- Released: December 21, 1993
- Label: Bgo - Beat Goes On
- 1.Big Swing Face - (with Buddy Rich)
- 2.Willowcrest - (with Buddy Rich)
- 3.Alfie - (with Buddy Rich)
- 4.Mexicali Nose - (with Buddy Rich)
- 5.Groovin' Hard - (with Buddy Rich)
- 6.Long Day's Journey - (with Buddy Rich)
- 7.Preach and Teach - (with Buddy Rich)
- 8.Celebration - (with Buddy Rich)
- 9.Basically Blues - (with Buddy Rich)
- 10.Critic's Choice - (with Buddy Rich)
- 11.Meaning Oh the Blues - (with Buddy Rich)
- 12.Winnig the West - (with Buddy Rich)
- 13.Group Shot - (with Buddy Rich)
- 14.Machine - (with Buddy Rich)
- 15.I Can't Get Started - (with Buddy Rich)
- 16.Diabolus - (with Buddy Rich)
Personnel: Walter Namuth (guitar); Ernie Watts, Richie Cole , Art Pepper (alto saxophone); Jay Corre, Pat La Barbera (tenor saxophone); Chuck Findley, George Zonce, Bill Prince, Walter Battegello, Bobby Shew (trumpet); John Boice, Vince Diaz, Rick Stepton (trombone); John Bunch (piano); James Gannon (electric bass).
Liner Note Author: Peter Vacher.
Recording information: Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV; The Chez, Hollywood, CA; The Tropicana, Los Vegas; The Whisky A Go Go, Hollywood, CA.
Arrangers: Don Menza; Don Piestrup; Don Sebesky; Harry Betts; Dave Bloomberg; Allyn Ferguson; Oliver Nelson; Bill Holman; Bill Potts; Bill Reddie; Bob Florence.
This is an excellent collection of Buddy Rich compiled from his tenure with Liberty Records in the '70s. As is typical of Great Britain's BGO label, the sound quality is excellent, there are decent liner notes and the tune selection is impeccable and includes Rich's fantastic readings of Burt Bacharach's "Alfie," Johnny Burke's "Preach and Teach," Bobby Troup's "The Meaning of the Blues," and a hyper modern take on Vernon Duke's nugget "I Just Can't Get Started." Rich was able to take the big band into very progressive areas, and other cuts, such as the arrangement of Bill Holman's "Winning the West," illustrate why. Holman, along with Oliver Nelson, Bill Potts, Don Sebesky, and Don Menza were some of those who wrote charts for the group. This band not only swung, they used elements of Kenton's advanced harmonics, Duke Ellington's blues roots, and the sheer dynamic, in-your-face verve of the Don Ellis bands. Add to this the personnel Rich was lucky enough to work with at the time -- he would claim it was they who were lucky to work with him -- and it's no surprise these sides burn: Richie Cole, Art Pepper, Ernie Watts, Bobby Shew, Chuck Findley, Pat La Barbera and John Boice, just to name a few. Recommended. ~ Thom Jurek