Louie Bellson, drummer
Drummer ~ Bandleader ~ Composer
birth name: Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni

Louie Bellson

July 6, 1924, Rock Falls, IL ~ February 14, 2009, Los Angeles, CA

The youngest and last of the “great three” showman-drummers in jazz, the others being Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. He was the most diversely talented of the three and, many would argue, the most musically gifted. Duke Ellington pronounced him “not only the world's greatest drummer, but also the world's greatest musician.” In addition, he had the reputation of being almost embarrassingly obliging and affable. In a business not noted for such qualities, this aspect was regularly commented on. ~ The Telegraph: Louie Bellson Obituary ~ February 16, 2009 © The Telegraph

A crisp and dazzling drummer. ~ New York Times: Louie Bellson Obituary ~ February 17, 2009 © New York Times

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Best known as a superlative big band drummer as a result of his work in the 1940s and '50s with Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Duke Ellington and others, Bellson was also an adept small group player. His more than 200 recorded appearances as leader and sideman encompass sessions with Jazz at the Philharmonic, Woody Herman, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, James Brown and dozens of others, including Ellington's Big Four alongside guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Ray Brown. ~ Los Angeles Times: Louie Bellson Obituary ~ February 17, 2009 © Los Angeles Times

Louie Bellson ~ Named one of the Rhythm 100 Most Influential Dummers in 2011 ~ A total good-guy genius. He was the first with double bass drums, two decades before Keith Moon and his drum features with Duke Ellington's orchestra are legendary. ~ 2011 © Rhythm/Musicradar

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