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Old 02-08-2018, 04:42 PM
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Merlin5 Merlin5 is offline
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Default Re: Is Buddy Rich REALLY the greatest drummer of all time?

I think the phrase "one of the greats" would be more appropriate in music.

In sports it's easy to say if someone is the greatest.

"He always came 1st in his races, he was the greatest". Bolt.

"He's the greatest swimmer that ever lived, he won more gold medals than anyone that ever lived." Phelps.

"He's the greatest racing driver, the only person to win 7 world championships." Schumacher.

All the above named the greatest are valid titles because they're based on unbeaten records.

How does one quantify that in music? You could argue that Hal Blaine is the greatest drummer that ever lived because his unbeaten record is actually the amount of records he played on. But it's not the same type of comparison as in sports.

With drumming or any instrument, does one translate "greatest" by technical ability, musicality, versatility? Buddy had great technical ability and of course swung really well. Was he versatile? As I think had been mentioned, he's an amazing big band drummer. But that's the only style of music he played, or that I know of.

Take someone like Jeff Porcaro who's revered by almost every drummer because of his feel and tastefully conceived and well placed fills. Because he's not flying around the kit like Buddy, does this mean he's not as great? Nope. He's playing in a way Buddy simply couldn't. Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, incredibly versatile, musical and tons of chops. Not being flashy for the sake of it, but really saying something.
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