362

Buddy Rich: Live in Miami with Flip Phillips

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Buddy Rich: Live in Miami with Flip Phillips Rich's work was arguably one dimensional and these two live dates, captured for the ages from 1954 and 1957, set out a case in favor of that argument as persuasive as any. Rich, as was his vocation, is all over his drums on everything here, his extrovert nature in harness to a musical sensibility seemingly too precise to tolerate any way other than his own.

It's all there in abundance on the opening "Lover, Come Back to Me," which for all intents and purposes is taken by two bands of which Rich himself is one. Tenor saxophonist Flip Phillips was always one of the most persuasive swing-through-bop musicians, though the listener has to wait until the following "Topsy," for evidence of it as Rich manages to hold his ego in check long enough to prove he could play the part of a band drummer. When he does, the music's more worthwhile.

The same is evident on the following "Undecided," where the quartet is anything but in its approach to the title and Rich's unerring way is actually an asset. The same is true of Phillips in languorous mode, as he is a million miles from Jazz at the Philharmonic type rabble-rousing even while he throws in a few lower register honks for good measure. Pianist Ronnie Ball could be said to be under-employed, but he gets in a nice solo here, hinting at bop developments in his line.

The reading of "Jumpin' at the Woodside" lacks the ineffable grace of the Count Basie version but that should hardly come as a surprise. As it is, the rhythmically more square and orthodox phrasing of Phillips has the effect of emphasizing just how extraordinary Lester Young was.

Over half of the total program finds Rich and Phillips keeping the company of the Oscar Peterson Trio and perhaps inevitably the music reaches a level of precision which, but for the presence of Phillips and Ray Brown on bass, could be an opposite of spontaneous musical expression. As it is, the studied routines are largely avoided and Phillips gets to show off his considerable abilities as a balladeer on "I'll Never Be the Same."

Good-hearted people all over the world will be won over by the sheer joy of life that permeates "Almost Like Being in Love," with Phillips' carefree air a sign of how sweet things could become when Rich took the trouble to check his ego in at the door. The performance also emphasizes, albeit by default, that this is the Buddy Rich album for people who don't really enjoy Buddy Rich. Enough said.


Track Listing: Lover, Come Back to Me; Topsy; Undecided; Broadway; Jumpin at the Woodside; Lemon Aid 21; Ill Never Be the Same; All of Me; Ive Got the World on a String; Almost Like Being in Love; The Ladys in Love with You; Singing the Blues; Birth of the Blues.

Personnel: Flip Phillps: tenor sax; Buddy Rich: drums; Ronnie Ball: piano (1-5); Oscar Peterson: piano (6-13); Herb Ellis: guitar (6-13); Peter Ind: bass (1-5); Ray Brown: bass (6-13).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Giant Steps | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Neuroplastic Groove" CD/LP/Track Review Neuroplastic Groove
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "In Love With" CD/LP/Track Review In Love With
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "United" CD/LP/Track Review United
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "Southern Lights" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Lights
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 26, 2016
Read "Live At Zaal 100" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Zaal 100
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!