What does Bud compare his band to in "Bud, Not Buddy"?
Bud compares the band's music to a storm. When Miss Thomas begins to sing her part in the piece, it is like "the sun busting through thick, gray clouds".
Bud is mesmerized by the band's unique sound. It begins with The Thug "brushing his sticks across the round gold metal thing next to his drums and making it sound like a soft rain...coming down in a steady, bouncing way". Then Dirty Deed makes music with the piano that makes "you think of what Niagara Falls must sound like...big, bright drops of water splashing up and over, over and up". Steady Eddie on the sax makes his note "drift away from the rest of the storm of music", then joins "the rain sound that the Thug and Dirty Deed (keep) going", and Jimmy "pick(s) up his horn and join(s) in the storm". Finally, Herman E. Calloway himself pulls the strings on his giant fiddle. Each time he pats the strings it seems "like something wide and heavy (is) walking by slow and easy...like he (is) the thunder, soft and far away but geting closer all the time".
When the instruments are playing at their peak, Miss Thomas chimes in, breaking through "like the sun". She is so good "she (doesn't) even have to sing real words, mostly she...say(s) things like "la da de da de da da". Her voice and the instruments play a conversation, until finally the rain and thunder get soft, going "farther and farther away, like the storm had gone and blowed itself over into the next county" (Chapter 17).