This quote says it ALL!
"Karen Carpenter was a more accomplished player than most people realized. No less a figure than Buddy Rich considered her to be a superior player. "I remember one time when Karen and I went to see Buddy's band," says Cubby O'Brien. "I knew Buddy fairly well, so before the show I took her backstage to meet him. I said, 'Buddy, this is Karen Carpenter.' He said, 'Karen Carpenter, do you know that you're one of my favorite drummers?' As tough as Buddy could be on drummers sometimes, he always respected someone who played the instrument well."
How many drummers can boast of receiving an accolade from Buddy? And knowing Buddy, he wasn't just "being nice to the girl."
As great a drummer as Karen was, she was a legendary singer, with a deep, rich bottom that belonged on a 40-year old singer with a three pack a day habit.
One can only imagine how her career would have transpired. Who knows, she could have led a big band, playing like Buddy, then getting out from behind the drums and sing like Billie. Don't believe me? Check out THIS link...
A duet of This Masquerade
with the immortal Ella Fitzgerald. I would KILL to have this in its entirety...