Posted by: Ian Briggs on 15th February 2012 at 9:03 pm
I wanted to post something about the music I have been listening to recently, and one track that seems to have been played most often in the last couple of weeks from my iTunes collection is the fabulous West Side Story Medley by Buddy Rich.
This unbelievable arrangement is embedded below from a Parkinson interview, and although it is not the best recording of the piece, it is brilliant to see a group of world class musicians make something so incredibly difficult look very very easy!
In the video below, particular standout moments are Jay Corre’s tenor sax solo and Rich’s drum solo about 7 minutes in; complete with one handed drum rolls and beautiful subtleties, he remains one of the few drummers who could create interesting solos not just filled with noise.
Another arrangement of West Side Story (can you tell I’m a huge fan) that I’m addicted to is the more modern version by Dave Grusin. This features members of the GRP All Star Big Band (some of the finest musicians in history…Sandoval, Weckl, Evans…) and is a brilliantly crisp performance. It also has a great solo from Michael Brecker; the way he crafts his solo around a pretty difficult backing is extraordinary, and the way he finishes the solo and gets out of it is masterful.
It’s great to see the recording session in the linked video of Something’s Coming, and the other songs available from the same album are also well worth a watch on YouTube too.