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HOME -> FRESH SOUND RECORDS -> Buddy Rich And His Buddies · Playtime (2 Lps On 2 Cds) + Bonus Tracks
Buddy Rich And His Buddies · Playtime (2 LPs on 2 CDs) + Bonus Tracks

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Buddy Rich

Argo LP-676

NBC Transcription

Buddy Rich And His Buddies · Playtime (2 Lps On 2 Cds) + Bonus Tracks

Buddy Rich

Featuring: Buddy Rich (d), Don Goldie (tp), Sam Most (cl, fl, as), Mike Mainieri (vib, arr), John Morris (p), Wilbur Wynne (g), Richard Evans, Wyatt Ruther (b), Vinny Marino (conga)


“The world’s greatest drummer,” Buddy Rich, is at the helm of this happy, driving small group in two sessions from 1960 and 1961—one of them remained unreleased for many years—that feature the stirring playing of multi-reedman Sam Most and Rich’s young discovery, the astonishing vibraphonist Mike Mainieri.

Both Most and Mainieri (who also did most of the group’s writing) are abundantly inventive soloists, while the buoyantly effective rhythm section is a Rich archetype. With the leader keeping the drum solos within reasonable limits—mostly breathtakingly brilliant four or eights, and passages ingeniously integrated with the rhythmic patterns of the ensemble—this is one of his tightest small groups.

As a bonus, this set includes tracks from rare radio broadcasts aired in October 1961, during one of the band’s appearances at Birdland. Though known mainly as a big band drummer, Rich demonstrates, through his breathtaking virtuosity and versatility, that he could electricfy an ensemble of any size or any style. His finesse, control, and taste were simply astonishing.


CD 1

01. Lulu’s Back in Town (Dubin-Warren) 5:48
02. Playtime (Sam Most) 6:09
03. Will You Still Be Mine? (Adair-Dennis) 4:40
04. Fascinatin’ Rhythm
(G. Gershwin-I. Gershwin) 4:33
05. Makin’ Whoopee (Donaldson-Kahn) 4:22
06. Marbles (Morris-Most) 5:46
07. Misty (Erroll Garner) 5:04
08. Cheek to Cheek (Irving Berlin) 6:15
09. The Night Is Young and You’re So Beautiful
(Kahal-Rose-Suesse) 3:06
10. Little Susie (Ray Bryant) 5:02
11. R.B. (Mike Mainieri) 4:50
12. Angel Eyes (Dennis-Brent) 3:50

CD 2

01. The Be-Bop Irishman (Ray Bryant) 5:05
02. Foxy (Sam Most) 3:10
03. The Surrey with the Fringe on Top
(Hammerstein-Rodgers) 5:37
04. The Way You Look Tonight (Fields-Kern) 4:34
05. Doxy (Sonny Rollins) 2:53
06. Mountain Greenery (Hart-Rodgers) 2:54
Bonus Tracks:
07. Cheek to Cheek (Irving Berlin) 3:09
08. Lulu’s Back in Town
(Dubin-Warren) / Blues 2:04
09. Baubles, Bangles and Beads
(Wright-Forrest) 2:22
10. Mountain Greenery
(Rodgers-Hart) / Blues 3:59
11. Misty (Erroll Garner) 2:34
12. Sweet Georgia Brown
(Bernie-Pinkard-Casey) / Blues 4:44
13. Little Girl Blue (Rodgers-Hart) 2:26
14. After You’ve Gone
(Layton-Creamer) / Blues 3:55


CD 1, tracks 1-8: “Playtime”, Argo LP-676

CD 1, tracks 9-12 & CD 2 tracks 1-6: unreleased Argo album

CD 2, tracks 7-14: Broadcast National Guard Sessions

Personnel on "Playtime":

Buddy Rich & His Buddies: Sam Most (clarinet, flute, alto sax); Mike Mainieri (vibes, arranger); John Morris (piano); Wilbur Wynne (guitar); Richard Evans (bass); Buddy Rich (drums).

On #2 & 6 Don Goldie, trumpet, added.

Ter-Mar Studios, Chicago, Oct. 3 & 4 (#2, 6), 1960

Personnel on the unissued Argo album:

Sam Most (plays only flute); Wilbur Wynne out; Wyatt Ruther (bass, replaces Evans); Vince Marino (conga, added); and Ernie Wilkins, probably arranger on CD 1 #11 & CD 2 #1.

Ter-Mar Studios, Chicago, circa January 1961

Personnel on "Let's Go to Town":

Sam Most (flute); Mike Mainieri (vibes); Johnny Morris (piano); Wyatt “Bill” Ruther (bass); Buddy Rich (drums); Vinny Marino (conga).

Sergeant Jim Collins, master of ceremonies.

NBC radio broadcast, National Guard Sessions, October 1961

Original Argo sessions produced by Jack Tracy

Compiled for CD release by Jordi Pujol & Bruce Klauber

Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered



" This double CD contains not only the 1960 LP Playtime but also an unissued Argo album from c1961 and a recording of several 1961 NBC radio broadcasts entitled Let's Go to Town. The whole package comprises about 114 minutes of fine small-group music, driven by Buddy Rich's stimulating drums.

Buddy was equally useful in big bands and small groups but one advantage of his small-group recordings is that you hear more of Buddy, especially playing four-bar breaks. Skilful arrangements (by Mike Mainieri on the first eight tracks and some others) make the best use of the small band, as in Makin' Whoopee, where the relaxed arrangement ends with a series of jokey double notes.

Buddy Rich doesn't hog the limelight, although he does some fantastic solos. His longest solo is probably on The Surrey with the Fringe on Top, a performance at top speed which also illustrates Mike Mainieri's agility. But Rich is equally good at spurring the band with just-right emphases and accents, as in Cheek to Cheek. As well as Buddy, the most prominent soloist is Sam Most, whose versatility is evident on the first eight tracks, where he plays three instruments (he stays with the flute for the remainder of the album). Vibist Mike Mainieri also gets well-deserved solo space. Mainieri was given his first big opportunity by Buddy Rich, and Mike certainly was a find: not only a skilful arranger but also a talented vibes-player.

The front cover says "Featuring Sam Most, Mike Mainieri and Don Goldie" but Goldie only appears on two tracks. He produces an acceptable solo on Playtime and a sparklingly fast muted solo on Marbles.

The mixture of Buddy Rich's extrovert drumming with the delicate flute and vibes makes a piquant contrast. For instance, Fascinating Rhythm opens with a slow, plaintive introduction from the flute before the whole group swings into a fast tempo.As with nearly all Buddy's recordings, the music swings along irresistibly. And the combination of Mainieri, Most and Rich is irresistible."

Tony Augarde (January, 2013)

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