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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUDDY, CAN YOU SPARE THE TIME?, 9 April 2012
By 
Barry McCanna (Normandy, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This 2-CD set offers almost four albums of West Coast sessions, which were recorded for the Verve label in the late summer of four consecutive years, from 1953 to 1956. Chronology is not that straightforward however, because the albums overlap. "The Swinging BR" spans the first three years; two extended pieces from 1955 which didn't make the cut are included in "The Wailing BR", together with two others from May of that year; and "Buddy & Sweets" (of which one track is omitted) dates from September 1955, which date also accounts for two of the tracks on "Swinging". Only "This One's for Basie" which dates from August 1956 is self-contained.

"Wailing" consists of just four tracks, which average out at eleven minutes apiece. If anyone needs convincing that Buddy Rich was paramount amongst drummers, just let them listen to his composition "The Monster", which is a tour-de-force. Oscar Peterson, Freddie Green, and Ray Brown supply additional rhythm on the first two tracks, and Ben Webster solos on "Sunday". The line-up slims down from eight to five pieces for the two latter tracks, of which "The Smooth One" lives up to its name. Harry Edison and Jimmy Rowles are present on virtually every track from this point on.

Despite its title, "Swinging" contains a couple of ballads, but for the most part it offers excellent ensemble playing by various line-ups, including Benny Carter, Georgie Auld, and Willie Smith, underpinned by Buddy's percussion, which drives without dominating. Both "Just Blues" and "Strike It Rich" feature extended drum solos. Buddy takes a back seat, comparatively speaking, for the "Buddy and Sweets" album, which includes a couple of standards, and some fine guitar by Barney Kessel. The "Basie" album is by an eleven-piece group, and revives some of the Count's tunes, arranged by Marty Paich.

Sound quality is excellent, and neither "Swinging" nor "Wailing" appear to have been reissued elsewhere. The other two are available, but either one will set you back more than the price of this compilation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swinging sounds from the essential Mr Rich, 9 Aug 2012
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Yet another of the Classic Albums series from Avid Records. Like all the others I've purchased, it's simply great value for money. Buddy Rich, possibly the greatest jazz drummer ever.Presented here in a variety of groupings, including an excellent outing with Harry "Sweets" Edison. The album "This one's for Basie" gives us an excellent BR big band from the 50's. Just listen to "Blues for Basie" if you get the chance. Edison's in the trumpet section and plays some magnificent muted trumpet before handing over to Frank Rosolino who shouts away in typical Rosolino style. All the other tunes from this album were out of the Basie book, including "Jumping at the Woodside" This track, unfortunately, caused me to deduct one star because of an interminable drum solo from Rich. Don't get me wrong - the solo is awesome, and the technique mind boggling. It just goes on so long.I love good drummers, and that certainly includes Rich, but I prefer short snappy breaks and solos rather than long marathons. Just a small quibble. If you love good mainstream jazz and big bands, this double CD is an absolute snip at the price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buddy Rich...The King, 22 July 2013
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This is a must for your collection if you are a Buddy Rich fan.

This collection takes you on a trip that swings from start to finish featuring great names such as Harry Edison, Barney Kessel, Thad Jones, Benny Carter, Ray Brown, Ben Webster...Oscar Peterson...plus of course The Buddy Rich Orchestra.

Worth every penny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 12 April 2013
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Well, I don't usually do reviews.. This Cd is top! Real trouser flapping jazz with Buddy as the helm! I love it, and you also get two CDs that both have well over 70 mins of exemplary jazz.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK but, 21 July 2013
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I like Buddy Rich and this is good collection off Buddy tunes but it just didnt tick the boxes this time
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