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Old 08-15-2010, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: The Grand Master Buddy Rich

Originally Posted by Fox622003 View Post
Yeah, it wasn't a very thought out comment. It's true that morals shouldn't get in the way of examining someone's playing. But personally, his playing never impressed me enough for all the hype he's got; and mentioning the fact that everytime you see him, he acts like such a self-important jerk, just seemed to reinforce the question of why is he so revered.

However, to be completely fair, I'm pretty sure your comment about playing behind and ahead of the beat being a myth, a false concept, gets to take the gold home this year ;) .

See to me this is a totally acceptable post, although I don't agree with all of it. I think had you started with this tone everything would have been cool.

Originally Posted by Fox622003 View Post
That's exactly what I said, perhaps you didn't get the sarcasm.
Someone quated Buddy as saying something like he never played outside of the performances, and never practised. As someone who loves the instrument, how could he not play outside performances? So, he just watched TV and picked up girls? Only developed techniques live? Come on...

Rich played for money almost every day of his life for over 60 years. You have to consider the context. Guys from his era played gigs every single day. They didn't play a 4 month tour, take a year off then go out again. With that lifestyle, why would there be a need to play outside of performances?

I'm also with Stan/ he wasn't my favorite either/I'm Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, DeJohnette, Bonham, Blakey, Morello/ although he's certainly the next guy on my own favorite meter. All my favorites are older or dead guys, although I also really like Blade, Carter Beauford and Nasheet Waits now. But whether he's your maxim hero or not, he's required listening and he's deserving of the highest end respect. I can also say without a doubt that learning a lot of his music made me a much better drummer. Some of you who make these sweeping generalizations should try that sometime. It might alter your perspective.

I think where Rich separated himself from others was in his way of mastering the intense technical concepts musically while still remaining exciting both live and on recordings. Believe it or not intensity is a wholly musical concept, and playing like he did while forwarding that kind of energy is a very special thing. Yeah you hear guys play with a lot of chops, but that broad electrical intensity just isn't there.

He was also the pioneer of big band outlining and to me set the bar for that style. Even a hero like Louie Bellson said it. So that's good enough for me.

I sort of laugh when I hear this continual stuff about the technical evolution of drumming because I just don't believe it. All I honestly hear now are technical variations on the Rich concept. And I think it's fair to say that I've heard my share of technical drumming. IMO Rich was the technical bar, and I'm not buying the he couldn't do today's odd rhythm, polyrhythm etc, etc. Anyone who doesn't think Rich couldn't have convincingly adapted to Dream Theater, or the Virgil Donati things is delusional.

That also includes the technical issues that surround many of the great metal guys I have a lot of respect for. To say Rich couldn't have done that had he decided to doesn't feel right to me. You want to hear the first blast beat? Go to the last drum solo of Channel One Suite from the Mercy Mercy album. That was one bass drum without any technical enhancement played at 3:00 in the morning in a Las Vegas casino after he had already played three shows earlier that night. That thing takes off like the frickin space shuttle. Seriously is there really anyone on the planet with that kind of energy in the tank now?

What further confounds me is how these same people who make technical assesments about Rich's playing are the exact same guys who claim on forums that they don't like so much technique. I always found that fascinating.

I think when considering Rich now it's a taste of the month issue. You see this with guys my age in jazz now who have adopted this busy hybrid version of Jack DeJohnette's playing where the music is sort of enveloped instead of pushed along and where bar lines are blurred not always for artistic purposes but to show to the other guys your age the hipness involved with you knowing how to do that, and are also the same people that say you're playing is boxy when you dare locate beat 1. These are the same guys who sit around the Pepsi machine in music school lounges deciding who does or does not get it. And playing like that sounds cool a lot of the time, but to say the other stuff is some inferior version of what's older is incorrect in my view.

I think Rich's legacy suffers from some of that.
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