Legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich, and big band drumming in general, are somewhat in the spotlight lately thanks to the success of the film Whiplash, and here we have a grab bag of sensational live recordings of Rich and his Killer Force Band performing a selection of vintage jazz standards. Though the exact dates of these recordings seems to be a mystery (no reference is made anywhere), the booklet of the CD does include all the musicians that took part, led by sax/flute player Alan Gauvin, who also recorded, produced, and mixed the project. The audio quality is especially solid, with famous songs like "Milestones", "Birdland", "CTA" and "Moments Notice" just bursting through the speakers with soaring instrumental breaks and driven by Rich's vibrant drum technique. "Just Friends" is lovely, and features some majestic piano, while "God Bless the Child" has a bluesy feel that simply warms you up from the inside out. The busy latin tinged jazz of "Three Day Suckers" contains some of Buddy's wildest drum work in the set, as he shakes, rumbles, and boils underneath waves of screaming saxophone.
If you are looking for Buddy Rich drum solos, you won't find them here (go seek out The Solos set instead), but as a more than solid example of what he was able to do within a big band setting, these are marvelous recordings perfectly showcasing his amazing talents.
1) Mexicali Nose
4) Just Friends
6) God Bless the Child
7) Moments Notice
8) I Hear a Rhapsody
9) Three Day Suckers
11) Keep the Customer Satisfied