krupa or rich

DannyPattersonMusic

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I really like both drummers and both are great drummers!

Not sure how many have heard this recording ... I have 2 of their drum duets albums and this recording I always thought was great. You can tell Buddy from Gene by the snare drum sound (Buddy's is a tighter sound and Gene's is tuned lower with some ring to it ... plus Gene goes first).

 

paul

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Krupa, hands down. Believe it or not, I never even liked Rich's drumming. He always seemed to be showing off more than he was playing well. Krupa had taste. Rich may have had taste in tuna fish, but not in drumming.
This is a common critique of Buddy, but I believe it's inaccurate. All you have to do is listen to Buddy in situations where he was a sideman to realize that besides being a great soloist he's also a consummate accompanist. I have a recording of him playing with Art Tatum and Lionel Hampton in which he rarely plays a fill, simply laying it down for the soloists. There's also a video of him playing with Harry James in the 60's in Japan that demonstrates his abilities in this regard.

I've seen both guys live and on video and there's one big difference for me: I listen to Krupa and think, "I can do that." I listen to Buddy and think, "How the hell did he do that?"
 

rpludwig

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this topic comes up from time to time on the forum...my answer is apples v. oranges...and both exceptional.

I've met Gene back in the 60's on a gig and spent some time with him, never met Buddy. Gene was a consummate gentleman, Buddy was great on the Tonite Show and very entertaining. Just glad I wasn't on his bus!

Studied both early on (JATP record drum battle, et al). No question Buddy had the technical stuff over the top v. Gene, no question Gene had the style and showmanship over Buddy.

Take your pick, one's not any better than the other IMO, unless you prefer the apples over oranges, or the reverse. I honor and enjoy both, for what they've meant to drumming and their contributions to jazz over my lifetime. The simple fact that this question is often asked speaks volumes to both...
 

Fat Drummer

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Krupa

And what is it about specific opinion polls that just drives this board crazy? It's like herding cats when you ask a specific question around here! LOL
 

Nacci

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Well, people certainly see things different ways. For my ears it is not even a comparison. It is like Tony Williams against Bobby Blotzer.

I listened to the audio and audio visual recordings that were posted several times, including the one I posted with Sammy Davis Jr. and it is just no comparison; Rich is Murdering Krupa, it is almost embarrassing to watch.

I am certain Rich is holding back in almost all of it in an attempt to not run up the board.

Rich and Krupa are not even close to being in the same league and I am pretty sure both knew it.
 

Old Drummer

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This is a common critique of Buddy, but I believe it's inaccurate. All you have to do is listen to Buddy in situations where he was a sideman to realize that besides being a great soloist he's also a consummate accompanist. I have a recording of him playing with Art Tatum and Lionel Hampton in which he rarely plays a fill, simply laying it down for the soloists. There's also a video of him playing with Harry James in the 60's in Japan that demonstrates his abilities in this regard.

I've seen both guys live and on video and there's one big difference for me: I listen to Krupa and think, "I can do that." I listen to Buddy and think, "How the hell did he do that?"
You had my attention in your first paragraph. Yeah, I have no business criticizing Rich based upon his solos (in which he's supposed to showoff). If I were to offer an informed comparison of the two rather than only respond off-the-cuff to a thread on the forum, I should listen more attentively to both. You may be right that Rich was better.

But then your second paragraph seemed to confirm my off-the-cuff opinion. Sure, Rich was technically better, but bombastically showing off his technical skills is one reason I don't care for him.

Oh well, I'm not taking this competition seriously, and if you are, I'll defer to your opinion. I just had to chuckle over your post that initially persuaded me only to then make me wonder if my initial opinion was right despite the counter to it.
 

RogersLudwig

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Well, people certainly see things different ways. For my ears it is not even a comparison. It is like Tony Williams against Bobby Blotzer.

I listened to the audio and audio visual recordings that were posted several times, including the one I posted with Sammy Davis Jr. and it is just no comparison; Rich is Murdering Krupa, it is almost embarrassing to watch.

I am certain Rich is holding back in almost all of it in an attempt to not run up the board.

Rich and Krupa are not even close to being in the same league and I am pretty sure both knew it.
That was recorded in 1966 when Krupa was a shell of his former self, already fighting the effects of emphysema. He died in ‘73 from heart disease, leukemia, and emphysema. Better to get the album and song titled The Drum Battle-Live At Jazz At the Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall, 1952. The first Rich-Krupa Drum battle
 

shilohjim

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I love them both, but when I look at the entire body of work, I have to pick Buddy. As mentioned already, when he played on other peoples' dates he was a master of taste and restraint, qualities not usually attributed to him.
 

ChrisBabbitt

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I think that if you compare how they both played in the '40's, in that element, I would give it to Gene. I think he certainly swung better than anybody in that era. However, Buddy evolved with the times, while Gene stayed pretty-much locked into that era. I don't think Gene could have cut much of the music in Buddy's book in the '60's & '70's.
 

jansara

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Rich, on all counts - big band, little band, swing, chops, solo chops, phrasing, invention, execution, and on and on.
 

CC Cirillo

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Rich, but having just watched an old video of him dismissing country music on the Mike Douglas Show, I’m changing my answer to Krupa.

But Rich was The Drummer, and I do admire not only his drumming but the fact he managed keeping a big band touring.

For me as a young person the only two big bands of notoriety that came through town were Rich and Basie. I felt lucky to see both.
 

Tama CW

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Rich, on all counts - big band, little band, swing, chops, solo chops, phrasing, invention, execution, and on and on.
I generally have to agree with that. And one could say Buddy was improving technically and probably getting faster in his 50's and early 60's, pretty incredible...........but......

Who would I rather pay to go to see play in a big band or jazz ensemble setting at their prime?............Gene.

There's just something about him that draws you into the drums. Back when I first started playing drums in the late 1960's my Dad (who was born 6 yrs after Buddy and played some rudimental marching snare drum in his teens) would sometimes say to me, "who do you think you are, Gene Krupa?" Not once do I recall him saying any other drummer's name. Without Gene, there may not have been a Buddy Rich "big band drummer."

Who had the better movie of their life story?..............Gene.




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Tama CW

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Krupa for swing and pocket.
Definitely. Gene's rim shots were like cannon fire. And he had the knack for hitting those snare and tom accents exactly when needed. It doesn't have to be complicated to be "perfect" and exactly what the music needed. "Complicated" drums can easily get in the way of the music to the point of being a distraction. You always felt and heard Gene's styling....and at the same time....his flow disappeared into music....actually becoming the music. And not unlike what Hal Blaine did for rock n' roll music. Hal probably wasn't the most proficient "chops" drummer of his era. Yet, he was just "perfect" for every part he did. I'd also be happy to go see Joe Morello in his prime as well.
 
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