313

Louie Bellson and Clark Terry: Louie & Clark Expedition 2

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Louie Bellson and Clark Terry: Louie & Clark Expedition 2 Louie & Clark Expedition 2 marks the historic reunion of legendary drummer Louie Bellson and trumpeter Clark Terry. While the title references the 1803 Lewis & Clark expedition, it's actually a reprisal of the big band effort Live From New York (Telarc, 1994), which featured the composition "Louie & Clark Expedition. Expedition 2 is more than an encore or swan song for the robust 83 year-old Bellson and 87 year-young Terry; it is, indeed, a celebration of life and a musical tribute to big band jazz.

The duo fronts a seventeen-piece ensemble and, with inspiration from Terry, invites drummers Kenny Washington and Sylvia Cuenca to make a special appearance on Bellson's "Two Guys and A Gal, a drum feature where the three drummers take turns soloing on this scrumptious big band number.

Bellson's thirteen compositions are arranged in part by Nat Pierce, Jack Hayes and conductor/saxophonist Albert Alva, but the majority are from the late Tommy Newsom of the Tonight Show band who, unfortunately, did not live long enough to hear this recording. Newsom's participation is of special significance to Terry, the first African-American to play with the Tonight Show band.

The music opens up with "The Chicago Suite," a four-movement sectional arrangement by Newsom and the latest entry in Bellson's ongoing salute to great American cities. Brilliant solos are heard from tenorist Steve Guerra, soprano Stantawn Kendric, and trumpeters Stjepko Gut and Greg Glassman.

Terry makes an entrance on Alva's bluesy arrangement of "Davenport Blues, blowing softly with an almost velvet touch on the horn. He is featured prominently on the brassy "Terry's Mood, with the muted horn on "Back To The Basics (Old), and on the boisterous "Now (The Young). As for Bellson, his play on the sticks is all over the place on every track. Except for "Chicago Suite 2, "Piacere and "Ballade, every piece opens with his energetic pounding of the cymbals and drums, delivering well-placed drum rolls throughout.

While this is indeed a swinging big band album, there are a couple of nice ballads that deserve mention. "Piacere moves slowly to the delicious play from baritone saxophonist Adam Schroeder who, along with pianist Helen Sung, gives a marvelous performance. Jack Hayes provides the other ballad arrangement on "Ballade, which features saxophonist Guerra's sensuous tenor voicing.

It all wraps up with the swinging "Well Alright Then, containing a slew of solos and a final measure from Terry, as the band plays loudly and with power reminiscent of the Duke Ellington bands with which both Bellson and Terry performed in the early 1950s. There is, in fact, a decidedly Ellington influence throughout the disc. There's more than swing, muscle and grace on Louie & Clark Expedition 2, there's a bit of history that marks it with greatness.


Track Listing: Chicago Suite Four Part Movement:(State Street Swing; City of Season; The Blues Singer; Lake Shore Drive); Davenport Blues; Two Guys And A Gal; Piacere; Give Me The Good Time; Ballade; Terry's Mood; Back To The Basics (Old); Now (The Young); Well Alright Then.

Personnel: Louie Bellson: composer, drums; Clark Terry: trumpet, flugelhorn; Albert Alva: conductor, alto saxophone, flute; Stantawn Kendrick: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Steve Guerra: tenor saxophone; Whitney Staten: tenor saxophone; Adam Schroeder: baritone saxophone; Stafford Hunter: trombone; Andrae Murchison: trombone; Cameron MacManus: trombone; Jack Jeffers: bass trombone; Frank Greene: trumpet, flugelhorn; Tony Lujan: trumpet, flugelhorn; Stjepko Gut: trumpet, flugelhorn; Greg Glassman: trumpet, flugelhorn; Helen Sung: piano; Marcus McLaurine: bass; Sylvia Cuenca: drums (6); Kenny Washington: drums (6).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by John Sharpe
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Dyad Plays Jazz Arias" CD/LP/Track Review Dyad Plays Jazz Arias
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Spacebound Apes" CD/LP/Track Review Spacebound Apes
by Phil Barnes
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Countdown" CD/LP/Track Review Countdown
by Doug Collette
Published: September 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!