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Jazz Giants

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Album Review

For this all-star gathering, drummer Louie Bellson and five fellow veterans (tenor saxophonist Don Menza, clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, trumpeter Conte Candoli, pianist Hank Jones and bassist Keter Betts) perform "Allen's Alley" and five basic originals, all of which have chord changes fertile for hot solos. The musicians all play up to par, Bellson's spots are as exciting as usual, and the music should certainly please bop fans.


Born: 06 July 1924 in Rock Falls, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the great drummers of all time (and one of the few whose name can be said in the same sentence with Buddy Rich), Louie Bellson has the rare ability to continually hold one's interest throughout a 15-minute solo. He became famous in the 1950s for using two bass drums simultaneously, but Bellson was never a gimmicky or overly bombastic player. In addition to being able to drive a big band to exciting effect, Bellson can play very quietly with a trio and sound quite satisfied. Winner of a Gene...
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