Louis Louie – We Gotta Go Now…

17 02 2009

Louie or Louis, depending on which LP you’re looking at, or Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni if you check with the county clerk, died on Valentines.  He was 84. He was a two-footer, using two bass drums, this big bang making the descriptive ‘drum explosion’ more than a marketing ploy.  He married Pearly Bailey, which was great, and brave for both of them.  He supported Richard Nixon which was a mistake.  He did these incredible drum ‘battles’ stunts vs. Buddy Rich, and he claimed Duke Ellington claimed him as the greatest drummer in the world.  You should be so lucky.

Here’s a cover that’s not in Google Images to enjoy.


And as Styne says on the back of this LP, “…the beat predominates, which is always best for me.”

Recordings @ ARC where Bellson is top cat:
• Louie Bellson.   150 Miles Per Hour  (Concord Jazz, USA, CJ 36, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1977)
• Louie Bellson Big Band.   Dynamite!  (Concord Jazz, USA, CJ 105, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)
• Louie Bellson And His Jazz Orchestra.   East Side Suite  (Music Masters, 60161T, 5″, compact disc, 1989)
• Louie Bellson and His Jazz Orchestra.   Hot  (Music Masters, CIJD 20160Z, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1988 )
• Louie Bellson And His Jazz Orchestra.   Hot  (Music Masters, CIJD 60160X, 5″, compact disc)
• Louie Bellson / Ray Brown / Paul Smith.   Intensive Care  (Pausa, USA, PR 7167, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1984)
• Louie Bellson/Blue Mitchell.   Jam With Blue Mitchell  (Milestone, USA, 802, 5″, compact disc, )
• Louis Bellson and the Oscar Peterson Trio.   Jazz Giants ’58  (Verve, USA, V-8248, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, )
• The Louie Bellson Quartet.   Live at Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase  (Concord Jazz, USA, CJ-350, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1988 )
• Louie Bellson Big Band.   London Scene  (Concord Jazz, USA, CJ-157, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1981)
• Louie Bellson.   Louie Bellson’s 7  (Concord Jazz, USA, CJ 25, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1976)
• Louie Bellson.   Louie Bellson Explosion  (Milestone, USA, 728, 5″, compact disc)
• Louis Bellson.   The Louis Bellson Explosion  (Pablo, USA, 2310-755, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1975)
• Louis Bellson.   Louis Bellson Swings Jule Styne  (Verve, USA, MG V-2131, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)
• The Louie Bellson Drum Explosion.   Matterhorn  (Pablo, USA, 2310 834, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1979)
• Louie Bellson & Explosion.   Note Smoking  (Discwasher Recordings, DR 002 DD, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1978 )
• Louie Bellson.   Peaceful Thunder  (BMG, 01612-65074-2, 5″, compact disc, 1992)
• Louie Bellson.   Prime Time  (Concord Jazz, USA, CJ 64, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1978 )
• Louie Bellson & Quintet.   Salute   (2 CD set)  (Chiaroscuro Records, 329, 5”, compact disc, 2002)
• Louie Bellson & the “Explosion” Orchestra.   Sunshine Rock  (Pablo, USA, 2310 813, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1978 )
• Louis Bellson.   Thunderbird  (Jasmine, UK, JAS 40, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, date?)

Where Louis’s name is on the cover :
• Count Basie   [Oscar Peterson, Freddie Green, Ray Brown, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Louis Bellson, John Heard].   Basie and Friends  (Pablo, USA, 2310-925, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1988 )
• Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.   Ellington Uptown  (Columbia, USA, ML 4639, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)
• Count Basie Kansas City 3   [Louis Bellson / Ray Brown].   For the Second Time  (Pablo / Original Jazz Classics, USA, OJC-600, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1990)
• Oscar Peterson / Louis Bellson / John Heard.   The London Concert Royal Festival Hall, 1978  (Pablo Live, USA, 2620 111, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1979)
• Louie Bellson / John Faddis / Milton Hinton / Hank Jones / Bob Malach / Bucky Pizzarelli.   Originals  (Stash, USA, ST-205, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)
• Duke Ellington.   Uptown  (Columbia Jazz Masterpieces, USA, CJ 40836, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)

Bellson also appears on many compilation, or Various Artist recordings, but these have yet to be properly catalogued here @ ARC.

Save the Economy

3 02 2009

weavers_travelling-copy van_ronk_ageing

I was cataloging some 60s folk recordings the other day and ran across something I had never seen before; spelling mistakes, or at least odd archaic forms in the titles of two LPs.  Two, in one day.  That there are mainstream products, scrutinized by a host of professionals, all who failed to see what was right in front of them, made me think about the economic ‘surge’ we are about to undertake.  The one that will save the economy.

I know nothing about business, but have built the largest, and I believe best archive of its kind in the world.  It is a not-for-profit now in its 24th year.  We have never applied for a city, state or federal grant.  We’re OK.  Every year is a recession.

So when I hear all the arguments about where the money should go, and hear the daunting amounts, I’m a bit numbed.  Equally confusing is the back and forth concerning the value of the arts to the economy of New York City and the nation.  I do know that the main reasons anyone would ever visit Manhattan these days is to see a play, hear music, or go to a museum.  Gone is the chatty cabbie, an alternative press, the art ghetto and all the impossible Mom and Pop stores that made me want to live here.  There’s merit in the argument that creativity has migrated to the outer boroughs.  There’s more in that this expanding circle will dissipate without a long-lived community, something that property markets ensure.

We have to face the facts – New York has not produced a major named music or art movement since the late 70s.   It’s not a romance that the people of a bankrupt New York City came up with hip-hop, punk, minimalism and performance art.  In a Times article from 2003 Susan Sontag and Mikhail Baryshnikov already know, “that really good things, really imaginative things of a cultural nature aren’t going to happen in New York.”  The gist is that we can’t keep calling ourselves a cultural capital, we actually have to do something.  We are now Paris; magnificent in our way, a museum city where the arts are curated rather than created.

So here’s a suggestion.  Throw $100,000 at the smallest of arts and community based not-for-profits.  A billion would bounce off the walls of Citibank, not to mention Chrysler.  Not one penny to the NEA.  But 100K to 10K small, focused organization, or even goofy sloppy ones, would equal two hires and a little off the top for overhead.  ‘Bonus’ is not in their vocabulary.  Isn’t the goal to create jobs?  No bureaucracies, no delays, no meetings, no middlemen.  Institutions would be strengthened, vibrant people will stick around, programs that entertain and educate will be maintained and created.  Here’s the money.  Hire someone.

If the lament is that there would be theft, mismanagement, undeserving awards, then wail away.  I don’t think I’ll ever see the headline that a cultural organization pyramided 50 billion.   We’re looking for stimulus and I propose a human touch over corporate Viagra.

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