louie bellson, rip

I got to see Louie Bellson play in Durham a couple of years ago and was absolutely blown away. At the time I wrote:

But what I found facsinating [sic] is that he doesn't play like he's 25--he plays like someone with 8 decades of experience. Effortless. Nothing to prove. Pure economy of motion, his hands just gliding from drum to cymbal to hi-hat and back again. And so smooth. Whenever he ended a solo, and started into his trademark hi-hat shuffle (doo-dicka-doo-dicka-doo) to bring the band back in, he had the exact same grin on his face that you see in pictures going way back. At one point he was using two sticks in his right hand, and he occasionally busted out some double bass chops that would give Dave Lombardo a run for his money.

I had no idea at the time that he had Parkinson's disease. He did have the bent forward posture when he walked, and he moved very slowly, but siting behind the kit was like throwing a switch. He was in complete control.

Anyway, I'll let the man speak for himself, the way he did best:

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