I just arrived in Brussels, Belgium for a quick three week tour with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. After two flights totaling about 11 hours of flight time - I had definitely listened to quite a bit of music. I usually take this time to study what the musicians were doing or even make notes for charts that I would like to play in the future. One tune that came up and has always tickled my ears since I first heard it in my early teens - is the song, "The Monster" by Buddy Rich on the Krupa and Rich album. This particular tune, recorded in 1956, features Buddy Rich (drums), Thad Jones (trumpet), Joe Newman (trumpet), Ben Webster (tenor sax), Frank Wess (tenor sax), Oscar Peterson (piano), Freddie Green (guitar), and Ray Brown (upright bass). The interplay at the beginning between Oscar Peterson and Buddy Rich is absolutely incredible especially considering the blistering tempo that hovers around 300bpm. The song then opens into a platform for a saxophone battle followed by a trumpet battle. What comes of this is aural magic! One thing that always strikes me about Buddy's playing - and is especially evident in this song - is how articulate his single stroke rolls are. "The Monster" is a real gem that stands the test of time in the history of Swing and Jazz. Enjoy!