Louie Bellson

Their Time Was the Greatest

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The concept behind this CD was for Louie Bellson to pay tribute to a dozen drummers with a song apiece. The drummers who are saluted are Buddy Rich, Chick Webb, Big Sid Catlett, Jo Jones, Max Roach, Tony Williams, Dennis Chambers, Elvin Jones, Gene Krupa, Art Blakey, Shelly Manne, and Steve Gadd. Although Bellson plays quite well and his big band is colorful, most of the selections and the drumming sounds nothing like these drummers. Certainly one cannot imagine Dennis Chambers playing "Stix & Bones" or Steve Gadd playing in a similar way to Bellson on "All About Steve." However if one forgets the tribute aspect and just listens to the straight-ahead music, the date is successful. There are fine solos along the way from Bellson (who contributed ten of the 12 songs), tenors Pete Christlieb and Tommy Newsom, trumpeters Conte Candoli, Pete Candoli, and Snooky Young, trombonists Andy Martin and Thurman Green, and pianist Frank Strazzeri among others.

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