") but the material is strong, the arrangements (by Mike Abene, Frank Perowsky, Tom Boros, Barry Keiner and Barry Mintzer) are colorful, and the soloists are excellent. The 15-piece Buddy Rich big band features Steve Marcus on tenor and soprano, Gary Pribek on tenor, pianist Barry Keiner and trumpeter Dean Pratt and the songs include inventive versions of "Birdland," "Bouncin' with Bud" and Horace Silver's "Cape Verdean Blues." The only weak point to this set is that the playing time is only around 40 minutes since this is a straight reissue of a former LP. Recommended.

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