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Album Review

Louie Bellson's big bands are always hot and explosive, if not all that surprising. This 1987 CD features four originals by the drummer, three obscurities, and an opening "Caravan" that has solo space for guest flugelhornist Clark Terry, the great tenor Don Menza and Bellson. The other selections feature such talented soloists as trumpeters Brian O'Flaherty and Glenn Drewes, George Young on alto and soprano, altoist Joe Roccisano, Kenny Hitchcock on tenor, and pianist John Bunch. The 17-piece big band mixes together veterans with comparative youngsters and has many names familiar to followers of Bellson's orchestras. An above-average effort from the swinging crew.


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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Hot, Louie Bellson
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