Sandy Nelson

He's a Drummer Boy!

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He's a Drummer Boy! Review

by Jason Ankeny

Although sales of Sandy Nelson's second album suffered mightily from the absence of a major chart hit on par with his breakthrough "Teen Beat," He's a Drummer Boy! remains worth seeking out for the quality of its musicianship. Backed by a group of L.A. jazz session vets let by bassist Red Callendar, Nelson largely avoids the cover tunes associated with his later records in favor of a series of lively originals that make plain his debt to the big-band drumming of Gene Krupa and Cozy Cole. Make no mistake, however -- He's a Drummer Boy! is a rock & roll album, and Nelson drives forth the material with energy and abandon. Songs like "Feet Beat," "Jumpin' Jungles," and "The Flip" are as light and cordial as their titles imply, and while there are no chart smashes found here, nor is there the abundance of filler common to LPs of the pre-Beatles era. Compared even to Nelson's own album-length releases of the era, He's a Drummer Boy! is a consistent and lively effort that's no more or no less than the sum of its parts.