The Buddy We Never Knew!

Matched Gripper

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Those of you who have seen a lot of Buddy are familiar with his extensive vocabulary of patented phrases and licks that he used in his solos throughout his career. So, I just found this Buddy video from 1984, 3 years before he passed away, on YouTube playing not just unfamiliar phrases and licks, but, a style I've never seen from Buddy before, and the first 3/4 of this solo was completely with matched grip. Maybe some of you have already seen it and I'm just catching up. It seems that Buddy was on the verge of evolving into something new that we never got to fully see. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 
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piccupstix

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It's almost like we're seeing him at home in the drum room (he never had, so it goes). He just finished breakfast and he sits down to listen to the beauty he knows of the instrument. He's totally relaxed and his expectations are a blank slate. He picks any random motif and messes with it. Enhances it. Morphs it. Makes sense of it. Ultimate confidence and ultimate control.

I ran across this a couple years back and it's been an inspiration since!
 

hsosdrum

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It's almost like we're seeing him at home in the drum room (he never had, so it goes). He just finished breakfast and he sits down to listen to the beauty he knows of the instrument. He's totally relaxed and his expectations are a blank slate. He picks any random motif and messes with it. Enhances it. Morphs it. Makes sense of it. Ultimate confidence and ultimate control.

I ran across this a couple years back and it's been an inspiration since!
A beautiful and perfect description! We're seeing a genius who is in complete comfort and complete control behind the instrument. (Just wish the sound were better, but I ain't looking a gift video in the mouth...)
 

cribbon

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This is a unique jewel in the treasure trove of Buddy Rich drum solos and hands down one of the most interesting ones I've ever heard from him. It's the only time I can ever recall seeing him playing an entire solo with the snares thrown off and utilizing his toms more than the snare drum. As great as he was, I feel that most of his solos became much of a kind in their general construction, and this stands out as a breath of clean, fresh air. Bravo, Buddy.
 

Matched Gripper

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I have always believed that Buddy kept improving right up to the end.
Perhaps close to the end! But, I saw Buddy live about 8 months or so before he died. He did not look well and he played a bit more conservatively than he had in the past.
 
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Very interesting. It looks to me like his HH was too close (for some reason) because he kept bumping his hand on the cymbals. That made him use a matched grip, which sent him into a different "zone," which forced him into a different vocabulary, leading him to explore a bit. Which is very cool!

Then someone moves the HH away from him a bit, which lets him back into his comfort zone, and the traditional grip appears, and then we get some of the "Buddy Stuff."

Or.....

Maybe someone made a passing statement on the bus before the gig about all the "young" or "new" guys playing matched grip, and he wanted to prove a point. Which led to his "take that" look as he stood up at the end. (Spitefully "saying," with body language, see I can do their thing AND my thing!)

Like Jordan (yes I just watched the special too,) Buddy's game was always on. But if you gave him "a reason" or even if he imagined or conjured up a reason, (like Jordan did occasionally,) his game would rise to a new level, and when that happened.... Just look out.

The game within the game,
MSG
 

Hop

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Those of you who have seen a lot of Buddy are familiar with his extensive vocabulary of patented phrases and licks that he used in his solos throughout his career. So, I just found this Buddy video from 1984, 3 years before he passed away, on YouTube playing not just unfamiliar phrases and licks, but, a style I've never seen from Buddy before, and the first 3/4 of this solo was completely with matched grip. Maybe some of you have already seen it and I'm just catching up. It seems that Buddy was on the verge of evolving into something new that we never got to fully see. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
You might find this one interesting of a younger Buddy .. the real fun begins at about the 1:50 mark. Interesting to be reminded of how small cymbals were back in the day.

 

hsosdrum

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The trombone player moving Buddy's hi-hat away during his solo (before the big finale) was standard practice. I've seen it in several videos.
 

hsosdrum

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You might find this one interesting of a younger Buddy .. the real fun begins at about the 1:50 mark. Interesting to be reminded of how small cymbals were back in the day.

Buddy's miming to his own playing (and doing a pretty bad job at it) between 2:00 and 3:17. After that the sound is live with the picture.
 

wflkurt

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The first and only time I saw Buddy was in 1984. I was 13 and it was awesome. It's hard to remember all the details but I do remember him playing traditional grip. I would have noticed that as my teacher was trad player and seeing Buddy play matched would have stuck out.

I truly believe that Buddy continually got better until his death. Sometimes you see musicians that you remember were at their peak during a certain time period but I am inclined to believe that Buddy just got better and better which is astonishing in my opinion. That final CD that Cathy put out is fantastic and not only does Biddy sound great, I believe the rest of the band sounds as tight as ever. Those guys were smoking hot.
 

Kcmcc

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I think there is a pretty longstanding pattern of Buddy playing matched grip on tunes where he knows he is going to be staying on the Floor Tom the majority of the time. Which is kind of consistent with his criticisms of matched grip. He basically claims that it forces players to play dumb predictable fills around the toms. (That's nonsense but it's not inconsistent - if you're staying in one place how you get around the drumset isn't relevant - and regardless of your position on the grips - it's much more comfortable to spend extended periods on the right side of the drumset in matched.)
 
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