West Side Story Medley – 1969

Buddy Rich

A rather incredible drum solo

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Drummers may come and drummers may go (and there have been many great ones), but there was only one Buddy Rich (1917-87).

There was really no explanation for Rich’s talent; he was mostly self-taught, was playing drums on vaudeville at 1 ½, and by the late 1930s had no close competition, even besting the much more famous Gene Krupa.

Try to imagine any other drummer playing what Rich does throughout this showcase on the “West Side Story Medley,” performed when he was 52.

-Scott Yanow


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