92 MB 256+ VBR LAME mp3 Vinyl rip & scans from Concord Jazz CJ-105
Here's the last installment in our initial "Give The Drummer Some!" triple-play feature on Soundological. It had been a while since I'd heard this LP but the mayor of Grooveville posted an hommage to him last month so I pulled it out again for a listen. Another smokin' big band session, this time in a live environment, with more of the usual high energy and technical prowess from Louie and his gang. There are a couple of ballads thrown in for contrast, with one dedicated specifically to Louie's pal Blue Mitchell who had passed away just weeks prior to this gig. For any serious drum solo fanatics out there, the last track has a five-minute solo by LB, something you won't hear often in his studio recordings.
Recordings by Louie Bellson's various big bands tend to be a slight disappointment, full of fire and explosive moments but sometimes lacking in subtlety and surprises. This effort finds the classic drummer at the head of a 14-horn, 19-piece orchestra that is certainly full of power. Bellson, his tenor star Don Menza and altoist Matt Catingub wrote all of the six songs, and among the key soloists are Menza, Catingub, trumpeter Bobby Shew, altoist Dick Spencer and guitarist John Chiodini (featured on "Where Did You Go"). Nothing all that unusual occurs (although Don Menza's Sambandrea Swing" is exciting), but modern big-band fans will enjoy the effort.
Although the man has recorded over 60 albums as leader since 1954, I could only find a total of five floating around out there, three of which come courtesy of yours truly. If anyone out there has additions, then give the drummer some and leave them in the comments so I can update the post accordingly. I had a copy of Sunshine Rock as well but it has gone missing . Should it pop up, it'll find its way onto the blog but for now you can pick up your stick of TNT HERE or HERE.