Buddy gets funky (with background singers)
James A. Vedda | Alexandria, VA USA | 12/01/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This album is well produced and includes some great musicians, but it's not what Buddy Rich fans have come to expect from their favorite drummer and the outstanding ensembles he led during the 1960s and 70s. During that period, Buddy tried to keep up with what was going on in pop music by including popular tunes and so-called jazz-rock arrangements in his book. The results were sometimes remarkably good, sometimes remarkably disappointing. This album, released in 1976 just as disco music was taking hold in pop culture, has a little of both.
In the Buddy-gets-funky category, there's "Speak No Evil," "Fight the Power," "Sophisticated Lady," "Sneakin' Up Behind You," and "How Long." These are characterized by prominent rock guitar lines, repetitive ensemble figures, equally repetitive background vocals, and familiar rock drum beats that don't require the skills of "the world's greatest drummer." If you're looking for some hot tracks for your next disco party, these are dy-no-mite. But they're definitely not big band jazz.
The best track on the CD, and the most faithful to the Buddy Rich sound, is "Storm at Sunup," which starts slow and picks up the tempo half way through. It's also the only track in which Buddy solos. The remaining three tracks ("Yearnin' Learnin'," "Love Me Now," and "Games People Play") are decent arrangements that sound like something you'd hear from the Saturday Night Live band. All the arrangements on the album were done by the same person, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's written for the SNL band.
Noteworthy soloists include Jerry Dodgian, Dave Tofani, Joe Farrell, and Rich's long-time tenor man Steve Marcus on saxes; Jon Faddis and Lew Soloff on trumpets; and New York studio stalwart Wayne Andre on trombone.
If you're a Buddy Rich collector, you may want to have this commercial-style studio album to round out your collection. If you just want to sample the best of Buddy, look for the big band albums he did during 1966-72, especially "Swingin' New Big Band," "The New One," "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," "Keep the Customer Satisfied," and "Rich in London.""
Speak no evil about "Speak no evil".
Jazzcat | Genoa, Italy Italy | 10/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wounded Bird is a record company dedicated to the reissue of lost albums, albums that the major would not reprint for a reason or another, but that are very sought by the collectors, generally speaking. This is the case with "Speak no evil" by the great, late, Buddy Rich, as we all know, the world's greatest drummer. This album was released in the seventies and you can clearly feel the influence of the period on Buddy's charts choice. The arrangements are all on the funky jazzy side. It's not the big band sound one commonly associate with a Jazz musician such as Buddy was. This is something different. Very often there's a back beat feel but everything still swings in Buddy's hands. "Speak No Evil" music is still explosive like the best Buddy's efforts but it has a strong funky feel that personally I like very much. There are even some vocalists that make nice choruses sometimes behind the band. Among the musicians involved here you'll find a great Kenny Barron at the electric piano. I know that most Buddy's lovers would find this album weak, due to its funky feeling, but I don't agree. Buddy was splendid everything he played. "Speak no evil" makes no exception! (The cover is very beautiful and inside you'll find the famous Buddy's picture in a lovely Kung Fu suite! Very Kill Bill, very Tarantino!!!)"
Probably the worst Rich recording of all time
R. Viehdorfer | Arvada CO | 06/28/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I was mortified when this was released initially in the 70's - what was he thinking??? This had to be RCA trying to boost pop sales was all I could figure out. Beyond the fact that you can barely hear Buddy, what with the bizarre engineering, weird sound effects, and the like, the charts are completely forgettable, and the second drummer/percussionist is front and center on every track - you can't really tell where Buddy starts and Morris Jennings stops. How Long has to be the single worst track I've ever heard - it's more of a novelty than serious music. Buy this to round out your collection only if you are deaf! The most insipid, pointless recording of his career, bar none, and I'm being charitable.
Forget this and buy Buddy Rich Plays and Plays and Plays instead. Now that is a true 5 STAR recording."