Music Memories #16: Buddy Rich

The New One
The New One

When I woke up this morning one of my first thoughts was about composing an insightful, introspective, and possibly incomprehensible post about changes in me. Someday that may be a good post, but not today. It was moving from a thought post, to a too self aware tell-all that I’m not ready to share.

Instead, in honor of the beautiful sunny day, I’m going to tell you about more timeless music. Buddy Rich’s Big Band is the subject. The New One! was the first Buddy Rich album that I bought. Well, the first since a reissue of recordings he had made with the Gene Krupa Trio in the early 1950’s…but I digress.

I bought the album in 1969, and I fell in love with it immediately. That vinyl album stayed on the platter for a week before I was ready to listen to anything else. The CD version has been in my car player for four days now. It’s hard to break away from the music. At first I was giving it a surface listen, but it didn’t take long before I was listening, really listening, to the solos and the tightness of the band and the way Rich was driving the band with his playing.

A lot of the album was upbeat, as in the opening number, Away We Go. There were also slower numbers on the album, and this is one of them: the standard I Can’t Get Started. Did you know that Ira Gershwin wrote the lyrics to that song? Anyway, I wanted to post a link to New Blues, but the only video I could find was deeply flawed.I guess you’ll have to buy the album.

When I was in the army, Rich’s version of the Paul Simon song Keep The Customer Satisfied was getting a lot of air play on the Armed Forces Radio. At least I heard it a lot in Heidelberg. I waited until I got back to the states to buy the album of the same name. It was a live recording, and became my second-favorite Rich recording.

OK, you have to admit that this post is much more fun than my original plan for today’s post.