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Flatbed Buggy

by Rudy Royston

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    The download includes an exclusive bonus track, "I Wanted To Be Home Soon," from the recording session.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    4-panel digipak with artwork and liner notes by Rudy Royston.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Flatbed Buggy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $15 USD or more 


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Buy 'Flatbed Buggy' (2018) and 'Rise of Orion' (2016) together and save!

    Includes unlimited streaming of Flatbed Buggy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $25 USD or more 


Soul Train 09:44
boy...MAN 05:43
Twirler 05:24
Hourglass 07:15
Bobblehead 05:51
Hold My Mule 00:36
girl...WOMAN 11:07


Rudy Royston, first-call drummer with Bill Frisell, JD Allen, Dave Douglas and a host of other jazz greats, has honed a thoroughly engaging voice as a composer and bandleader with his compelling debut 303 (2014) and the raw and bracing trio follow-up Rise of Orion (2016). Flatbed Buggy, his third album as a bandleader, is rich in tonal contrast and mood yet steeped in the supple, enduring swing and groove that has driven his writing and playing from the start.

Royston leads a compact, almost chamber-like quintet featuring Gary Versace (accordion), John Ellis (woodwinds), Hank Roberts (cello) and Joe Martin (bass). There’s an endless amount to discover: the melodic development and final triumphant letting-loose of the opening “Soul Train”; the hint of New Orleans rhythm in “Flatbed Buggy”; the picture of innocence in a young child twirling, on “Twirler,” with a startlingly brilliant tempo shift into slow swing; or the fast, twisty theme and saxophone showcase of “Bobble Head.”


released October 26, 2018

Rudy Royston, drums
John Ellis, bass clarinet, saxes
Gary Versace, accordion
Hank Roberts, cello
Joe Martin, bass

Produced by Rudy Royston
Executive Producer: Dave Douglas

Engineered, edited and mixed by David Kowalski at Teaneck Sound Studios, Paramus, NJ, April 2018
Mastered by Kevin Blackler at Blackler Mastering, Brooklyn, NY, May, 2018

All songs by Rudy Royston (Rudy Royston Publishing / ASCAP)

Thanks to God, Shamie, Kinyah and Koleby Royston, Clara Royston, James Ervin Royston Sr, Paster James Royston Jr., Ron Miles, Dave Douglas, Anthony Branker, Ben Allison, Brian Blade and Fellowship, Bill Frisell, Scatman Crothers, John Lee Hooker, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Yellowjackets, JD Allen, Sting, Led Zeppelin, JoAnna, Dave Kawalski, Kein Blackler, Mark Micklethwaite, Robyn Ardagh. Thanks to John, Gary, Hank and Joe for their time and exceptional gifts.

Cover Design by Rudy Royston
Cover Buggy Photo by Isabella Oprete

Rudy Plays Canopus Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Gibraltor Hardware and Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets

Press quotes:

“Flatbed Buggy is a true masterpiece sure to elate the most discerning of jazz aficionados with its unorthodox and novel ideas and its unparalleled level of musicianship.”
– Sébastien Hélary, Nextbop

“Mildly sentimental, often cinematic, the program boasts a willful sense of grace that sustains itself, even when the momentum truly starts to percolate. The band’s cozy approach to interplay is spot-on, harking to pastoral beauty … utterly refreshing.”
– Jim Macnie, Downbeat

“… the quintet’s artistry is so richly imbued with intricate layers of melody and rhythm. One of the more memorable and enjoyable releases of 2018, to be sure.”
– Troy Dostert, All About Jazz, 4.5 stars

“Flatbed Buggy is one of those albums to listen to all the way through. There’s so much to “hear”, so many stories and histories embedded in this music that it’s impossible to appreciate what Rudy Royston has so majestically created on one pass through. At times stunning, at others times, joyful yet always melodic and rhythmically rich, this album deserves your full attention!”
– Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

“On Flatbed Buggy, there is room for full improvisation, as the quintet blends seamlessly, and the interplay keeps the mood invigorating. … There is a lot to like here, and Royston succeeds in setting a mood to explore one’s happy youth experiences with instruments seldom found together in a jazz setting.”
– Jeff Krow, Audiophile Audition

“Who can resist the reedy mix of accordion and bass clarinet? Not me, especially when there’s a cello on hand to make like a walking bass or a singing violin. Wonderful chamber jazz writing, with moods ranging from bebop to Americana.”
– Paul de Barros, Downbeat Hot Box

“Royston has an unusual instrumental palette for this jazz-come-Americana-album-wistful accordion, temperate cello, smoldering sax. His unflagging attention to the beat defies most of the moodiness. But his playing directs each tune toward the satisfying endgame: a soft landing on the ear.”
– Suzanne Lorge, Downbeat Hot Box

“The leader wields as much power from his dynamic and often delicate drumming as he does from his enticing compositions, which elicit a sepia-toned, cinematic allure.”
– John Murph, Downbeat Hot Box


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Rudy Royston New York, New York

First-call drummer Rudy Royston (Bill Frisell, JD Allen, Dave Douglas) has honed a thoroughly engaging voice as a composer and bandleader. His releases include his compelling debut '303' (2014), the raw and bracing trio follow-up 'Rise of Orion' (2016) and the chamber quintet release 'Flatbed Buggy' (2018). ... more

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