Re: The Grand Master Buddy Rich
I won't argue or dispute Buddy's ability in other genres of music; as has been said, his ego and narrow-minded taste in music got in the way of his ever developing good rock or Latin rhythms, and it's pointless to debate whether or not he could have if he had tried to.
However, I thought I'd post on here addressing another issue that was brought up earlier: Buddy's having been one of the first "fast" drummers (that is, someone whose speed is marvelled as much as their actual skill; as opposed to the "musical" drummer). I'd agree with that statement, that Buddy did overdo it--I once read in an interview him saying that he played so fast because he "wanted to get the hell off the stage"--and though it never bothered me, I can surely see it bothering some people. However, I saw a CD at Border's today that I absolutely had to buy--Buddy playing with trumpeter Sweets Edison in a jazz quintet in 1955. Finally, I can hear Buddy's playing outside of the big band genre--and, though this is still swing and certainly not rock or Latin or country or anything like that, Buddy's skill certainly wasn't all in his "fast chops." The CD opens with "Yellow Rose of Brooklyn," four-and-a-half minutes of drums, and the solo, I think, at times rivals in "musicality" some of Joe Morello's solos--to name one well-known to Drummerworld, his rendition of "Take Five." Not all flashes and explosions: some great soft stuff, great melody. The rest of the album features just some excellent swing/jazz grooves, the more subtle kind that you don't normally hear from Buddy because all you can find in stores or online anymore are his big band numbers (which makes sense, as that was his forté, or at least his most common style, especially from the 60s onward--the "Swingin' New Big Band" years where most of his well-known recordings of today come from).
Just thought I'd throw that out. I've always been a huge Buddy Rich fan, and am glad to say that I can finally hear a good deal of his softer, more jazzy side (well, you know what I mean, anyway).