"Don Menza's prime chart "Groovin' Hard" is found twice on this reamstered CD, in the originally issued version and an alternate take. Even the original is altered a bit with a 30 second piano solo restored at the beginning. It actually gives the performance a different and even more satisfying feel. But "Groovin' Hard" is an apt way to describe the whole recording. Rich drives the band with unrelenting energy and trememdous swing. Every chart is intense but most enjoyable. Listen to "Keep the Customer Satsified" or the previously unreleased "Happy Time." You'll want to cheer along with the live audience. The fine soloists include altoists Richie Cole, Jimmy Mosher, trombonist Rick Stepton, and tenor Pat Labarbera featured on a previously unreleased Menza arrangement of "Body and Soul." The remastered sound is wonderful and the "live" tracks sound even better than the one studio recorded track, "Midnight Cowboy Medley." There is however, ONE MAJOR OMISSION from this release and that is Dean Pratt's track-by-track commentary which so enhanced the previous Rich Pacific Jazz releases. So c'mon Capitol, WHAT HAPPENED?"
Buddy Rich Band's New Peak
Dobrydney | Shelton, Connecticut United States | 02/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Buddy and his super - tight 1970 outfit really do themselves proud in this hot set recorded in Las Vegas. Several of the charts are by the great Bill Holman (Keep the Customer Satisfied, Midnight Cowboy, and the humorous Winning the West) and a few by a great writer from that period, Don Piestrup. The band boasts outstanding section playing and inspired soloists (namely Pat LaBarbera on tenor and Rick Stepton on trombone), and the greatest big band drummer of all time. Blue Note has done a great job with this series of Buddy Rich Pacific Jazz reissues and this was the last in that series. Rumour has it, however, that there is some late 1960's live material recorded at Ronnie Scott's in London that is still in the can. One can only hope that this material will see the light of day. For now, however, this blazing set will do just fine. No one booted a big band like Buddy --- NO ONE !!!"
Keep The Customer Satisfied - Buddy Rich
Norman Zierler | New Hartford, NY United States | 02/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thank heaven Pacific Jazz (thanks to former Buddy trumpeter Dean Pratt) is rereleasing Buddy's big band albums of the 60's and
early 70's. On this CD Buddy comes out blazing as usual and never lets up. The arrangements are tight and swinging, and Buddy drives the band with his unmatched power. Listen to the
driving 3/4 time of Long Day's Journey, then get rocked by Don Menza's arrangement of Groovin Hard. Before you have a chance to catch your breath, your blown away by Roger Neuman's chart for
The Juicer is Wild and Bill Holman's Winning the West. DYNAMITE!!"
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 04/04/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There was a brief 2-3 year period in the late sixties and early seventies, between ""West Side Story" and "Channel One Suite," when Rich's was practically a rock band, the drums continuing to play even between tunes. With the jazz crowd insisting he had sold out and the rock contingency equally insistent that Rich didn't understand rock 'n roll, I remember going to a rather small Milwaukee club, The Attic, to find out for myself. I couldn't hear for several days afterward (my first lesson in the practicality of ear plugs for certain types of musical events).
Richie Cole's was the dominant solo voice, a sound that could cut through the din and an altoist who could play pretty much anything with anybody (even with a solipsist guitarist whose chords and tempos were so out of sight, he was called "Da Animal"). But it was far from a satisfying experience, and Buddy must have sensed as much, because by 1972-73 he was back in the groove, proving once again that swing was the thing.
Fortunately, this album has a couple of good arrangements by Menza and Holman (and the listener has a volume control), but this should be far from anyone's first choice to represent Rich (I wouldn't even put it in Buddy's top ten, especially if you go back to his work on Verve with Bird, Diz, Ella, Louis, Lester, Lionel, Tatum, etc.)."
Keeping me very satisfied!
Samuel Chell | 02/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What memories! After hearing these songs again for the 1st time in over 30 years, I am transported back to a great time. I had the great pleasure of seeing Buddy and his band in action many times. Listen to "Celebration". Sax solos by Richie Cole (alto) and Pat LaBarbara (tenor) are simply beautiful. Truly, one of Buddy's best bands and best albums."