Is Buddy Rich REALLY the greatest drummer of all time?

steadypocket

Gold Member
Buddy was much more of a musician that any modern drummer.
Have you listened to how Simon Phillips and Gavin Harrison manage to create the perfect drum part to complement whatever genre they’re playing? How adept was Buddy outside of the big band genre? Buddy had great hands. Today’s greats have great hands AND feet. Buddy would be lost trying to replicate some of the independence mastery that Thomas Lang demonstrates.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..the independence mastery that Thomas Lang demonstrates..

Just too bad that he almost never plays something that shows some musical taste..

To me a typical example of a guy that studied hours and hours all the possible tricks, but completely fails to actually being able to play something that is also nice to listen to..
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
You said t before I got the chance!!!

The modern mentality is all about technical tricks and not about creating a sound within an ensemble. The folks coming out of the jazz realm playing with small and large jazz ensembles know how to do it; others pass off intricate tricks and licks as greatness, ignoring complimenting the ensemble sound. They just don't get it.

Not sure who it was - one of the old greats from 50's/60's 70's - said to become a great drummer you must practice playing songs and pieces with a band and learn how to play with other musicians. It's a musical conversation on stage.


Just too bad that he almost never plays something that shows some musical taste..

To me a typical example of a guy that studied hours and hours all the possible tricks, but completely fails to actually being able to play something that is also nice to listen to..
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
And yes Buddy was very adept outside of the big band genre: he played with small jazz trios/quartets etc. as well as larger jazz bands and big bands. What other genres were there at the time? And, there isn't anything harder to play a kit with than those genres.
 

no talent

Senior Member
All that big band and jazz stuff he played was 5 measures of hi hat and then an accented snare on 4. he was only an amazing soloist and thats it. AND because he was a self marketing whore, we only saw him on every talk show and Carson every week. im sure his contemporaries at the time, Roach, Bellson and those guys could hang with their bands too, buddy was only special as a soloist.
I never get tired of watching videos of his solos, i dont even understand what hes doing.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
You don't know what you're talking about. You're talking about Buddy in late 60's and 70's. The dude started playing professionally in the 30's. He played on an album with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie in 1950. He was a session drummer, too. You probably don't have a turntable, so get some CD's of Buddy Rich and various bands, ensembles, and recordings from 40's and 50's and listen. Greatest? I dunno. I do know he was a hellofalot better than a lot of you folks give him credit for because you only know showman Buddy on The Tonight Show, not session and jazz drummer Buddy from 30's 40's and 50's.

Also full disclosure: I'm biased. I ate pizza with Buddy in early 70's. Really. True story.

All that big band and jazz stuff he played was 5 measures of hi hat and then an accented snare on 4. he was only an amazing soloist and thats it. AND because he was a self marketing whore, we only saw him on every talk show and Carson every week. im sure his contemporaries at the time, Roach, Bellson and those guys could hang with their bands too, buddy was only special as a soloist.
I never get tired of watching videos of his solos, i dont even understand what hes doing.
 

no talent

Senior Member
You don't know what you're talking about. You're talking about Buddy in late 60's and 70's. The dude started playing professionally in the 30's. He played on an album with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie in 1950. He was a session drummer, too. You probably don't have a turntable, so get some CD's of Buddy Rich and various bands, ensembles, and recordings from 40's and 50's and listen. Greatest? I dunno. I do know he was a hellofalot better than a lot of you folks give him credit for because you only know showman Buddy on The Tonight Show, not session and jazz drummer Buddy from 30's 40's and 50's.

Also full disclosure: I'm biased. I ate pizza with Buddy in early 70's. Really. True story.
I wouldn't admit eating pizza with that a@%hole. his discussion about how beneath him rock drummers were really turned me off and woke me up to the person. Anyway, i do have a turntable but that music, jazz,big band, again hi hat for 2 min, then an accented snare does nothing for me so i wouldn't waste my money. a give him a ton of credit, i used to think he was way above everyone else, a god, nowadays, guys are just better than he was even in his prime. i don't care who or what he played on, not impressed. i know he played better than me when he was only 4 years old but im not pretending to be in his league, just comparing him to whats out there now.
 

Texan

Member
I guess "no-talent" knows more than Peart, Weckl, Bonham, Krupa, etc. His description of jazz says he either hasn't listened or doesn't know how to listen to it.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
All that big band and jazz stuff he played was 5 measures of hi hat and then an accented snare on 4.
This is the kind of crap that should get people banned from the site. I thought this wasn't supposed to be the kind of forum where people can say any old garbage.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
This is the kind of crap that should get people banned from the site. I thought this wasn't supposed to be the kind of forum where people can say any old garbage.
Buddy was equally disrespectful of rock drumming. And truly, there are a number of guys who can, from a sheerly technical standpoint, outplay him today. He was rude and often a jerk. This is just his karma coming back on him.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I don't care about any of that, or about your assessment of anyone's abilities. The comment I quoted was offensively uninformed. Doesn't belong on a site for musicians.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I don't care about any of that, or about your assessment of anyone's abilities. The comment I quoted was offensively uninformed. Doesn't belong on a site for musicians.
I like you and your blog, but Buddy wouldn't have made it one day amongst us humans or "musicians" on any site.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Buddy wouldn't have made it one day amongst us humans or "musicians" on any site.
I don't know what that means. I don't think people who clearly know NOTHING about music, like the person I quoted below, should be aggressively judging any player's abilities on this site. That's all.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I don't know what that means. I don't think people who clearly know NOTHING about music, like the person I quoted below, should be aggressively judging any player's abilities on this site. That's all.
As in, he would be the as absolutist he was and would shit on anyone who didn't agree with his opinion. I only base this off of interviews I've seen of his opinion regarding every style of music aside from jazz or big band. The ban hammer would swing instantly.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Obviously I can't speak for the absolute boss. I can only assume that he would be a dick. I still study him and Philly the most. Almost equal parts of Bellson and Krupa as well.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
For me he's the greatest. But isn't he the best? Not so sure about that.

It's all subjective anyway I guess.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
For me he's the greatest. But isn't he the best? Not so sure about that.

It's all subjective anyway I guess.
I think we have determined that Buddy was a great drummer. And he is worth studying depending on what kind of music you want to play. And he is amazing to watch and it is great fun watching him play. With Buddy, we need to separate drumming technique and personality. In fact there have been several great drummers and other great musicians that are not good role models. For instance we would be having the same type of discussion if the question was “Is Jim Morrison the greatest rock singer of all time.” Should all rock singers try to emulate Jim Morrison.

My only problem with the original question here is the “of all time” part. If he was the best of all time then there will never ever be a better drummer.
That thought would be kind of depressing.


.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I think we have determined that Buddy was a great drummer. And he is worth studying depending on what kind of music you want to play. And he is amazing to watch and it is great fun watching him play. With Buddy, we need to separate drumming technique and personality. In fact there have been several great drummers and other great musicians that are not good role models. For instance we would be having the same type of discussion if the question was “Is Jim Morrison the greatest rock singer of all time.” Should all rock singers try to emulate Jim Morrison.

My only problem with the original question here is the “of all time” part. If he was the best of all time then there will never ever be a better drummer.
That thought would be kind of depressing.


.

I agree. My post included a typo as it should have read "But is he the best?"

He was a phenomenal, absolute force of nature. Quite rightly is still being spoke about and looked up to. I'd recommend any young player, regardless of the style of music they are interested in, checks him out still.

I'd also at the same time recommend they'd check out other Jazz greats (Elvin, Max, Tony, Gene, Art, Philly..etc etc) all of which are from the same time period but offer something completely different to Buddy. Each though just as amazing in their own individual way.

Not getting into the personality stuff though. Not a point on this thread I'm really interested in : )

Another thing (mostly unrelated) I will add is that often non drummers will recommend I check out a drummer they've seen clips of, "a guy called Buddy Rich" . Never fails to raise a chuckle when that occasionally happens.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I think we have determined that Buddy was a great drummer. And he is worth studying depending on what kind of music you want to play. And he is amazing to watch and it is great fun watching him play. With Buddy, we need to separate drumming technique and personality. In fact there have been several great drummers and other great musicians that are not good role models. For instance we would be having the same type of discussion if the question was “Is Jim Morrison the greatest rock singer of all time.” Should all rock singers try to emulate Jim Morrison.

My only problem with the original question here is the “of all time” part. If he was the best of all time then there will never ever be a better drummer.
That thought would be kind of depressing.
That's more or less the crux of why I started this thread. It's the "of all time" part. I was never questioning Buddy's greatness, just whether he's ever been surpassed after all these years.

But I agree with some of the responders, in that from everything I've read and heard, it seems that he could be a real ass in person. Does that diminish his drumming skills? No, of course not. But it does seem to tarnish his legacy to some degree.
 
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