CD Review: Buddy Rich – The Solos

Buddy Rich – The Solos
(Lightyear/Lobitos Creek Ranch LTY 54932. CD Review by Eric Ford)

The title tells you all you need to know – nine massive solos from Buddy Rich from performances of either the West Side Story Medley or Channel One Suite on gigs in Canada, the U.S. and Germany in 1976 and 1977. These solos, following the familiar pattern for Buddy Rich’s band, were the climax of each night – and here we have nine of them back-to-back, with just a few bars of the band at either end of each solo. (When we do hear the band, it sounds fantastic).

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The recordings were made by saxophonist Alan Gauvin, and one of the joys of them is that they sound very natural and capture Buddy’s enormous dynamic spectrum. This is most evident on the prolonged buzz rolls, when the snare drum sounds deliciously papery and you can feel as if you’re being wafted around on a cloud. (Check out track 5, especially). Buddy’s awesome hand technique, speed, stamina and ability to orchestrate a prolonged solo not on a pre-conceived form and maintain interest / excitement throughout continue to amaze. Inevitably, there are similarities between the solos but there are also enough differences to make each one worth including. Any Buddy Rich fan who doesn’t already have this is going to want a copy.

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