Annie Barrett
February 17, 2009 AT 06:50 PM EST

Louie Bellson, the drummer and band leader who played with jazz greats for morethan six decades, died Saturday in Los Angeles from complications ofParkinson’s disease. He was 84. Bellson played with the Benny Goodman and Harry James bands until WWII, then later played with Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington among many others. The L.A. Times‘ obit recalls Ellington’s great regard for Bellson: “Not only is Louie Bellson the world’s greatest drummer…he’s the world’s greatest musician!”

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