Most helpful positive review
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Legendary drummer, killer band, winning program, crack performance, well-edited video, fair audio.
on October 16, 2006
Unlike some listeners, I prefer the straightahead, swinging, Basie-indebted Rich ensemble of the late '70s to the somewhat ponderous, rock-heavy textures of the band assembled by Buddy during the late '60s. Even though this 1978 concert catches the band just after the departure of some key Rich players like trumpeter Dave Stahl and pianist Barry Kiener, it still features Buddy's right-hand man, tenor saxophonist Steve Marcus, along with a tight-knit ensemble of players with strong soloists in all sections.
The program is a crowd-pleaser, with Nestico swingers, a fusion pop chart ("Birdland"), and one of Rich's two major drum solo vehicles ("Channel One Suite"), on which he doesn't disappoint. Visually, the camera man and editors are right on top of the action, providing long shots, close-ups, and angled shots that moreover follow the musical action. Sonically, the DVD is a bit of a disappointment. The electric bass is frequently overly penetrating and "twangy," while Buddy's bass drum, snares, and toms are often muffled. The cymbals, moreover--both the crucial hi-hat and ride cymbal--are all but inaudible for much of the performance.
Even if the concert originally was not planned for commercial release, how could the crew responsible for recording a performance by the world's most legendary drummer fail to adequately mic the drums?