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Les DeMerle

Long at the forefront of modern jazz drumming, drummer, clinician and band leader Les DeMerle toured and recorded with the Harry James Big Band from 1970 to 1982. One of those recordings, "King James Version" won a Grammy Award. Les toured for three years and recorded with Wayne Newton, also toured and recorded with Manhattan Transfer, and has appeared with many other musical greats, including, Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, and Joe Williams.

His own jazz/rock group Transfusion, produced five poll-winning albums, and his two educational drum books, Jazz/Rock Fusion, Volumes 1 and 2, published by Hal Leonard, have long been best sellers.

Cookin' At The Corner, Volume One

Les DeMerle's 4th recording for Origin is another swinging affair that further cements his reputation as one of the most dynamic drummers in jazz. Recorded live in front of an enthusiastic audience, the band sizzles on 15 tunes including classics such as "Cute," "Jumpin' With Symphony Sid," and the soul hit "Compared to What." With vocalist Bonnie Eisele, they caress standards "The Shadow of Your Smile," "The More I See You," and "Stardust," and they define future standards including the title cut "Cookin' at the Corner" by pianist Mike Levine.


Album Review

Les DeMerle: Once in a Lifetime

Read "Once in a Lifetime" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Drummer Les DeMerle recorded his first album, Once in a Lifetime, when he was a twenty-year-old prodigy in 1967. However, as is sometimes true in the music business, the album was lost in the shuffle at Atlantic Records and sat gathering dust until someone had the good sense to retrieve and release it some fifty-six years later. As the saying goes, better late than never. To share the front line on this dynamic (mostly) studio date, DeMerle ...

Liner Notes

Les DeMerle & Sound 67: Once in a Lifetime

Read "Les DeMerle & Sound 67: Once in a Lifetime" reviewed by Scott Yanow

Every once in a while, the discovery of a forgotten recording from the past results in the history of jazz being altered. Until now, it was believed that the hard-driving and swinging drummer Les DeMerle made his first recordings in 1969 with his debut as a leader, Spectrum. The first-time release of Once In A Lifetime, which was recorded in 1967, rewrites the history books a bit. At the time, Les DeMerle was 20 and already had quite ...

Album Review

Les DeMerle Band Featuring Bonnie Eisele: Cookin' at the Corner, Volume Two

Read "Cookin' at the Corner, Volume Two" reviewed by Edward Blanco

On November 11 and 12, 2005 drummer Les DeMerle and his band recorded a two-session live performance at The Jazz Corner in Hilton Head, South Carolina, producing his fourth and fifth recordings, Cookin' at the Corner, Volume One and Volume Two for Origin Records. Recording a total of thirty songs, Volume Two represents the second half of this project.

As with the first session, this follow-up release features vocalist and wife, Bonnie Eisele, with whom DeMerle has recorded ...

Album Review

The Les DeMerle Band: Cookin' At The Corner, Volume One

Read "Cookin' At The Corner, Volume One" reviewed by Edward Blanco

A veteran first-call musician and leader of many bands who has also shared the stage with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mel Torme, power drummer Les DeMerle's fourth album on the Origin label, Cookin' at the Corner, Volume One, was recorded live at the Jazz Corner in Hilton Head, South Carolina in 2005. DeMerle and crew deliver a swinging performance of jazz vocals and instrumentals music, playing thirteen classic standards packaged in between two original tunes.

Album Review

Dynamic Les DeMerle Band: Hittin' the Blue Notes, Volume 2

Read "Hittin' the Blue Notes, Volume 2" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

A lot of us jazz fans cut our listening teeth on Blue Note records by Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan and more. The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band's Hittin' the Blue Notes, Vol. 2 celebrates that classic sound with a set of swinging, hard-driving hard bop tunes.Les DeMerle sat in the drummer's chair in the Harry James Orchestra for twelve years, and he brings to this project an exuberant and swinging propulsion, a crisp and brightly optimistic rhythmic ...

Album Review

The Les DeMerle Band: You're The Bop: A Jazz Portrait of Cole Porter

Read "You're The Bop: A Jazz Portrait of Cole Porter" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

A small band with a very large band sound.

Skip right to the last track, “Love for Sale". This is a drum-voice duet between DeMerle and Eisele. It is stunning. Eisele's time is as perfect her empathy with the drummer DeMerle. This reading is as effective as the same vehicle used by Mary Pearson on her Arkadia release You and I, where she duets with the drums. Voice and drums'drums and voice, this is what this disc is ...

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Les DeMerle Little Big Band 'Dance & Jazz Party Cruise' on the Caribbean — Book Your Cabin Today

Les DeMerle Little Big Band 'Dance & Jazz Party Cruise' on the Caribbean — Book Your Cabin Today

Source: Les DeMerle

The Dynamic Les DeMerle Little Big Band, featuring vocalist Bonnie Eisele, will transport their popular Dance and Jazz Party to the high seas this fall when they settle into a unique seven-day musical cruise in the Caribbean. The group will be featured nightly on MSC Cruises’ newest ship, The Seascape, from November 11-18, 2023. They will begin with an opening VIP cocktail party where guests can meet and greet the musicians and follow with themed nightly jazz parties. Dancers can ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Once in a Lifetime

Origin Records



P-Vine Records


Cookin' at the...

Origin Records


Cookin' At The...

Origin Records


Hittin' the Blue...

Origin Records


You're The Bop: A...

Summit Records


Come Back to Me

From: Once in a Lifetime
By Les DeMerle


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