Channel One Suite is a live 1985 performance by Buddy Rich and His Band at One Pass's King Street Studios in San Francisco. It serves as a final document to the greatness of the drummer and his legacy. This was Rich’s last recording as he passed away in 1987.
This astonishing Emmy Award winning concert, produced by Gary Reber, was a unique in-studio concert to create the club atmosphere that Rich enjoyed so much while presenting his big band sound. The Surround Sound recording used the world’s largest condenser microphone...a 20-foot Plexiglas structure that was custom designed for the event. In addition to that, right underneath Buddy was a clear plate so a camera could view him playing the drums. You could see the sweat pouring off the animated Rich as it dripped onto the surface, it was a truly amazing viewpoint to have. This event was the first of its kind in regards to technological advances in live sound recordings.
Important as this event was to jazz music the tapes were missing for many years, until recently they were recovered and restored so music lovers everywhere can experience what happened on that historic evening.
As indicated on the back cover of this DVD-During a Rich engagement in LA some years ago, twenty-two drummers were in the audience. At the conclusion of the show, half of them were openly crying. That kind impact is indeed incredible. Undoubtedly, Rich was in a class all by himself. He was a unique individual and artisan. Unbelievably he could not read a note of music, the band would play him the script once and he knew it. I watched Rich perform all of these songs with my mouth hanging wide open in disbelief. Personally, I have never witnessed a drummer play like that, and I probably never will again.
The "Extras" section is very interesting in regards to a career retrospective of the musician and the man. His daughter and people that worked with him over the years pay loving tribute to him with their stories. There is also some humorous footage of Rich on the Johnny Carson show in the ‘70s. Carson was a close friend of Buddy for many years.
This DVD is a jazz collector’s piece beyond compare and an archetypal big band jazz recording that will remain an important piece of our history and culture for eternity. Buddy Rich goes unrivaled as a jazz drummer and performer and this superb DVD, besides the vast catalog of recorded works he left behind, is one more gift to us all that lends credibility to the word legend.