The Classic Argo, Emarcy & Verve
Small Group Buddy Rich Sessions Discography


The First Major Buddy Rich Retrospective

With all the international fame and his musical legacy, it’s amazing that there has never been a major retrospective on CD. This limited edition collection is a complete look at Rich when he was, without question, a top star.

The seven-CDs features studio dates and live performances from 1953 to 1961 in quartet, quintet, sextet, septet, and octet settings – plus, an 11-piece orchestra. A few tracks only issued in Japan.

There are delightful surprises from a sea of known talents that include Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Benny Carter, Thad Jones, Ben Webster, Oscar Peterson, and more:
• A 1954 session includes inspired playing by Harry “Sweets” Edison.
• Webster’s and Peterson’s presence on a 1955 date with borrowed Basie-ites; Thad Jones, Joe Newman, Frank Wess, and Freddie Green, make for exciting listening.
• The “orchestra” assembled in 1956 includes two sets of great Basie tunes with a all-star band featuring Frank Rosolino, Pete Candoli, Buddy Collete, Jimmy Rowles, and others.
• A highlight of the set is a 1957 quartet with with fabulous blowing by Flip Phillips.

His solos are virtuoso presentations of licks known and invented on the spot. Like no one before him, he coaxes melody from a rhythm instrument. Rarely will you find such agility and power, simultaneously. Even on blues numbers, which want naturally to drag, Rich pushes, producing maddening tension. And when he needs to lay back and let someone else solo, he is respectfully ever-present.

The Mosaic collection, packed with 78 tracks including 13 that have never appeared anywhere, is a Rich fan’s dream set bringing together many hard to obtain LPs that present him as a leader of studio dates in addition to the early sixties small group albums for both Verve and Argo.

The Monster
Buddy Rich Ensemble
May 16, 1955

Thad Jones, Joe Newman (tp), Ben Webster, Frank Wess (ts), Oscar Peterson (p), Freddie Green (g), Ray Brown (b), Buddy Rich (d). 

Rich noodles briefly on the hi-hats before dropping into a fast Basie-like groove on The Monster, which quickly turns into a dazzling exchange of musical athleticism between Rich and Peterson.

Few of us ever manage to achieve what we admire. So we take solace by simply admiring, with some regret and constant vicarious amazement, those few who do something better than anybody else in the world. It’s a world apart from our own, but one in which Rich was always completely at home, whether it was with Dorsey, Shaw, Parker or in this case Peterson – all the best there ever was.

It is also what makes cutting contests such as this such grand musical sport. Webster, Jones, and Wess each take theirs’, before Newman and Jones start finishing each other’s sentences through four chase chouses.

About midway through Rich takes over for a four-and-a-half minute turn – long indeed, but without becoming redundant or falling into repetitive cycles – always a problem for those of us amateurs who blow our best stuff in the first 16 bars. One’s only regret is not being able to see Rich in action. – John McDonough

“You either swing a band or don’t swing a band and that’s what’s lacking today. There aren’t any guys who get back there and play with any kind of guts. And I like a heavyweight. I’m not a flyweight. I like heavyweights and in my music I like emotionally good, strong heavyweight type of jazz.”

– Buddy Rich, Metronome Magazine, March/April 1956

For the purposes of this discography, only first issues in the U.S. on 78, 45, 10” LP and 12” LPs are listed. EPs have been omitted unless they are the initial 45 release. All recordings are mono except where noted.
(A) BUDDY RICH ALL STARS: Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison (tp), Milt Bernhart (tb), Benny Carter (as), George Auld (ts), Bob Lawson (bari), Jimmy Rowles (p), John Simmons (b), Buddy Rich (d).
Radio Recorders, LA, August 21, 1953
1266-2 Let’s Fall In Love Clef 89094 (78)
1267-3 Me And My Jaguar –
1268-7 Just Blues Norg EPN 37

Note: All titles also on Norgran MGN 26 and MGN 1052.
(B) BUDDY RICH ALL STARS: Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison (tp), Milt Bernhart (tb), Willie Smith (as), Tom Brown (ts), Bob Poland (bari), Gerald Wiggins (p), Joe Comfort (b), Buddy Rich (d).
Radio Recorders, LA, August 27, 1954
1904-3 Sweets’ Opus No. 1 previously unissued
1904-4 Sweets’ Opus No. 1 Norg 148 (45), MGN 26, 1052
Bongo, Bass And Guitar –1 Norg 126 (78)
1906-3 Strike It Rich previously unissued
Strike It Rich Norg EPN 38, MGN 26, 1052
1907-3 Sportin’ Life (Sweetie Pie) Norg 126 (78), MGN 26, 1021, 1052

-1 Edison (tp), Wiggins (p), Comfort (b), Jack Costanzo (bgo), Rich (vcl) only.

Note: Matrix 1905 has caused much confusion with its title. Discographies have incorrectly listed it as Piano, Bongos, Bass And Drums with guitarist Herb Ellis being added to the group; the lyric sung by Rich is Piano, Bongo, Bass And Guitar; and in the Norgran ledgers and on the 78 label, it’s listed as Bongo, Bass And Guitar.

In the Norgran ledgers, matrix 1906 was originally titled Hum Drum and has been mistitled in discographies as That’s Rich.
(C) BUDDY RICH ENSEMBLE: Thad Jones, Joe Newman (tp), Ben Webster, Frank Wess (ts), Oscar Peterson (p), Freddie Green (g), Ray Brown (b), Buddy Rich (d).
Fine Sound, NYC, May 16, 1955
2344-1 Sunday Norg MGN 1031, 1078
2345-1 The Monster – –
2346-1 Ballad Medley: –
Over The Rainbow
You’ve Changed
Time After Time
This Is Always
My Heart Stood Still
I Hadn’t Anyone Till You
(D) BUDDY RICH QUINTET: Harry Edison (tp), Sonny Criss (as), Jimmy Rowles (p), John Simmons (b), Buddy Rich (d).
Radio Recorders, LA, August 26, 1955
2454-1 Sonny And Sweets Norg MGN 1052
2455-8 The Two Mothers –
2456-1 A Smooth One Norg MGN 1078
2457-3 Broadway –
(E) BUDDY RICH QUINTET: Harry Edison (tp), Jimmy Rowles (p), Barney Kessel (g), John Simmons (b), Buddy Rich (d).
Radio Recorders, LA, September 1, 1955
Nice Work If You Can Get It Norg MGN 1038
2479-1 Willow Weep For Me Norg MGN 1052
2480-1 You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me Norg EPN 141, MGN 1038
2481-2 Now’s The Time – –
2482-3 The Yellow Rose Of Brooklyn Norg EPN 141, MGN 1038
2483-2 All Sweets Norg 148 (45), MGN 1038
2484-4 Easy Does It Norg MGN 1038
2485-2 Barney’s Bugle –
(F) BUDDY RICH AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Pete Candoli, Harry Edison, Conrad Gozzo (tp), Frank Rosolino (tb), Bob Enevoldsen (v-tb), Bob Cooper (ts), Buddy Collette (bari, fl), Jimmy Rowles (p), Bill Pittman (g), Joe Mondragon (b), Buddy Rich (d), Marty Paich (arr).
Radio Recorders, LA, August 24, 1956
Shorty George
Jump For Me
Blues For Basie
9:20 Special

Note: All titles issued on Norgran MGN 1086.
Radio Recorders, LA, August 25, 1956
2937-3 Blue And Sentimental Norg MGN 1086
2937-4 Blue And Sentimental Norg 153 (78, 45)
2938-4 Down For Double Norg MGN 1086
2938-5 Down For Double Norg 153 (78, 45)
2939-2 Ain’t It The Truth? Norg MGN 1086
2940-4 Jumpin’ At The Woodside –
(H) BUDDY RICH QUARTET: Flip Phillips (ts), Ronnie Ball (p), Peter Ind (b), Buddy Rich (d).
The Dream Bar at Johnina Hotel, Miami Beach, May or June 1957
22377 Lover Come Back To Me
22378 Topsy
22379 Undecided
22380 Broadway
22381 Jumpin’ At The Woodside

Note: All titles issued on Verve MGV 8285.
(I) BUDDY RICH SEPTET: Markie Markowitz (tp), Willie Dennis (tb), Seldon Powell (ts), Mike Mainieri (vib), Dave McKenna (p), Earl May (b), Buddy Rich (d), Ernie Wilkins (arr).
Fine Sound, NYC, April 7 & 8, 1960
19886 Bloody Mary EmArcy MGE 26006
19887 That’s Rich Man Wing SRW 16407
19888 Astronaut –
19889 Straight No Chaser EmArcy MGE 26006
19890 A Night In Tunisia –
19891 Miss Bessie’s Cookin’ –
19892 Pent-Up House previously unissued
19893 Big Leg Mary EmArcy MGE 26006
19894 A Swingin’ Serenade –
19895 Brainwashed –
(J) BUDDY RICH AND HIS BUDDIES: Sam Most (cl, fl, as), Mike Mainieri (vib, arr), John Morris (p), Wilbur Wynne (g), Richard Evans (b), Buddy Rich (d).
Ter-Mar Studios, Chicago, October 3, 1960
10463 Will You Still Be Mine?
10464 Misty
10465 Lulu’s Back In Town
10466 Cheek To Cheek
10467 Makin’ Whoopee
10468 Fascinatin’ Rhythm

Note: All titles issued on Argo LPS 676.
(K) BUDDY RICH AND HIS BUDDIES: Same as (J) except add Don Goldie (tp).
Ter-Mar Studios, Chicago, October 4, 1960
10469 Playtime Argo LPS 676
10470 Marbles –
(L) BUDDY RICH AND HIS BUDDIES: Sam Most (fl), Mike Mainieri (vib, arr), John Morris (p), Wyatt Ruther (b), Buddy Rich (d), Vince Marino (cga), Ernie Wilkins (arr).
prob. Chicago, c. January 1961
10833 The Night Is Young And You’re So Beautiful (MM-arr)
10834 Little Susie
10835 R.B. (MM or EW-arr)
10836 Angel Eyes (MM-arr)
10837 The Irishman (MM or EW-arr)
10838 Foxy
10839 The Surrey With The Fringe On Top
10840 The Way You Look Tonight
10841 Doxie
10842 Mountain Greenery (MM-arr)

Note: This session was probably planned for release on Argo 683 but was never issued.
(M) BUDDY RICH AND HIS SEXTET: Rolf Ericson (tp), Sam Most (cl, fl, as), Mike Mainieri (vib, marimba, arr), Johnny Morris (p), Wyatt Ruther (b), Buddy Rich (d).
NYC, August 14, 1961
61VK354-1 Caravan (MM-arr) Verve V 8425
61VK355-3 Rose Room Verve (Jap) J25J-25158 (CD)
61VK356-2 B.R. Blues (MM-arr) Verve V 8425
61VK357-1 Satin Doll (MM-arr) Verve (Jap) J25J-25158 (CD)
61VK358-2 Lover Come Back To Me (MM-arr) –
NYC, August 16, 1961
take 1 Blowin’ The Blues Away Verve V6 8425
take 6 Late Date –
take 1 Young Blood (MM-arr) –
take 3 I Remember Clifford –
take 3 Afghan (MM-arr) Verve (Jap) J25J-25158 (CD)
take 5 If I Were A Bell (MM-arr) –

Note: Late Date was originally titled Pawn Ticket.

Album index:
10” LP:
Norgran MGN 26 The Swinging Buddy Rich

12” LPs:
Norgran MGN 1021 Our Best, Volume 2 (Various Artists)
Norgran MGN 1031 Sing And Swing With Buddy Rich
Norgran MGN 1038 Buddy And Sweets
Norgran MGN 1052. The Swinging Buddy Rich
Norgran MGN 1078 The Wailing Buddy Rich
Norgran MGN 1086 This One’s For Basie
Verve MGV 8285. Buddy Rich In Miami
EmArcy MGE-26006 The Driver
Wing SRW-16407 The Rich Rebellion
Argo LPS-676 Playtime
Verve V6-8425 Blues Caravan

Verve (Jap) J25J-25158 (CD) Blues Caravan (with bonus tracks)

Original sessions produced by Norman Granz (A-G), Barney Kessel (H), Jack Tracy (I-L) and Creed Taylor (M, N).
Original recording engineer: Val Valentin (F,G), Ron Malo (J,K), Dick Olmstead (M,N).
Produced for release by Scott Wenzel
Production assistance: Joe Corsello
Executive Producer: Michael Cuscuna
Tape transfers: Ellen Fitton
Sessions M & N remixed from the original three-track tape by Ellen Fitton
Mastered using 24-bit resolution by Malcolm Addey at the Malcolm Addey Studio, New York City.
Sessions A-H and “Pent-Up House” from session I are mono. All other selections are stereo.

Special thanks to Buddy Bregman, Marge Champion, Joe Corsello, The Institute Of Jazz Studies, Mike Mainieri, Dan Morgenstern, Johnny Morris, Sam Most, Lou Perry and Jack Tracy.

Design direction: Richard Mantel
Design production: InkWell, Inc.

All tracks courtesy of The Verve Music Group.

This compilation (p)2005 Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings Inc., Santa Monica, CA 90404-U.S.A. Manufactured by Universal Music Enterprises. Warning: All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.
Printed in the U.S.A.
©2005 Mosaic Records L.L.C., 35 Melrose Place, Stamford, CT 06902. All rights reserved.
Phone: 203-327-7111/Fax 203-323-3526/e-mail: Web site:

Producer’s note:
No tape has survived of the takes of Blue and Sentimental and Down For Double (session G) used for the 78 and 45 single releases. These have been dubbed from the best 45 pressing that we could locate.
Although session I is the first stereo date on this set, the previously unissued Pent-Up House exists only in mono form.