232

Buddy Rich: Keep the Customer Satisfied

By

Sign in to view read count
Traps the Drum Wonder stayed true to this album title.

The recent reissue of Pacific Jazz's Keep the Customer Satisfied collects Buddy Rich and his big band's three-night stint at Las Vegas' Tropicana Hotel in 1970.

Six of the 13 tracks didn't make the album the first time around, but now they've been polished off to give listeners an added bonus of the band's chops.

Rich always demanded 110 percent of his musicians, and it shows immensely on this album.

Right from the moment the laser hits the disc with Paul Simon's blues-laced "Keep the Customer Satisfied," you know this band means business.

The title song features a multitude of solos, including a dueling saxophone exchange from Richie Cole and Jimmy Mosher. Drummers especially will form grins when Rich takes the spotlight.

The album splits between more traditional jazz and songs that would have been "modern" in 1970, including a medley of songs from the movie "Midnight Cowboy" that spans genres of rock ballad and funk. The medley had been recorded in a Los Angeles studio, not during the Las Vegas set.

But even with the pop-rock tunes, Rich still has a soft spot for straight-ahead jazz, and it shows on Don Menza's aptly titled "Groovin' Hard." Rich throws in some snare drum work to accent the band along the way.

On "Winning the West," Rich displays his amazing snare-to-tom combinations at full volume, then becomes softer with the snares turned off while bassist Rick Laird keeps time.

The unreleased tracks swing a bit more; the first is the venerable classic "Body and Soul," with a lush, flowing solo from tenor saxophonist Pat LaBarbara.

The band then kicks it up a notch with Mike Hughes' "Happy Time," which has LaBarbara changing moods with a blistering solo up and down the scales.

Keep the Customer Satisfied ends appropriately with Rich showing off his drumming prowess on Ted Pease's medium-fast "Cornerstone."

This big band had no qualms mixing contemporary pop tunes with swing standards. Rich could give both musical fans what they came to hear. The result is nothing short of phenomenal.

Track Listing: Keep the Customer Satisfied, Long Day's Journey, Midnight Cowboy Medley, Celebration, Groovin' Hard, The Juicer is Wild, Winning the West, Body and Soul, Happy Time, The Nitty Gritty, Straight and Narrow, Groovin' Hard (alternate take), Cornerstone

Personnel: Joe Giorgiani, John Madrid, Mike Price, George Zonce, trumpet; Rick Stepton, Tony Lada, trombone; Larry Fisher, bass trombone; Jimmy Mosher, Richie Cole, flute, alto sax; Pat LaBarbara, tenor sax, soprano sax, flute; Don Englert, tenor sax, soprano sax, flute; Bob Suchoski, baritone sax; Mickey McClain, piano, organ; Rick Laird, electric bass; Buddy Rich, drums

Title: Keep the Customer Satisfied | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Capitol Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Matt Marshall
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Nigerian Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Silent Voices" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Voices
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "The Django Experiment I & II" CD/LP/Track Review The Django Experiment I & II
by Peter Jurew
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Blues, Preludes and Feuds" CD/LP/Track Review Blues, Preludes and Feuds
by Geannine Reid
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Moldy Figs" CD/LP/Track Review Moldy Figs
by Paul Rauch
Published: July 10, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.