Re: The Grand Master Buddy Rich
This thread has been an interesting mix of opinions (educated and not).
Buddy played with the people who are considered legends: Louis Armstrong
Count Basie, Bunny Berigan, Irving Berlin, Benny Carter, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Dorsey Brothers,Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, Roy Eldridge, Duke Ellington,
Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman,
Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman, Harry James, Stan Kenton, Jimmy McGriff, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, Artie Shaw, Bud Powell, Mel Tormé, Art Tatum, Lester Young,
Sorry for the exhaustive list, and that's just a taste, but greatness is a combination of ability, talent and body of work. That list of names represents the three criteria I listed. Buddy wouldn't have had the longevity nor would he have played with the greats without being an extraordinary musician (and one of the greats himself). If you don't have an understanding of the greatness represented in the list of artists, then a good portion of the discussion is lost.
You may not like Buddy's style, and that's ok, but that does not change the fact that he is one of the greatest artists that make up the tapestry of American music history and shaped how drummers approached the drums. Much like Gene Krupa did before him and Baby Dodds before him.
If you have to question Buddy's musicality, then you haven't listened to him. Watch his Montreal Jazz festival DVD. A really great look at his speed, power, touch, his great techique, his ability to play for the song and drive a big band.
And for his solos consisting soley of fast single strokes, take another look. His snare and cymbal work is loaded with more than just single stroke.
I like Buddy's drumming. I am always blown away with what he can do with his feet and hands when soloing, but it's his drumming in context of the music that is really what makes me appreciate his talent.
Listen to the Burning For Buddy cd's, then listen to those same songs with Buddy playing. There is definitely a spark and drive missing without Buddy. The one guy who kick serious ass on those cd's is Marvin "Smitty" Smith - Wow!
Anyway, that's my take.