Sunday, April 19, 2015

RIP Louie Bellson

The elegant sticks man born Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni took his last drum solo on Valentine's Day. Louis Bellson, dead at age 84.

RIP Louie Bellson

I have a picture of him at my desk, an elegantly dressed older man with wavy gray hair slicked back and hands that  belonged on a stevedore. He's sitting with other lions of the skins -- Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes -- at some event in Boston. He looks like he just heard something unbelievable, which is likely given the company.

On Valentine's Day, the drummer born Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni took his last solo. Louis Bellson, dead at age 84. He was reared in Illinois and as a pup he played with Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Lionel Hampon., you name it. He wrote and arranged more than 1,000 songs.

This video tribute comes from a battle with his rival, Buddy Rich. I'm not sure of its vintage, but it's choice.

Inquirer Columnist
About this blog
Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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