I fell down a Buddy Rich rabbit hole on the Internets yesterday and found this performance from the Tonight Show from 1975 that is simply incredible. Buddy Rich is famous (or infamous) for being a complete asshole (for context, watch the first half of this clip, or this one, where he disses country music). That is not an incorrect assessment, but I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. Perhaps arrogant is a better word, but it’s an arrogance he backs up every time he picks up his sticks. At any rate, he was certainly one of the greatest drummers of our time, or even of all time. A staunch advocate for jazz, Rich spent the majority of his later career playing at schools and universities in the hopes of inspiring younger people to take up the art form.
If you’re not awake yet, this will get your blood pumping. It is the epitome of the word “tight” when used to describe a performance.