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Buddy Rich - At the Top DVD
Buddy Rich - At the Top DVD
Actor: Buddy Rich
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational
NR     2002     1hr 27min

Recorded at the Top of the Plaza in Rochester, New York on February 6, 1973, and captures drum legend Buddy Rich in his absolute prime. Syndicated by PBS in that year, it was the first time thousands of drummers were expos...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Buddy Rich
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Rich, Buddy, Jazz, Special Interests, Educational
Studio: Hal Leonard
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 08/15/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 27min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Buddy Rich: At The Top
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Having seen the original video in 1973, I can say I was very excited to see this again. Especially watching and listening to Pat Labarbera's cooking solo on Don Menza's "Time Check". Although one of the reviewers stated that the video showed more of the band than Buddy, a drummer would've heard everything Buddy played during the concert and not worried if it didn't show more of him on tape. I'm very sure that this tape was not edited from its original broadcast in 1973, as these images have been indelibly marked in my mind since then.It's funny to see the hair styles of the band members compared to the ones in the 1986 PBS video taped here in San Francisco. Ahh, the more things change, the more they....well, you know. But the music, as always was first class.Don't miss the solos of Greg Hopkins on flugelhorn. And especially Labarbera on tenor and Don Englert on flute in "Basically Blues". Brian Grivna gives a great alto performance on "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?". And Ray Ricker gives a credible solo shot in "Love For Sale". Labarbera cooks again on "Uncle Albert" Sorry, I'm a reedman, and am partial to all the sax section solos. Closing out the set with West Side Story Medley was in true Buddy Rich fashion, showing off his monstrous skills on the drums. Much as he did on the other much requested "Channel 1 Suite". I remember many a jazz drummer trying to emulate that single stroke roll, of which I knew of only one who could do it. That is one of the most amazing feats of drumming I've ever witnessed (I also play drums, too). If any of you remember seeing this video on PBS back in 1973, you won't be surprised at your memorizing each and every solo verbatim, from back then, like I did. A must for all Buddy Rich fans."
A piece of history
trigoe | Teaneck, NJ USA | 04/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Simply put, this video gets you inside one of the most powerful big bands in history in a live performance in a relatively small room, which is the best place to see jazz. I saw this when I was about 7 years old and it remained a huge force on my playing throughout the next 30 years. The camera angles are not perfect, no, but to complain about camera angles at the expense of an absolutely unbeliveable performance by Buddy and his screaming band is missing the point. Great charts, great playing, a classic Buddy solo on West Side Story. The drive, determination and exceptance of nothing less than perfection that is signature Buddy is in full display. The snare drum comping work alone is a wonder. This is a piece of history that will be viewed over and over again. And don't get me started on Buddy's left hand... it's nuclear powered to be sure. I just can't find where he hides the reactor."
Buddy is and always will be "AT THE TOP"
trigoe | 07/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This video has the perfect title.(RICH AT THE TOP) Buddy Rich is without question the greatest drum technician the world has ever known ! I have seen this video hundreds of times, and every time I'm more amazed what a geniuses this man is. The West Side story solo is totally amazing. What singles, what style, what a left hand. If there is anyone out there that thinks that he could actually play(after watching this) should check himself into a psychiatric hospital. As for that reviewer who thinks that Philly Joe Jones and many other drummers could make the drums seeing better than Buddy Rich ? All I have to say is,You obviously don't play the drums and you never Understood the genius of Buddy Rich ! Guy."
Essential for Buddy fans
Victoria Tarrani | Betwixt FL and CA, USA | 12/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's always a joy watching and listening to Buddy play, but most of the video clips of him are on various composite videos, such as "Classic Drum Solos and Drum Battles" (ASIN B00005RDSJ) and its companion Volume II (ASIN B00006EDPF). In those, and similar videos Buddy's pyrotechnic drumming is showcased, but his overall playing is lost in the dazzle.

This video, however, shows his genius with subtle shades, amazing rhythm and his mastery of bass beats (he does amazing things with a single pedal that is not apparent unless you listen carefully).

Complaints about the audio quality are valid. This DVD could have been much better. And, to be sure, I would have loved more shots of him playing so I could match his moves to the sounds he was producing. However, it is the way the entire band melds together and how Buddy supports the group instead of forcing the attention on his drumming alone that makes this video so valuable. I sat back and enjoyed the music for what it was - superbly played music by a superb cast of musicians that happened to include one of the best drummers ever. Taken in that context this is a wonderful video, which is made all the more wonderful by the West Side Story segment.

If you are a Buddy Rich fan you will love this DVD despite the minor complaints I have both echoed and cited. You will also find a lot of great material on the official Buddy Rich website that is operated by his daughter (paste the ASIN number, B0000A36LU, into the search box on this page, select All Products and click on the Go button)."