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Louie Bellson Jam With Blue Mitchell

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Album Review

This CD reissue brings back one of Louie Bellson's better small-group dates for Pablo. In addition to the drummer/leader, his septet includes trumpeter Blue Mitchell (still in good form on one of his last recordings), the underrated but great tenor Pete Christlieb, pianist Ross Tompkins, guitarist Bob Bain, bassist Gary Pratt and percussionist Emil Richards. Most intriguing about the date (which mostly sticks to group originals) is that there is a three-song ballad medley comprised not of standards but of Bellson tunes. "Shave Tail" (an older song co-composed by Bellson and Charlie Shavers) is a highlight.


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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Louie Bellson Jam With Blue Mitchell, Louie Bellson
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