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Drum Channel Releases New Buddy Rich DVDs

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Drum virtuoso Buddy Rich’s influence affected players in and outside of jazz. For proof look no further than The Buddy Rich Memorial Concert 2008, a new DVD set from Drum Channel that documents the all-star showcase held to honor the “world’s greatest drummer.”

Filmed last October at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom, the program features prominent jazz and rock drummers backed by a top-notch big band with bassist Will Lee. The drummers-Tommy Igoe of the Birdland Big Band, John Blackwell of Prince’s band, Buddy’s twentysomething grandson Nick Rich, Zappa alum Terry Bozzio, Peter Erskine, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Neil Peart of Rush-get a few tunes each, tackling both jazz and fusion standards and big-band arrangements of their rock hits. The concept yields some truly curiosity-piquing moments-say, Smith turning the Peppers’ “Dani California” and Focus’ “Hocus Pocus” into Sammy Nestico charts and leading the band through “Birdland,” or Peart reading “Love for Sale” and recasting Rush’s instrumental “YYZ.” The set includes the original show divided between two DVDs, plus a bonus disc with rehearsal footage and an interview with Cathy Rich.

For those who want to go straight to the source, Drum Channel has also released Buddy Rich Up Close, a collection of six performances originally taped as the pilot for a jazz TV series in 1982. For practicing drummers, the performances have been re-edited to allow for better study of Rich’s technique. The audio has also been reconfigured to better showcase Rich’s chops: In addition to the standard audio, Up Close includes audio tracks for at-home play-along and a drum-heavy mix for close listening. The tunes performed include “Love for Sale,” “Bugle Call Rag,” “West Side Story,” “Birdland,” “Greensleeves” and “Dancing Men.”

To purchase DVDs or find more information, visit

Originally Published