Barely live at Buddy's Place: anorexic version of Buddy's bi
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 07/25/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Buddy showed countless times that he could be a responsive, sensitive and supportive small-ensemble drummer when Norman Granz practically used him as a Verve house drummer in the '50's, but as this album makes clear he was not cut out to be a small group leader. Even though he's employed a couple of creative, expressive players on this occasion--pianist Kenny Barron and altoist Sonny Fortune--he's thinking in terms of a driving big band, from the uniforms to the electric bass player. This was an interesting experiment, motivated by financial as much as creative considerations, but the results are predictably unsatisfying. The music is strident, narrow, monotextured. It's small wonder that the group along with Buddy's club did not succeed. Count it a blessing that Buddy found his way back to the helm of a swinging big band.
I can think of dozens of unreissued LP's that deserve to be digitized ahead of this one."
The Last Small Group BR ever had
R. Viehdorfer | Arvada CO | 06/19/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One thing to note up-front is that this is NOT the Buddy Rich Big Band. This was a small group (septet) that was organized by Buddy in New York City circa 1974, primarily to play at a club organized around Buddy's musical talents, the big band having been temporarily shelved. The original Buddy's Place, on the 2nd floor over a restaurant named Sams, was a small room with odd globes in the ceiling and a somewhat rudimentary bandstand; Sonny Lester produced these fine recordings which very accurately capture this driving ensemble. Reminiscent of Buddy's small group work in the 60's at Birdland, Sonny Fortune on alto and flute and Sal Nistico on tenor round out the horn players (there are no trumpets or brass in this recording). Fortune was, at that time, also working for Miles Davis, and Nistico had an enviable reputation, having worked most notably with Woody Herman, among others. Both of them display fiery, Coltrane-inspired techniques. Kenny Barron is his usual stellar self; dig his piano work behind Buddy's brushes on Billy's Bounce, my personal favorite on this CD. Speaking of Buddy, he is marvelous throughout. Sierra Lonely is the unexpected cut on this CD, with Horace Silvers' Nica's Dream really ablaze. Anthony Jackson, Jack Wilkins and Jimmy Maeulen round out a dynamic rhythm section. Interestingly, Maelen is well known in rock circles as having recorded with Jimi Hendrix, and went on to become a seasoned studio musician. Numerous additional tracks and alternates have come from these sessions over the intervening years, such as Donna Lee and The Bull . This is the original, and, in my opinion, the best. Buddy's live recordings were always his best work, so grab this while you can!"