Originally Posted by BigSexyPanda
i dont know if this was already talked about in the thread, but basically I was watching this video from Tiger Bill, he has this website he gives free lessons and stuff and in one of his videos he mentions how Buddy Rich wasn't fast. He never had the real speed, he was just really good at tricks, he would add in those extra accents with his bass drum or something to sound fast, but he actually wasn't. I don't know, but I was wondering if anyone else heard this before too? and wondering if Tiger Bill really does know his stuff, he really seems like he does to me, but it might just be me...
First of all, Mike James' website is great and what he said about how Buddy Rich invented this whole direction wer'e talkin' about now is dead on. And in jazz, invention is always the bigger deal than perfecting the invention. This is important to understand 'cause there are some good guys on this forum who think that Buddy Rich is like some relic of the past, who like Gene Krupa created the idea of speed with musicianship, but could never compete with the mutant superheros who have come from that style in today's time like Vinnie C or Virgil Donati, or Weckl.
There was even a guy on the Donati site who said that Virgil would grind Rich into dust. My dad looked at that and said "Any idiot can write on the Internet." To me, Buddy Rich is definately more important because he was the real creator, and the only reason guys like that exist in the first place. And I say this without even thinking about the technique or the obvious greatness of guys like Vinnie C and to some extent Donati.
Now when it comes to this speed issue. I have read about Tiger Bill sayin' this and I know Art Verdi believes this too. And when it comes to raw
speed like just goin full out with rudiments, they know what they are talkin' about 'cause they are 2 of the fastest drummers to ever walk the Earth. But those tricks they talk about Rich doing are to me part of the creation that made Rich the great innovative drummer he will always be.
About where you say Tiger Bill feels Rich really wasn't that fast, what I believe he is really sayin' is that in his opinion Rich is not the fastest to ever live, and that's a different thing altogether. Remember when you are talkin' about speed opinions that come from top 10 WFD guys, your talkin' about absolutes.
But I don't think speed is what made Rich the great player anyway. A long time ago I was told to listen to super early Rich to get the true meaning of how great he was. Like listen to the Artie Shaw band when he played with it in the late 1930s. Then listen to it the year before he joined. The Rich groove made that band a thousand times better and the players are all better 'cause he's there. it was really the first time anybody had ever heard real independence combined with a tight and crisp high-hat. In other words, the start of modern drumming.
On the flip side listen to that Tommy Dorsey guy's band when Rich left. It was never the same. And nobody played fast on that band. His speed was only a piece of the puzzle.
It's funny, Rich has never been my very favorite. I am more into Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. But I always feel like Rich needs to be defended because of some of the opinions that are out there, like how bein' a nasty guy applies to his playing, or how some guy doesn't like the sound of his snare on a West Side Story video. To me the bigger question is why people judge stuff based on these things.