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Exciting outing for the Gene Krupa Trio
on 11 September 2006
I can imagine that many people who buy this CD end up slightly disappointed. This is not, however, a reflection on the quality of this album's music, but rather the fault of Verve records for selling it purely on the strength of the 'drum battle' between Krupa and Rich - two of the greatest drummers to ever grace the jazz world - which itself is a little underwhelming. In fact, most of this CD is taken up by tracks from the Gene Krupa trio, which may leave Buddy Rich fans feeling somewhat left out. Nevertheless, these tracks are incredibly exciting to listen to, with Krupa driving the band along beautifuly, and both other musicians playing well structured and brilliant solos. 'Idaho' and 'Flying Home' are particular highlights, although the band does struggle to keep the nine minute version of 'Drum Boogie' interesting throughout.
As to the famous drum battle itself, it is very exciting, with the crowd providing an electric atmosphere. However, it really doesn't do either drummer full justice, and for that reason this CD can only get four stars.
In short, then, this is a great album for people interested in Krupa's small combos of the 1950's (of which there are relatively few recordings available) but for a Krupa-Rich duet, I'd have to recomend the 'Krupa and Rich' CD, a studio recording, also on the verve label.