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Louie Bellson

Louie Bellson

Louie Bellson was born in Rock Falls, Illinois, in 1924. He started to play the drums at an early age and learned to play various other instruments, as his father owned a music store.   

He studied with Roy Knapp, who had also taught Gene Krupa. Still a teenager, he joined the Ted Fio Rito band in 1941 and spent a year with Benny Goodman. During the mid 40s he started to use the twin bass drums. He became a respected big band percussionist. He has worked with Duke Ellingon, Harry James, Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie and then led his own big band.

Louie Bellson is equally at home within the framework of small combos. He has proved to be a tasteful, always attentive accompanist of top-line singers or of pianists such as Count Basie, Art Tatum or Oscar Peterson. Louie Bellson is admired for his astonishing technique and driving beat. His reputation was further enhanced by his work as a composer and arranger.

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