Louie Bellson

Air Bellson

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AllMusic Review by

This is one of Louie Bellson's last significant recordings before advancing age caused him to inevitably slow down. At 72, the masterful drummer is still heard in prime form on this 1996 set, driving his all-star septet. In addition to Bellson (who has a lot of short breaks), such key players as tenor-saxophonist Pete Christlieb (an underrated giant), veteran trumpeter Conte Candoli, trombonist Andy Martin, and the valuable Sal Lozano (heard on alto, soprano, and flute) keep the music quite stimulating. Most unusual is that Bellson wrote all 13 selections. Some are based on familiar chord changes or blues while several are quite original. The music always swings and the musicians seem quite inspired by Bellson's ageless playing.

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