Saturday, February 18, 2023

Transcription: Buddy Rich - Big Mac

Buddy Rich drum solo on Big Mac, a prodigious funk/rock arrangement by Ernie Wilkins, from Rich's album Ease On Down The Road— it's actually better known from Roar of '74, but I have it on EODTR. I'm not particularly a lover of Buddy Rich's playing, but my God. 

Ever feel like basically all instrumentalists— and arrangers— have forgotten that this kind of energy is a thing? Everybody's moving sideways, fussing around in the fine subdivisions. I'm complaining about the young, people in their 60s definitely haven't forgotten.  

Tempo is 93, the solo begins at 3:49. 

It's Buddy, so lots of rim shots, he's extremely aggressive with his accents. We hear more unisons between the snare drum and bass drum than perhaps with other drummers. It's a powerful sound but kind of crude. His rock thing doesn't sound fully formed, but he's certainly bringing the energy. Who needs fully formed. 

I would expect him to be doing a lot of paradiddles, but here I believe the stickings on the denser stuff are mostly singles. He seems to be playing some very thin little hihats, and mostly hanging out on a very bright 70s 20" A. Zildjian. Tom toms sound good, classic rockin' late 60s/early 70s sound. Very little left foot activity that I can hear. 

Style note for you transcribers: when there's a lot of double time— 32nd notes and sixtuplets— it's best to create a little imaginary beat separation between the downbeat cluster of notes and the &-of-the-beat cluster of notes, connecting them with a single beam, as I've done here. 

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