I am late in noting the death last Saturday of an all-time great jazz drummer – Luigi Balassoni, or Louie Bellson.
The L.A. Times obituary is here.
Before leading his own bands, Bellson played with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and Duke Ellington.
Mr. Bellson for decades was Pearl Bailey’s husband and musical director.
Click here to hear his 1977 recording of the Ellington standard “Cotton Tail.” It starts with a characteristically splendiferous drum solo.
Speaking of splendiferous drum solos, feast your peepers: