87.5 MB 256+ VBR LAME mp3 Vinyl rip & scans from Pablo 2310-838
Continuing with our "Give The Drummer Some!" feature on Louie Bellson, today we present a small combo setting featuring Blue Mitchell again as well as Pete Christlieb who (along with Don Menza) stood out with his reed work on the previous post, The Louis Bellson Explosion. Ironically, this LP has more of a big band feel in its arrangement even though there's not much in the way of straight-up swing. Louie always managed to procure the cream of the crop for his sessions and there are a couple of surprises in personnel here, namely microtone maven Emil Richards and old school guitar hero Bob Bain, the man responsible for the mean licks on Mancini's Peter Gunn. He's yet another of those characters whose work is indelibly imprinted on the popular psyche of Western Civilisation but remains almost completely unknown to the public at large.
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.
Even the CD reissues from '94 and '95 are OOP but you can jam some more with Louie HERE or HERE.