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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Buddy Rich

Birdland

Review by Gary Hill

Buddy Rich is a legendary jazz performer and also a big influence on a lot of modern drummers. Listening to this live set, it’s easy to see why. There are a lot of exceptional performances here, and the drumming is often right out front. I’d highly recommend this to fans of jazz in general. It’s a potent release start to finish.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mexicali Nose

This just screams out of the gate. It’s high energy and features some exceptional work from all involved. Rich gets a great, if short, drum solo. This is a powerhouse that’s just so cool.

Birdland
Although this lacks some of the sheer energy of the previous piece, it’s got plenty of great melodies and overall cool built into it. I particularly love the bass work on this beast. That said, everyone shines.
Milestones
Here we get another high energy number. I really love the instrumental work and groove of this piece of music. It’s among the best material here. Given the strength of the surroundings, that says a lot.
Just Friends
Another killer jazz number, to me the bass and piano really shine the brightest on this.
CTA
This is a short, high energy excursion with some exceptional soloing.
God Bless the Child

A much slower cut, this is more of a balladic piece. It has some pretty melodies, yet still contains plenty of drama.

Moment's Notice

We’re back into fast paced territory here. This is a real workout. The drums drive a killer instrumental foray through all the changes. You can’t ignore that bass, either.

I Hear a Rhapsody

Starting with piano and drums we’re off on an energetic musical journey that’s also quite melodic. The piano is the dominant instrument, but you can’t ignore either the drums or the bass. I really love the bass solo mid-track.

Three Day Suckers
Starting with a drum solo, they work it out from there into a smoking hot jam. After taking us through a series of changes, there’s another drum solo right before the closing musical flourish.
Parthenia
Here we get another high energy jazz cut. I really love some of the instrumental interplay. In fact, I’d say this has some of my favorite musical moments of the disc.
Keep the Customer Satisfied
There is a bit of a Dixieland kind of vibe here. This tune is a lot of fun, really. There’s a mid song drum solo, too.
 
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