“The world’s greatest drummer” – Duke Ellington
Jazz drummer Louie Bellson (1924 – 2009), the inventor of the two bass-drum kit, was famous for his memorable contributions to the Big Bands of Benny Goodman, Count Basie, & Tommy Dorsey. He also revitalized the Duke Ellington Band, where he became renowned as an arranger & composer, and toured for many years with his wife, singer Pearl Bailey. During his distinguished career, he has recorded with Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Art Tatum, and Oscar Peterson, among others. Driving the band from the drums, Louie Bellson cemented his reputation leader who controls the performance, yet allows his musicians the creative freedom needed to constantly evolve the music.
For this special, live, concert DVD, entitled Louis Bellson & His Big Band, Bellson keeps up the Big Band tradition while exploring contemporary sounds by leading his Orchestra, which includes 18 of the finest performers and creative soloists on the musical scene, playing as a tightly knit ensemble. Recorded with eight cameras, this fantastic big band performance not only includes Louie Bellson’s impeccable time keeping, vibrant soloing, and his renowned compositions and arrangements, but also features the innovative percussionist’s unique musical vision that has made him one of the Jazz world’s top drummers, on a level alongside the legendary Buddy Rich.
“Crackling, straight-down-the-pike Big Band music.” – DOWN BEAT MAGAZINE
Selections include The Drum Squad, Samantha, Blues for Freddy, Niles Ahead, We’ve Come a Long Way Together, and Explosion.