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Very Live at Buddy's Place

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Buddy's best ensemble with the raw energy of his New York club! They do swingin' live renditions of Chameleon; Jumpin' at the Woodside; Sierra Lonely; Cardin Blue; Nica's Dream, and Billie's Bounce. Plus special guests Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra stop by!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 13, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: LRC Ltd.
  • Run Time: 42 minutes
  • ASIN: B0002VL006
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,375 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This album was originally released in 1974, not 1971. This was after the breakup of the big band with Jazz Tenor Pat LaBarbera (The Roar Of '74) and before "The Big Band Machine" with Steve Marcus. Sonny Fortune on alto, and veteran Herman sideman - Sal Nistico on tenor; are the frontline players. I believe Jack Wilkins on guitar, Kenny Baron on piano, Jimmy Maeulen on congas and Anthony Jackson on bass.

I thought this was a pretty good album when it first came out. I liked Nica's Dream (though not as much as Stan Getz's) and Chameleon (Maynard Ferguson's swung more) so much, that I transcribed all the parts for a small combo I played with. Jumpin' At The Woodside and Billie's Bounce aren't bad either. But altogether, it wasn't as swingin' as his big band (which goes without saying - but I said it anyway).
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Format: Audio CD
One thing to note up-front is that this is NOT the Buddy Rich Big Band. This was a small group (septet) that was organized by Buddy in New York City circa 1974, primarily to play at a club organized around Buddy's musical talents, the big band having been temporarily shelved. The original Buddy's Place, on the 2nd floor over a restaurant named Sams, was a small room with odd globes in the ceiling and a somewhat rudimentary bandstand; Sonny Lester produced these fine recordings which very accurately capture this driving ensemble. Reminiscent of Buddy's small group work in the 60's at Birdland, Sonny Fortune on alto and flute and Sal Nistico on tenor round out the horn players (there are no trumpets or brass in this recording). Fortune was, at that time, also working for Miles Davis, and Nistico had an enviable reputation, having worked most notably with Woody Herman, among others. Both of them display fiery, Coltrane-inspired techniques. Kenny Barron is his usual stellar self; dig his piano work behind Buddy's brushes on Billy's Bounce, my personal favorite on this CD. Speaking of Buddy, he is marvelous throughout. Sierra Lonely is the unexpected cut on this CD, with Horace Silvers' Nica's Dream really ablaze. Anthony Jackson, Jack Wilkins and Jimmy Maeulen round out a dynamic rhythm section. Interestingly, Maelen is well known in rock circles as having recorded with Jimi Hendrix, and went on to become a seasoned studio musician. Numerous additional tracks and alternates have come from these sessions over the intervening years, such as Donna Lee and The Bull . This is the original, and, in my opinion, the best. Buddy's live recordings were always his best work, so grab this while you can!
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Format: Audio CD
Though I've been a fan of Buddy since I was a kid. I did not pick this up in 74. I'm listening in 2012, and I wonder what the heck other reviewers are listening to? I will not debate the issue of this not being one of Buddy's "BIG Bands," It's not. But, to say that this is unsatisfying, thin etc is an unfair assessment of the whole concept. I'll say this: Had I been in the audience in 74 @ the tender age of 19, my musical world would have been rocked by 8 veteran, amazing players, who gave each other the space to flex their chops and were enjoying themselves, as was their appreciative audience. Not a bad track on this set. A nice snapshot of Buddy "experimenting" with a smaller, much more intimate and full of fun sound. This is by any measure a marvelous live 8 piece (for all the comparison purists) show that not only fulfills but I'll suggest this: If your toes aren't tappin' to this terrific, sonically stellar set.... You don't have a rhythmic bone in your body. Highly recommended.... Oh yes and remember: "It's NOT a BIG BAND!" just in case there's any confusion....
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Format: Audio CD
Buddy showed countless times that he could be a responsive, sensitive and supportive small-ensemble drummer when Norman Granz practically used him as a Verve house drummer in the '50's, but as this album makes clear he was not cut out to be a small group leader. Even though he's employed a couple of creative, expressive players on this occasion--pianist Kenny Barron and altoist Sonny Fortune--he's thinking in terms of a driving big band, from the uniforms to the electric bass player. This was an interesting experiment, motivated by financial as much as creative considerations, but the results are predictably unsatisfying. The music is strident, narrow, monotextured. It's small wonder that the group along with Buddy's club did not succeed. Count it a blessing that Buddy found his way back to the helm of a swinging big band.

I can think of dozens of unreissued LP's that deserve to be digitized ahead of this one.
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