Grooves & Samples #10: Buddy Rich – The Beat Goes On (1967)

Grooves & Samples is a weekly dive into old dusty crates of jazz, funk, soul and beyond.

Buddy Rich, bandleader and drummer, is no secret among jazz enthusiasts. With an impressive and prolific career spanning the late 1930s to the 1980s, his style of sharp, fast and precise drumming is instantly recognisable and easily some of the best in jazz drumming. He has been sampled by the likes of Cinematic Orchestra, DJ Format, and The Roots.

Among his output of classy jazz standards and big swing sounds, Rich was not above leading the band in some big crowd-pleasing numbers. In this instance, his cover of Sonny Bono and Cher’s chart-topping 1967 hit “The Beat Goes On”. Surpassing Sonny’s plodding original composition, Rich instead ramps up the tempo and reflects the youthful energy of his vocalist (Rich’s own 12 year old daughter Cathy, who Rich joked was drunk during the performance).  By cheerfully infusing the flavour of big-band with youthful 1960s beat-music, Rich and his band embody the spirit of the lyrics, about evolving modernity and the accepting clash of old and new. On top of that, its a big-band groove you just can’t get out of your head.

For bonus points, here’s Buddy Rich drum battling Animal from The Muppets.