Louie Bellson Big Band

Live from New York

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At 71, Louie Bellson on this CD displays more energy than most drummers half his age. Bellson not only takes solos on more than half the selections (including a lengthy workout on "Santos"), but he composed all seven originals; the only surprise is that Bellson decided to let some of his musical friends (including Matt Catingub, Tommy Newsom, and Bob Florence) arrange the charts instead of writing them himself. With concise solos from such sidemen as trumpeters Marvin Stamm and Glenn Drewes, tenorman Ted Nash, altoists Joe Roccisano and Steve Wilson, and trombonist Keith O'Quinn, Bellson's music is given perfectly suitable interpretations. But just in case, the equally ageless fl├╝gelhornist Clark Terry (at 75) stars on two songs, including the exquisite ballad "Blow Your Horn." With Louie Bellson constantly driving the ensembles, this is a big band disc well worth acquiring.

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