West Coast jazz drummer Stan Levey dead at age 79
Look though any group of "west coast" jazz records from the 50's and you're likely to find quite a few with Stan Levey playing drums. Though not as famous as Shelley Manne, Stan was a fine bebop drummer, and did a ton of studio work over the years.
Drummer played with greats
Self-taught, he worked with Gillespie, Parker
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES - Stan Levey, an influential modern jazz drummer who played with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and other musical giants, died Tuesday at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys. He was 79.
Levey underwent surgery in February for cancer of the jaw.
A self-taught drummer, Levey was 16 when he first played with Gillespie in a hometown Philadelphia club in 1942. Levey later moved to New York, where he joined Oscar Pettiford's group.
After working with Parker's band, Levey became part of what the Los Angeles Times' late jazz critic Leonard Feather called "the first genuine all-be-bop group to play on 52nd Street," the famed block in Manhattan where clubs lined the street. The group included Gillespie, Parker, pianist Al Haig and bassist Curly Russell.
Levey also had big-band stints with, among others, Woody Herman and Benny Goodman. He rose to national jazz fame during his two years with the Stan Kenton orchestra.
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