Stan Levey 2004

bob erwig
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Drummer Stan Levey (1926 - 2005) was one of the bebop pioneers.
In Philadelphia at the age of 16 he met Dizzy Gillespie and joined his rhythm group (Dizzy called him the 'Original' Original) and became one of the leading bebop drummers for more than 30 years. In 1952 he joined the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Upon moving to California in 1954 he became a catalyst of the West Coast "cool school". His bop-informed drumming enlivened groups like the Lighthouse All Stars. Levey led many sessions and in 1957 started the Stan Levey Quintet
The music you hear in this clip is from a recording in 1958 of the Stan Levey Quintet with Richie Kamuca, tenor, Conte Candoli, trumpet, Lou Levy, piano and Monte Budwig bass.
During his music career Stan was one of the busiest muscians in America. He appeared in over two thousand recordings with artists such as Gillespie, Parker, Monk, Lester Young, Miles Davis, Milt Jackson, Benny Goodman and many more of such fame. He was a member of the Tonight Show Band and also played in many film scores and on TV episodes.
Eventually he became worn out by the music busines and changed his career to become a professional photographer. He gained the acclaim of performing artists and fellow photographers everywhere.
Arthur Pritz, a life-long friend of Stan, saw some of Stan's playing on one of my youTube sites and he assembled a special video montage for me to post on youTube.
Arthur, together with Stan, produced a very interesting documentary "Stan Levey, the Original Original" (the Jazz Bop Pioneer Tells His Story).
Whenever I am offered an opportunity, I like to promote the work of fellow musicians. This DVD (almost 2 hours long) is available from StanArt Productions through