Originally Posted by finnhiggins
I'm not buying that.
He's an astounding player and his chops are phenomenal. But musical vocabulary? He's not a patch on Vinnie Colaiuta in that respect, to name but one. He never had much in the way of rock chops, indeed he expressed great loathing for the style on many occasions. I've never seen footage of him playing any convincing latin material either. And likewise I don't recall seeing any of Elvin or Tony's innovations making their way into his jazz time playing.
He was an enormous big band drummer, there's few who could touch him on that ground. And his soloing chops were jaw dropping too. But if you're going to put him forward as the kind of stylistic versility and musical vocabulary then we're going to have to disagree. His range was really rather limited compared to many drummers today, he just had astounding control inside that range.
Vinnie Colaiuta isn't in Buddy Rich's league when it comes to musical phrasing. Buddy could play a tidal wave of endless phrases at 100mph without repeating himself. No one can or could do that like Buddy Rich. Perhaps Duffy Jackson comes close. Buddy Rich is not only the greatest musician to ever sit behind a drum kit. He may be the greatest musician who ever lived, of any instrument, any genre. When you think of the greatest musicians who ever lived, who do you think of? Arthur Rubinstein, Vladamir Horowitz, Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin, Andres Segovia, Harry James, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Joe Pass, Ray Brown, Glenn Miller. None of them were better at their art than Buddy was at his. Buddy Rich was as great a genius as any of them. Maybe greater.
Vinnie has never, and will never, have a musical thought that Buddy hasn't played 1,000 times. JMHO.
PS: And Buddy could sing and dance.