Artist: Buddy Rich
Title: The Roar of 74
Label: Groove Merchant
Musicians:Charley Davis – trumpet, Larry Hall – trumpet, Greg Hopkins – trumpet
John Hoffman – trumpet, Joe Romano – alto saxophone, Bob Martin – alto saxophone, Pat La Barbera – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, Bob Crea – tenor saxophone, John Laws – baritone saxophone, Alan Kaplan – trombone, Keith O’Quinn – trombone, John Leys – trombone, bass trombone, Buddy Rich – drums, Buddy Budson – piano, Joe Beck – guitar, Tony Levin – double bass, Jimmy Maeulen – conga,Sam Woodyard – percussion
Producer: Sonny Lester
Mastering Engineer: Sam Feldman
The Roar of ’74 is a 1973 studio album by the Buddy Rich big band released on the Groove Merchant Records label in the USA.
Sadly, the horns on this LP almost take away the enjoyment as they were recorded at high level and sound harsh in the mix. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with most Buddy Rich LPs in my experience so far. I sometimes think that it’s a wonder he and others in his band were not deaf as far as we know.
This LP is typical big band jazz/swing, which was popular in the thirties and again in the seventies. While I appreciate this type of jazz, I have always been partial to the quartet or quintet bebop style Jazz. As this is Buddy Rich this LP is about percussion though, while not predominant, it is still featured. What is interesting about this LP is that as we approach the second track on the first side we find it a bit unusual because it is an African flavored funk track featuring guitar.
Track three is another funk/soul/rock style track that ends with bass and drum. Of interesting note is that this was long before the sub-genre’ of “drum & bass” came to be known in the dance/club scene. Track four is your standard high energy big band jazz number.
Side two of this record starts pretty much the same way side one ends. The second track introduces a slow blues number into the mix of songs. Track three is the longest track on the LP and supposedly a showcase. It would be a good track were it not so avant-garde. The LP ends with a jazz/blues number called Senator Sam, which is kind of a soundtrack style to a degree.
Unfortunately, we never get to hear any solos from Buddy Rich on this LP making one think that this was just a steady paycheck obligation. Not that there is anything wrong with that.