Originally Posted by Henry II
Without a doubt, there is no other drummer who had, or has, the musical vocabulary that Buddy Rich had.
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.