Kevin Nieman | Moorpark, CA United States | 08/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here are the criticisms on this album, and my comments:CRITIQUE #1: The album only 35 minutes long.
RESPONSE: LPs did not have the 80 minutes of playing time that a CD can hold, and this is just one LP w/ six songs. Put this into context with the times. It was made in 1952, for crying out loud.CRITIQUE #2: "The Drum Battle" is only 3 1/2 minutes long.
RESPONSE: Once again, put this in perspective. Krupa and Rich had been tauted as the two heavyweights of big band/swing percussion. This mere 3 1/2 minute song is historic in that it was the first time the two had ever faced each other on the same stage. That alone makes it a historic recording.CRITIQUE #3: Buy the Krupa-Rich studio CD because it's better value for the $$$.
RESPONSE: This album provides a historical document of the birth of the drum-battle albums to come, such as Rich-Versus-Roach, and it would be a great addition to anyone's jazz collection.The bottom line is this: Viewed as a single work, it is not wholely remarkable, but it still swings. Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson are on one track that cooks, and on "The Drum Battle," you can sense the excitement in the air when Buddy Rich appears on the stage for the duel. As a historical marker for both Krupa's and Rich's careers in 1952, this album is indespensible."
Fantastic Live Jazz Drum Album
Justin Allen | Cadiz, KY | 02/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is a staple of jazz and should be in the collection of anyone who likes jazz or drums. "Idaho and "Flying Home" have extremely tight compistions and the drums, of course, are perfect. "Sophisticated Lady" is a mellow piece with a smooth performance from Willie Smith. "The Drum Battle" is full of energy and the crowd sounds as though they are having the time of their life. While playing, you can hear a man yell "Go, Buddy, GO!" The closing is a redition of "Perdido" where everyone jumps in, including the wonderful Ella Fitzgerald doing some scat singing and bringing it to a close. Sure, it's just over 35 minutes, but the truth of quality over quantity proves itself in every second of this release. Also, the crowd can hurt a live record by too much cheering, but it is very nice to hear the zealous fans yelling at a solo and having a great time. Truly a classic and definitely worth a listen."
RICH AND KRUPA ROUND ONE!
Robert M. Zilli | High in the Rocky Mountains | 03/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While I understand the critics who are unhappy with a 33 minute CD at full price, I prefer these unadulterated rereleases with original cover art and the digipacks over the twofers some here have requested. It would have been nice to get some unreleased bonus tracks from the shows but I'm glad Verve has chosen this format and would hope they will continue in this vein.
Having said that, this is not a incredible performance but a noteworthy one nonetheless. The presence of the two drum kings along with Oscar and Ella is a classic moment to be cherished ."
When Krupa was King
Gertrude | New York USA | 09/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great disc. I believe I must have played the LP, inherited from my Dad, a million times. This is great stuff. Krupa's tours with the JATP All Stars certainly opened up a whole new world for him. Many only remember Krupa as a big band drummer but as the big band era wound down Gene sort of re-invented himself as an excellent "small group" drummer. Krupa is in fine form for this date. He's surrounded by an excellent group of musicians: Hank Jones on piano, with Willie Smith on sax. (Others on this date include: Roy Eldridge and Charlie Shavers on trumpet, Benny Carter on alto sax, Lester Young and Flip Phillips on tenor sax, Oscar Peterson on piano, Barney Kessel on guitar, Ray Brown on bass, Buddy Rich on drums and Ella Fitzgerald on vocals for Perdido.)
You can feel the crowds excitement build as Krupa and Rich face off for the first time. There are so many other LPs Krupa made during the 50's for the Verve Records/Norman Granz labels. Its an absolute shame that more have not been released."