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Old 01-20-2009, 02:53 AM
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mattsmith mattsmith is offline
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Default Re: Buddy Rich - Away We Go, Drum Solo.

One thing I liked about that solo was the bass drum work. I've never thought Rich got enough credit for all that, because he didn't see bass drum as the interactive hand to foot thing that people just assume today. Among Rich's many talents was tap dancing, a skill he picked up in his vaudeville days, and used in his drumming throughout his life. No less a tap dancer than Sammy Davis Jr. himself once called Rich as good a tap dancer as was in the world at that time.
You hear all that melodicism in his bass drum work, and it serves as the foundation for Rich to superimpose upon it all that uber technical hand stuff. I've always felt it was one of the most interesting traits about his playing, and perhaps the most musical part. It also proves to me how people who see his footwork as something infereior to what happens today are pretty much clueless.

So many get on this kick about how there's nothing but technique in Rich's solos, and in my way of thinking they just don't get it. When you listen to a Buddy Rich solo from the feet on up and not the other way around, you begin to hear his playing in an entirely different light. Sure there will be some pretty smart drummers who will claim none of this is going on, but I've always suspected that they really do hear what I'm saying, and intentionally go the other way because they are really upset about the popular appeal of this kind of drumming. A musical form of technique based drumming that appeals directly to the feelings of the general public isn't always going to be embraced by musicians selling other brands. Just my 2c.

If you really want to hear the tap dancing bass drum approach, listen to that famous swing era audio of Rich playing just 2 bass drums. They sound very similar to the kinds of patterns somebody like Bojangles would dance in those old movies, and they're very, very musical.

We talk a lot about the immense power of Rich's hands, and sure there's no doubt about that. But I've always felt that those sneaky feet of his were what made all that even more effective.
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