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Louie Bellson & Clark Terry: Louie & Clark Expedition 2

Louie Bellson and Clark Terry have fostered a musical friendship that, if intermittent, has certainly been long lasting. A cursory discographical search finds the two recording together in 1949; after mutual membership in Duke Ellington’s band of the early 1950s, these masters continued to fruitfully cross paths over the ensuing decades. Cut in 2007, Louie & Clark Expedition 2 reunites the ageless artists once again.

Although graciously co-billed in this bigband project, Bellson (at 83, four years younger than CT) actually takes on the lion’s share of responsibility-writing all of the album’s compositions, turning in arrangements and expertly leading the crack ensemble from behind his drum kit-while Terry’s role is that of a guest soloist, contributing occasional tart trumpet statements. With two lifetimes of jazz experience behind them, much with big bands, Bellson and Clark imbue the younger aggregation with their money-can’t-buy-this expertise and indefatigable spirit.

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