Home / Biography / Stan Levey

Stan Levey

Drummer Stan Levey was the backbone from the Dizzy Gillespie-led device that influential jazz critic Leonard Feather dubbed “the first proper all-bebop group to try out on 52nd Road,” virtually defining the form and audio of jazz in the present day era. Levey was created Apr 5, 1926, in Philadelphia — the boy of an automobile salesman and boxing promoter, he was a self-taught prodigy who at 16 inserted a local membership headlined by Gillespie, convincing the trumpeter to allow him sit down in on drums. Gillespie was therefore impressed with the teen’s effective however tasteful playing that he expanded an offer to become listed on the group full-time — Levey quit senior high school instantly thereafter, playing night clubs during the night and washing vehicles on his father’s great deal by day time. Fellow jazz music artists derided Gillespie for recruiting a white, Jewish 16-year-old to anchor his music group — “Display me an improved dark drummer and I’ll hire him,” Gillespie responded, so when he relocated to NEW YORK, he persuaded Levey to go with him. There the drummer became a member of a small music group led by Coleman Hawkins and offering Thelonious Monk, trimming his first documenting session to get Artwork Tatum; he also backed Ben Webster and sat along with Woody Herman’s First Herd when regular drummer Dave Difficult was unavailable. From 1943 to 1949, Levey also boxed expertly, contending at Madison Square Backyard and even showing up on a single bill because the immortal Joe Louis. In 1945 Levey offered within the Charlie Parker Quintet, so when Gillespie and Parker became a member of forces later on that same 12 months, they recruited Levey to try out drums — bassist Al Haig and pianist Curly Russell finished the group, broadly considered the 1st & most innovative bebop lineup ever sold. During their presence Gillespie wrote requirements like “A Night time in Tunisia,” “Manteca,” and “Groovin’ Large” prior to the quintet self-destructed after completing an extended residency in the Los Angeles golf club Billy Berg’s — struggling to find Parker within the hours ahead of their return airline flight to NY, his bandmates had been forced to keep the stressed saxophonist in L.A., where he proceeded to create open fire to his resort and was incarcerated inside a psychiatric medical center. After spending a lot of the past due ’40s touring with Norman Granz’s Jazz on the Philharmonic display, Levey came back to Philadelphia in 1951, developing a fresh quartet with tenorist Richie Kamuca, pianist Crimson Garland, and bassist Nelson Boyd that both headlined its dates and supported vocalists showing up in the region. Once the Stan Kenton Orchestra performed Philadelphia in 1952, Kenton noticed the group perform and employed Levey and Kamuca at that moment. Bolstered by famous brands Zoot Sims and Lee Konitz, this lineup would show the most powerful of Kenton’s profession, touring Europe the next year to tremendous acclaim. Kenton dissolved the music group rigtht after a 1954 appearance in LA and Levey continued to be on the Western Coast, soon starting a five-year stint using Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All-Stars in alleviation of drummer Maximum Roach. Levey’s drumming would show a major impact on the growing West Coastline jazz audio, shaping its sharp, fluent rhythms. During this time period he greatly extended his program slate, and during the period of his profession made an appearance on over 2,000 recordings to get vocalists including Frank Sinatra, Billie Vacation, Ella Fitzgerald, and also Barbra Streisand. He additionally added to the soundtracks greater than 300 films and countless Television productions. Despite his challenging studio room and concert schedules, Levey however found time and energy to translate a longtime desire for photography right into a supplementary profession as a specialist photographer, shooting several record covers. Actually, upon retiring from music in 1973 he considered pictures full-time, contracting with main advertising companies and lensing from style publication spreads to commercial photos. Levey’s photos still adorned LP overcoats as well, frequently for music artists with whom he once performed. He by no means performed professionally once again, insisting the music business transformed and that he didn’t miss it whatsoever. A few a few months after the Dvd movie release from the documentary profile Stan Levey: THE INITIAL Original, he passed away in Truck Nuys, CA, on Apr 20, 2005, at age 79.

Check Also


After a flurry of mixtapes released through the 2010-2012 season, Richmond, California-based rapper and producer …