Buddy Rich

Bernard " Buddy" Rich ( born September 30, 1917 in New York; † 2 April 1987) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader, and is considered one of the best and most technically gifted jazz drummer in the world.

Life and work

Rich was born into a family of artists and was already wonder the age of four concerts under the pseudonym traps the drum. At the age of eleven he was already the second highest paid child star in the world.

First experience as a jazz drummer he made in 1937 at Joe Marsala, was then obliged by Artie Shaw. He achieved international fame finally in the early 40s at Tommy Dorsey, as well as his still young band mate Frank Sinatra, with the financial help he founded in 1946 his own big band, in which he also frequently put his considerable talent as a singer to the test. Besides our own Big Band projects Buddy Rich joined the 50s and 60s as a drummer, inter alia, with the Dorsey Brothers, Harry James, Woody Herman and Count Basie on. In addition, he also gave countless performances or recorded with other great jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Lester Young and Nat King Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, Lionel Hampton, Art Tatum, Mel Tormé and many others.

Rich's virtuoso mastery of the drums (but also his airs and graces ) influenced generations of drummers from all types of music around the world. Legendary are the spectacular percussion duels between him and Gene Krupa and Max Roach, as well as his appearance on the Muppet Show in 1978, where he delivered himself in a duel with the animal. His charisma and his strong personality were highly prized in the music business, but partly considered among colleagues critical. He was regarded simply as a pedantic perfectionist who took the stage presence of his big band very seriously, sometimes to the chagrin of his band members, whom he demanded absolute attention and concentration. He choleric tendencies, but also respect and respect for his famous colleagues were awarded, combined with warmth and loyalty. Most of all he valued the individuality of a musician, so he always spoke highly of different drummers such as Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones, Mel Lewis or even Steve Gadd. For drummers who tried to copy him, he had, however, only contempt.

Rich fell ill in 1987 and died of a brain tumor for an immediate emergency surgery a heart attack. He is buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.


Two years after Rich's death to him a memorial concert in honor held where some of the world's best drummers (including Dave Weckl, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dennis Chambers, Marvin Smitty Smith, Steve Smith, Neil Peart, Louie Bellson ) with the buddy Rich Big Band ( under the direction of tenor saxophonist Steve Marcus ) occurred. This " Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concert" was recorded on DVD and published. The drummer Neil Peart then produced two CDs, titled "Burning for Buddy - A Tribute To The Music of Buddy Rich ", which in turn some outstanding drummer (in addition to the above, among other things, Joe Morello, Simon Phillips, Bill Bruford ) with the Buddy Rich Big Band grossed some arrangements from the repertoire of Rich.

Disco Graphical Notes

  • His Legendary Orchestra 1947-48 Hep Records with Charlie Shavers, Peanuts Hucko, Hal McKusick, Jimmy Giuffre, Warne Marsh, Ella Fitzgerald
  • Bird and Diz ( Verve, 1950) with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie
  • Buddy & Sweets ( Verve, 1955) with Harry Sweets Edison, Jimmy Rowles, Barney Kessel, John Simmons
  • The Tatum Group Masterpieces Vol 5 ( Pablo, 1955) with Lionel Hampton
  • Blues Caravan ( Verve, 1961) with Rolf Ericson, Sam Most, Mike Mainieri, Wyatt Ruther
  • Swingin ' New Band (Pacific Jazz, 1966) with Gene Quill, John Bunch
  • The New One! (Pacific Jazz, 1967)
  • Mercy, Mercy (Pacific Jazz, 1968) with Al Porcino, Art Pepper, Don Menza, Pat LaBarbera, Tony Bennett
  • The Roar of 74 ( Groove Merchant ) with Charlie Davis, Joe Romano, Alan Kaplan, Buddy Budson, Joe Beck, Tony Levin