Heavy drums from this mighty pair – presented together on two classic albums! Burnin Beat is a drum-heavy spectacular that returns Gene Krupa
and Buddy Rich
to their big band roots – thanks to some hard-swinging arrangements from George Williams! The tracks are a bit shorter and done with a larger group than on some of the other Rich
sides for Verve – but there actually seems to be even more drum pyrotechnics here, possibly because the players' efforts are compressed into such a tight space! Production is a bit odd – with the drums so high in the mix that they sometimes come across with more treble than bass – but that really highlights some of the most inventive moments on the top of the kit as well. Titles include "Duet", "Perdido", "Evolution", "Night Train", and "Hawaiian War Chant". Original Drum Battle is a pretty darn great album – with a wonderful mix of JATP swing and strong-handed drumming by the leaders. The material was recorded at a Jazz At The Philharmonic show at Carnegie Hall in 1952, and although the main focus appears to be Krupa
's drum work, there's actually some fantastic sax playing on the album – from both the alto of Willie Smith and the tenor of Flip Phillips, both of whom are at the height of their powers in this relaxed setting, working amazingly well around the bombastic drum pounding of Krupa
. Tracks are long, and titles include "Idaho", "Flying Home", "Drum Boogie", "Drum Battle", and "Perdido".