Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's a buddy without a friend?

As noted in a previous post, one of my favorite artists, among my most favorite of instruments, is guitarist Buddy Fite. A relative unknown that I discovered only by the chance of uncovering an 8 track tape of "Changes" sitting unappreciated in a crowded bargain bin at some department store back in the 80's. As bargain binners will sometimes find, the occasional decision to buy something based solely on the cover (and, in this case, the price), can pay off in spades, and as my earlier post and comments on "Changes" atest, Buddy, and everything he touched with a guitar, was pure gold to my ears. The album posted today is a later recording called "Buddy Fite & Friend", the friend being drummer Chick Colburn who ably assists Buddy through this collection of ten smooth tunes. With a couple of standards like "All The Things You Are" and "Don't Take Your Love From Me" along with a handful of great pop classics of the 60's like "This Guy's In Love With You", "My Cherie Amour" and "Something", Buddy accomplishes his usual uncanny transformation of these familiar songs into fresh and glowing jazz artworks. I love his bright metallic tone that rings at just the right moments and his knack for smoothly taking off on a theme effortlessly. Most of these cuts feature Buddy playing his signature comping/soloing while beautifully laying down the bass line all at the same time. Then there is usually an overlay of a second guitar track where he typically plays solos or duet parts. His music is never pretentious, sometimes quite simple and comforting, and then at times powerful and uplifting. Check out "This Guy's In Love..." and even "Something" to feel the wonderful ride he takes you on with those strings. While it would be easy to misread this by appearances considering the presence of two Beatle tunes and even, God forbid, two from the The Carpenters catalogue, trust me, Buddy brings out the best of each tune and if you ever liked these tunes at all you will love these versions. And if you didn't like them before, well, I think you're gonna change your mind here. This record just makes me wish Buddy were still alive today to make more recordings like this. I'd love to hear more. I do have another Fite LP I hope to post at a later date, as well. One odd thing I noticed is that track 4 and 5 on this LP were switched from what the cover documents, so I labeled the tracks according to how they were on the actual record, not the cover. Please excuse the quality being very much of LP origins. I did a lot of click removal here and for the most part I think it came out reasonably well, but it is not CD perfect by any means, offered here at 320 to all my blogster friends & buddies...enjoy!


Buddy Fite - Buddy & Friend - 1970
Bell 6058 Stereo

This Guy's In Love With You
We've Only Just Begun
All The Things You Are
Didn't We
(They Long To Be) Close To You

I'll Never Fall In Love
Don't Take Your Love From Me
My Cherie Amour

Buddy Fite - guitar
Chick Colburn - drums
Bob Ascher - trombone (I'll Never Fall In Love Again)


Anonymous said...

Just found your blog. Heard a Buddy Fite album ages ago ('70's?) but I don't have any so many thanks for this. Have a book of his guitar arrangements - probably sitting in one of my boxes of sheet music. -{:?)

Durge & The Oldies said...

Glad you found it. I do hope to post more Fite recordings eventually. Wish there was a lot of his music out there, but there sure isn't much, unfortunately. Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Arkiver. If you have any biographical info on Mr. Fite, please post it.

By the way, the Fite book I mentioned is entitled: 'Buddy Fite Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Solos' I see that it's out of print, selling for $88 on Amazon! At that price, I may just scan it and sell my hard copy on eBay!! - Felix

Durge & The Oldies said...

I will try to add some bio info the next time I post a Fite album. But in the meanwhile there are some links that come up when you do the standard Google search. He was a pretty low profile guy, stayed relatively local. Wish there was more material available to hear...

Kovina Kris said...

Thank you for another BF album arkiver. Easy listening music with a lot of talent and a bit more bite than usual. Very nice!

Durge & The Oldies said...

I agree KK. Buddy can often be placed loosely in the easy listening category, but at the risk of being excommunicated from the jazz community, I have to say Wes Montgomery has been heard in more than a few elevators and department stores (what a way to shop!). So it's no insult to note that his music can be easy on the ears, often laid back a bit. But so much style. Thanks for the comment!

George Glass said...

Just wanted to say that so far, this is my favourite Buddy album. His version of "Something" is the best cover version I've heard so far.

As for Buddy himself, too bad he isn't mentioned enough in favourite guitarist lists. At least he can't be ignored when it comes to 'fast players'.

Great blog by the way.

Chris Alexander said...

What a great blog..Buddy Fite was my stepdad. I lived with him from 1963-1970 and knew him until he died. I am the last person most likely to know the real Bud and his history, person, hobbies, and his loves. He played the guitar like none other because he didn't learn the music..never a lesson, self taught. The music came from within and out through the strings. He didn't understand why everyone couldn't do that. I could tell you who he was but to me, a father and very wise man who shared his ability only as a side. Maybe that's why he seem mysterious. His wife was my mother.

Durge & The Oldies said...

Thanks for visiting this blog Chris, and for your valued comments about your step-dad. As you can tell from this blog, I could never get enough of Buddy's playing and I would love to know more about him...especially to hear any unreleased music. In fact, you are the second family member to chime in here for Buddy. Deborah (Buddy's daughter) mentioned having some cassettes of his playing. Gosh I would be thrilled to post any of that unless someone might actually plan to have it professionally released (which would be even better). If you have anything else you would like to post about Buddy please do so, or pass it on to me and I'll dedicate a page to just that. That would be a special honor for "Do You Hear What I Hear", believe me. Thanks again Chris. I hope to hear more from you!

robertm said...

...His music can be easy on the ears, often laid back a bit. But so much style." You nailed it! That was Buddy.