Superb recording of a superb big band
R. Viehdorfer | Arvada CO | 11/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have an unopened copy of this recording that I bought years ago, and am excited that this has finally been made available, even if as an import without bonus tracks or expanded liner notes. This band, which built into the band that was featured on another fine (and hard to get) Rich album called the Class of '78, featured a wealth of great soloists and charts, with arrangements by Sam Nestico, Bob Mintzer, Don Menza, and others. Hopefully they will have corrected the discography and liner note errors that existed in the original release.
Soloists of note include Barry Keiner, a virtuoso pianist, Steve Marcus leading the sax section, Dean Pratt and Rick Stepton in the brass sections, and of course the young man behind the drums. Ya Gotta Try, a Count Basie staple arranged by Sam Nestico, has never been done better by anyone, and the band simply cooks on the Don Menza chart Time Out. No Jive is a rock inspired heavy lifter that features Buddy as well as superb ensemble playing. Lush Life is the ballad of the set, and it's marvelous throughout, especially the use of dynamics, always a plus for this band.
This recording was noted, at the time, as being the best sounding big band recording in years. No small wonder, considering that Keith Grant later recorded the two direct-to-disc dates with Buddy, Class of '78 and, along with Mel Torme, Together Again For The First Time.
Superb music. Buy it."
Great Buddy Rich Band Album
Pat Nava | San Francisco, CA | 12/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, I need to correct one of the reviewers about Don Menza; he didn't play on this album, he wrote the arrangement 'Time Out.' Steve Marcus and Bob Mintzer were the tenor players.
Barry Kiener's opening piano romp on Sammy Nestico's 'Ya' Gotta' Try' sets off the tempo of a great album; with Steve Marcus and Bob Mintzer trading off (also listen to Marcus and Walt Weiskopf on the "Burnin' for Buddy" album Vol-1). Keiner's rendition of 'Mickey Mouse' is absolutely beautiful. Yes, he was a virtuoso pianist that died so young, (My wife was greatly impressed by his playing when we saw Buddy's Band at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, 1985)
'No Jive' is a jazz-funk favorite of mine and Mintzer makes the most of his arrangement in his solo (listen to Steve Marcus' solo version on 'Burnin for Buddy - Vol 1).
You'll be glad to hear Rick Stepton again in the band (from the Mercy, Mercy Band 1968) playing Lush Life. 'Tales of Rhoda Rat' is fun tune, and Menza's 'Time Out' is the centerpiece with Mintzer on tenor and flute solos, with Konikoff and Pratt on the trumpet solos.
Great music on a great sounding album.
Personnel: trumpets -Ross Konikoff, John Marshall, Dean Pratt, Dave Stahl; saxophones - Bob Mintzer, Alan Gauvin, Dean Palanzo, Steve Marcus, Mauro Turso; trombones - Rick Stepton, Clinton Sharman, David Boyle; Keyboards - Barry Kiener; Bass- Jonathan Burr; Guitar - Joshua Rich; Percussion - Erroll Bennett; AND OF COURSE, on Drums - BUDDY RICH
James K. Stewart | Louisville, Ky USA | 01/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bless you Wounded Bird Records for issuing this fabulous 70's big band
masterpiece from Buddy Rich finally on cd, and at a great price. Long,
long overdue. Have waited a long time for this one. Except for one very
out-of-place throwaway track ("Kong") which can easily be skipped over,
this session is absolute dynamite. Superb arrangements, soloing, tight
ensemble work from the band, and gorgeous compositions, this is still my
all-time favorite Buddy Rich recording. And beautifully recorded as well.
Rich and this band were so cool. These guys kicked butt on this one.
I'm so glad to finally have this on cd. I played it to death when I had
it on vinyl back in the 70's. The final track, "Mickey Mouse", on solo
piano, is so poignant, tender, and moving after all of the big band charts
before it. It's like a gentle, sensitive glimpse of Buddy from the pia-
nist and a beautiful closing to a fine, fine album. Wounded Bird is an
absolute answered prayer for issuing all of these beautiful, old master-
pieces from those great 70's that I dearly love. And they sound better
than ever. 10 million stars for "Plays and Plays and Plays". Miss you