Drummer Louie Bellson had a longtime association with the Concord label, recording straight-ahead music both with combos and his part-time big band. On this 1998 sampler CD, Bellson's program consists of six combo numbers and five by his orchestra, spanning a 20-year period. There are a fair number of drum solos, and Bellson composed four of the pieces. There is also solo space for a large number of top all-stars, including trumpeters Blue Mitchell, Bobby Shew and Conte Candoli, trombonist Andy Martin, tenor saxophonists Ted Nash, Don Menza and Pete Christlieb and pianist Ross Tompkins. A good overview, although not as satisfying as getting Bellson's complete sessions.
The Concord Jazz Heritage Series Review
by Scott Yanow