Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Louie Bellson - The Louis Bellson Explosion

99.6 MB
256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Pablo 2310-755

This post kicks off an irregularly re-occurring mini-series I'm calling "Give The Drummer Some!" which'll hopefully do what the title implies. There'll be three back-to-back posts of LPs by the featured artist with the usual assortment of info and links scattered throughout.

The first skin-pounder on the list (in no particular order) is Louie Bellson. You know you're talkin' sick on the sticks when jazzbos call you one of the few drummers "whose name can be said in the same sentence with Buddy Rich." Louie is too much major a figure in post-war jazz history that I won't bother going into his story here. Between Wikipedia, AMG and Drummerworld (which has a bunch of LB vids as well) you could learn all you'll ever need to know about the man.

I'm partial to his efforts with smaller combos, especially in the 70s when he worked extensively with Blue Mitchell. This 1975 album includes Blue in a big band context and man does that cat ever blow fire out his trumpet on his solos here! Blue didn't just come prepared for a cookout, the man brought the beef, BBQ and briquets to Bellson's back yard for this party. He's not alone in hitting the mark though, as the band is firing on all cylinders and seems to be having a grand ol' time in the process, even pulling off some funk with Hancock's Chameleon. As usual, Bellson is liberal with the breaks but never hogs the action and as technically showy as drummer bandleaders tend to get, he always keeps an eye on pleasing the crowd as much as the critics.

Louis Bellson - Cymbals, Drums, Leader
Blue Mitchell - Trumpet
Snooky Young - Trumpet
Bobby Shew - Trumpet
Dick Mitchell - Trumpet
Dick Cooper - Trumpet
Cat Anderson - Trumpet
Nick DiMaio - Trombone
Gilbert Falco - Trombone
Ernie Tack - Trombone
Mayo Tiana - Trombone
Don Menza - Saxophone, Sax (Tenor), Reeds (Multiple)
Pete Christlieb - Saxophone, Reeds (Multiple)
Dick Spencer - Saxophone, Reeds (Multiple)
Larry Covelli - Saxophone, Reeds (Multiple)
Bill Byrne - Saxophone, Reeds (Multiple)
Nat Pierce - Piano, Keyboards
Ross Tompkins - Piano, Keyboards
John Williams - Bass
Mitch Holder- Guitar
Paulo Magalhaes (AKA Paulinho Ferreira Magalhaes) - Percussion
Dave Levine - Percussion

1 The Intimacy of the Blues
2 Quiet Riots
3 Carnaby Street
4 Beyond Category
5 Chameleon
6 Open Your Window
7 Movin' On
8 Groove Blues
9 La Banda Grande

AMG Review by Ron Wynn
A fine mid-'70s date that was both a showcase for Bellson's bombastic drumming and also a nice straight-ahead date with great contributions from Blue Mitchell, Snooky Young, Dick Mitchell and others.

Stay tuned for more Bellson but in the meantime, get blowed up real good with Soundological HERE or HERE.

NB: There was an issue w/ track 5 so the old file was nuked and links replaced above. The new file title is appended with the words "REUP" but if you only want to grab the replacement track, you can do so HERE (clicking should auto-start download). Thanks to hanimex 3000 for the heads up!


Hanimex 3000 said...

Thanks for this one I didn't know one hour ago... great session ! The 2 last cuts are fantastic !!!
PS There's a strange artefact at the end of "Chameleon" (between 4' and 4'05").

avocado kid said...

woop! I loves me them big band chameleon covers. sounds like a hot date!

Gorgon Jr said...

Louie Bellson! ohh lord... look at that personnel this sound shall be massive!

respect and thanks

cheeba said...

Hi guys, happy to hear you like the Louie! More to come.

Hanimex, god catch and thanks for bringing to my attention! I never noticed it, it sounds like a slight digital stutter. I will re-rip and put up the single track tonight and reload the full zip file after - anyone who has already downloaded can swap the file and dl's after that will be goog to go.

cheeba said...

Hi guys, sorry for not catching the stutter near the end of Chameleon. If you've already downloaded the file, you can just grab the track itself from the link at the end of the updated post.

J Thyme...kind said...

Bombastic? Is that good?

cheeba said...

Hey J!

The answer to your first question is he's often cited as the first drummer to use a double-kick like the metal kidz are so fond of these days.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding blog, thanks a million.

This might be a long shot but you wouldn't happen to have a copy of Guy Warren - Africa Speaks, America Answers?

cheeba said...

You're most welcome and your kind words are much appreciated, fslmy!

I wish I did have a copy of that LP! I've been looking for a few years but no luck at all. I'd also like to get my hands on the 2 KPMs he did too, 1053 & 1054.

Rest assured that if I get any of them or find a link, they'll wind up here!

Anonymous said...


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We have put you in our blogroll. Maybe, you could include us in your blogroll. That would be great.

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Many thanks in advance.


J Thyme...kind said...

When ever I think of a word like "Bombastic", I always flash on a player like that nutty drummer for "The Who". I hope this isn't as over the top crazy as that guy?

cheeba said...

Now, now... don't be badmouthing Keith Moon! Yes, he was a nutter but I'd take him over Bonham or any other of his contemporaries at the time.

Nothing nearly as outrageous here, "bombast" more describes Bellson's playing style. He came up in the big band era so he had to be heard (and noticed) as he played with 16+ musicians, so he's loud 'n' proud but rarely obnoxious and not as showy as a lot of drummers (no 10 min drum solos on these LPs).

A good example of his bombast is the start of Carnaby Street. Nothing flashy but check how hard he's hitting those skins.

cheeba said...

Thanks Paulina, I also added a link to your fledgling flac blog. Good luck!

Hanimex 3000 said...

Guy Warren is credited on KPM 1053 & 1054 "Native Africa Vol.1 & 2"... Does it mean Louie Bellson was part of the recording sessions ?

cheeba said...

Hi Hanimex! You are correct, those are the KPMs done by Guy Warren.

Louie was not involved, though. fslmy was multitasking by thanking me for LB and also checking to see if I had the Guy Warren LP prior to the one post here a couple months ago.

Sorry for the confusion!