Bernard "Buddy" Rich was born on September 30th, 1917 in New York. He was in show business from the age of two, performing on Broadway when he was four years old as a member of his parent's act. He formed his own band at the age of 11and later went on to f eature with the likes of Artie Shaw, Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. After m ilitary service, he again played with Dorsey, then formed his own big band w hich survived for a few years in the late 40's. He also appeared with Lionel Hampton, Oscar Peterson and others, and, despite a heart attack in the late5 0's, he was appearing as a singer and leading his own small bands. He continued to record and perform with various artists and big bands well into the eighties. His playing was characterized by his phenomenal speed and astonishing technical dexterity. Notorious for his wit and his short temper, he frequently c lashed with Dorsey's singer, the equally short-fused Frank Sinatra. He frequently rebounded from illness and accident, on one occasion actually playing one handed when his other arm was in a sling, without any noticeable diminution of his ability! Ill health finally caught up with him, though - he was diagnosed as having a brain tumor and he died on 2 April 1987. His wit remained with him to the end - when a nurse preparing him for surgery asked him if there was a nything to which he was allergic, he told her "Only Country music!" Buddy Rich released countless albums. Every single one of them demonstrates a true master at work - he was a legend. Other websites for this famous drummer are: http://buddyrich.cjb.net/ http://www.cmgww.com/ricb/index.html  

  
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Biography by Scott Yanow
When it came to technique, speed, power, and the ability to put together incredible drum solos, Buddy Rich lived up to the billing of "the world's greatest drummer." Although some other drummers were more innovative, in reality none were in his league even during the early days. A genius, Buddy Rich started playing drums in vaudeville as "Traps, the Drum Wonder" when he was only 18 months old; he was completely self-taught. Rich performed in vaudeville throughout his childhood and developed into a decent singer and a fine tap dancer. But drumming was his purpose in life, and by 1938 he had discovered jazz and was playing with Joe Marsala's combo. Rich was soon propelling Bunny Berigan's orchestra, he spent most of 1939 with Artie Shaw (at a time when the clarinetist had the most popular band in swing), and then from 1939-1945 (except for a stint in the military) he was making history with Tommy Dorsey. During this era it became obvious that Buddy Rich was the king of drummers, easily dethroning his friend Gene Krupa. Rich had a bop-ish band during 1945-1947 that did not catch on, toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic, recorded with a countless number of all-stars in the 1950s for Verve (including Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Art Tatum, and Lionel Hampton), and worked with Les Brown, Charlie Ventura, Tommy Dorsey (1954-1955), and Harry James (off and on during 1953-1966). A heart attack in 1959 only slowed him down briefly and, although he contemplated becoming a full-time vocalist, Rich never gave up the drums.

In 1966, Buddy Rich beat the odds and put together a successful big band that would be his main outlet for his final 20 years. His heart began giving him trouble starting in 1983, but Rich never gave his music less than 100 percent and was still pushing himself at the end. A perfectionist who expected the same from his sidemen (some of whom he treated cruelly), Buddy Rich is definitively documented in Mel Tormé's book Traps the Drum Wonder. His incredible playing can be viewed on several readily available videotapes, although surprisingly few of his later big band albums have been made available yet on CD. 

 

 

Mel Lewis
Dave Tough
Butch Miles
Danny D'Imperio
Joe Morello
Jo Jones
Louie Bellson

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Buddy Rich - 1955 - Buddy & Sweets - 3/5

Buddy Rich - 1956 - This One's for Basie - 4.5/5

Buddy Rich - 1959 - Rich Versus Roach - 3/5

Buddy Rich - 1961 - Blues caravan - 3.5/5

Buddy Rich - 1961 - Playmates - 3/5

Buddy Rich - 1966 - Last Know Taped Live Performance at Grendale Lair, Philadelphia PA. December 8 - 3/5

Buddy Rich - 1966 - Swingin' New Big Band - 3/5

Buddy Rich - 1967 - The New one - 4/5

Buddy Rich - 1968 - Rich Ala Rahka - 2/5

Buddy Rich - 1970 - Keep the Customer Satisfied - 4/5

Buddy Rich - 1971 - A Different Drummer - 2.5/5

Buddy Rich - 1971 - Time Being - 4.5/5

Buddy Rich - 1972 - Stick It - 4/5

Buddy Rich - 1973 - The Roar of '74 - 4/5

Buddy Rich - 1974 - The Last Blues Album Vol. 1 - 3/5

Buddy Rich - 1975 - Big Band Machine - 4/5

Buddy Rich - 1977 - Class of '78 - 4/5

Buddy Rich - 1977 - Lionel Hampton Presents Buddy Rich - 4/5

Buddy Rich - 1977 - The Best Band I Ever Had - 4/5

Buddy Rich - 1978 - No Jive - 3/5

Buddy Rich - 1987 - Compact Jazz, Buddy Rich - 2/5

Buddy Rich - 1990 - Groove Merchant - 3/5

Buddy Rich - 2004 - No Funny Hats - 2.5/5

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