Definitive Buddy Rich
Marc Lombardi | Harleysville, PA | 05/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, I believe if you want to hear one CD that defines the best of Buddy's sound and energy this is the one. It was released in the US as Rich in London in the 70's with the same cover photo (I wore out my vinyl copy) but fewer tracks and in a different order, so this more complete version has more music and the benefits of remastering. If you have the original, yes, it is worth getting this version too. I believe this is Buddy's strongest trumpet section with Lin Biviano carrying the lead. The complexity of some of the charts, particularly Little Train and Time Being, goes well beyond swinging and reveals how tight this band really was. And Buddy's solos show him at his peak of speed and agility.
The recording quality is excellent, as were most of Buddy's other live recordings. We're very fortunate that Buddy recorded live as often as he did. Having seen his various bands at least a dozen times I can say a live recording is the only way to come close to capturing the energy and intensity.
So okay, there is one cut - the one with Buddy's daughter Kathy singing - that you may want to skip. I give her credit, she sounds a lot better than she did when she sang The Beat Goes On on an earlier album. I nearly saw her perform with the band live once and perhaps my impression could have been changed. But clearly this was all about a loving father giving his daughter a chance in the spotlight.
Also, check out Wham! Live and No Funny Hats for excellent live performances of the later bands.
The "complete" Rich In London
R. Viehdorfer | Arvada CO | 01/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With concert jazz bands of this quality virtually extinct nowadays, I'd consider this to be essential to any big band library, certainly a necessity for any post-bop big band collection. I consider this 2 CD set to be the definitive version of the original RCA release up to now, and it's been long overdue. That's because there is more music (some of it forgettable, in this reviewers opinion) than the original U.S. release on vinyl so many years ago, or on the Mosaic re-release of that material (although the liner notes on that release are quite good). Sound quality is about the same on both the 'regular' CD re-issue of Rich In London (BMG import), the Mosaic release, and this 2-CD set. Years ago, I was openly disdainful of this dates sonic quality; I've revised my original opinion and now view it more favorably - the CD reissue has improved it. In comparison to some of the Pacific Jazz releases, this recordings' quality stands out as being more transparent and less muddy, especially in full 'shout' passages; the sections are more discernible, and the soloists are better balanced in the overall mix. While I somewhat prefer the recorded quality of Buddy's drums on, say, Mercy Mercy, or even Keep The Customer Satisfied, this recording sounds more honest, at least in terms of the acoustics of a live club date. One of the very few big band recordings, live or otherwise, which doesn't require fiddling with the tone controls, and doesn't sound as if it's been overly compressed. A live recording that has stood the test of time - I have friends who openly say this is probably the best overall recording of the Buddy Rich Big Band. You be the judge.
Some of these charts stood the test of time, being in the band book until the end. Dancing Men, The Word, In a Mellowtone - there are quite a few here that are essential to the Rich library. The added bonus, as anyone who has ever heard some of the on-stage recordings of Buddy chatting with the audience knows, are the Buddy Rich Speaks segments, longer than on the original U.S. release. Bottom line: this recording should be in every jazz aficionado's collection."
This is the CD to have!
Charles Braun | Warminster, PA United States | 12/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the only CD of this title to purchase. It is the only disc that is a complete reissue of the original RCA LP record. Others have released abridged versions, but this two disc set is complete. The band and Buddy are on fire here and pulled out the all the stops to present exciting musical nights at Ronnie Scott's. Highly recommended!"