Monday, February 16, 2009


When people talk drummers, you might hear a few jazz cats. Mostly, you'll hear Bonham, Moon, Pert (because, believe it or not, some people actually like Rush). You might hear some people mention Max Roach, Buddy Rich, Art Blakey. Rarely you'll hear someone mention this cat, but dude was doper than almost anyone out there: Louis Bellson. I first heard Louis when the recording Matterhorn ended up on my desk about five years ago.

Any time I see something proceeded by the word "explosion," I'm drawn to it. In fact, I have to do everything I can to not be totally consumed by it. It's "explosion" and "experience." As in the "Rockafire Explosion" or the "Jimi Hendrix Experience." I tossed it in and, for probably the first time in my life, I was actually blown away by a drummer. Dude wasn't even really a drummer. To me, he was so much more. I've always had issues with drummers. My grandfather was really hard on drummers. I don't think my father likes drummers to much. One of them was a band leaders and the other a director. I am neither. I just don't like drummers. It's probably in my blood. Everyone wants to play like either Meg White or Lars. No one has any sense of balance and finesse. Any drummer I've ever known likes to play loud, fast and uses entirely too many fills in their performance. So, I see "explosion" on the cover and I'm thinking, "Any cat that names the band after himself and then uses the word 'explosion' to describe their act is worth listening to." It'd be like me referring to myself as the "the Awesome Explosion" or "the j3 Experience." Upon listening, I was floored.

Dude was so fast, so exact. So sick. He took the jazz drum solo to places it had never yet been and, as a band leader, his tyrannous abilities stirred the bandstand like a tornado and propelled them to some of the meanest big band sounds ever heard. I liken him to a perfect blend of Art Blakey and Animal.

In case you need reminding, it's Monday, folks. For those of you who celebrate Presidents' Day, yousa sucka. Except for my lovely wife.

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