All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Joe Ascione Octet: My Buddy

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Joe Ascione’s “buddy” is surnamed Rich, and this Nagel–Heyer release is Ascione’s enthusiastic and colorful salute to the drumming wizardry of one of his heroes and role models, Bernard “Buddy” Rich. Ascione, 35 years old when this recording was made (in November ’96), first encountered Rich via recordings in the early ’70s, an experience he recalls with wide–eyed amazement: “I could not believe what I was hearing! . . . I imagined myself listening to several drummers rolled up into one playing at 78 rpm’s!” Ascione soon became one of Buddy’s most ardent admirers, once even following Rich’s big band from gig to gig and helping set up the drums, and when the chance came years later to document on record his admiration for Buddy, he quickly grabbed it and assembled an all–star cast of like–minded musicians to pay suitable homage to the legendary skin–walloper. All of the songs performed by Ascione’s well–endowed octet were recorded by Rich at one time or another in a wide variety of instrumental frameworks. The music is emphatically mainstream and lyrical, the ensemble loose and swinging. Trumpeter Sandke, who seems to fit snugly in any environment in which he is placed, leads an artful four–member horn section that includes trombonist Barrett and saxophonists Ogilvie and the veteran Billy Mitchell who cut his teeth in Dizzy Gillespie’s dynamic big band of the mid–’50s. Shane and Chirillo plug any gaps in the substructure (with Shane sounding at times like Teddy Wilson), while bassist Bob Haggart, who passed away last year at age 85, shows how sorely he’ll be missed — his resonant accents serve as an unerring compass for his bandmates. As for Ascione, his close surveillance of Rich has paid handsome dividends; he comes out smoking on “Cottontail” and plays throughout in a way that would have made Buddy very happy (in other words, giving every song his absolute best). All of the material is well–known, except for sparkling originals by Ascione (“J&B’s Bag”) and Sandke (“Blues #5”). Nothing out of the ordinary, simply first–rate mainstream Jazz played with consistent poise and vitality. As the song says, “I like it, how about you?”

Track listing: Cottontail; My Buddy; J&B’s Bag; Here’s That Rainy Day; Limehouse Blues; Hi Fly; Nica’s Dream; Straight No Chaser; Soft Winds; I Want to Be Happy; Love for Sale; Blues #5 (Blues for Kurtchen) (74:12).


Joe Ascione, drums; Randy Sandke, trumpet; Dan Barrett, trombone; Brian Ogilvie, clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax; Billy Mitchell, tenor sax; Mark Shane, piano; James Chirillo, guitar; Bob Haggart, bass.

Contact: Nagel

Title: My Buddy | Year Released: 1999


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Movin' Up

Movin' Up

Arbors Records


Post No Bills

Arbors Records

Woody Herman Woody Herman
Wild Bill Davis Wild Bill Davis
organ, Hammond B3
Tito Puente Tito Puente
Clayton Brothers Clayton Brothers
Al Grey Al Grey
Major Holley Major Holley
bass, acoustic

Related Articles

Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Criss Cross CD/LP/Track Review
Criss Cross
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 22, 2018
Read So Far CD/LP/Track Review
So Far
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "Blue Light" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Light
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "Into a Myth" CD/LP/Track Review Into a Myth
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Let Your Mind...Space Out" CD/LP/Track Review Let Your Mind...Space Out
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil//" CD/LP/Track Review NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil//
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "Intimate Ella - A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review Intimate Ella - A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 2, 2018
Read "Duality: Particles & Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Duality: Particles & Waves
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 16, 2017