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Don Lee | Crazy Rhythm

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Jazz: Big Band Jazz: Boogie-Woogie Moods: Instrumental
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Crazy Rhythm

by Don Lee

The album is a fine example of the extraordinary new accordion style of Don Lee. He demonstrates exceptional technical abilities combined with musical expression and improvisation unheard of in the world of accordion music.
Genre: Jazz: Big Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Crazy Rhythm
Donald Lee Bloomquist
2:18 $0.99
2. Caravan
Donald Lee Bloomquist
2:16 $0.99
3. Lover
Donald Lee Bloomquist
2:06 $0.99
4. Cordy Boogie
Donald Lee Bloomquist
2:10 $0.99
5. Lady Be Good
Donald Lee Bloomquist
2:02 $0.99
6. Exactly Like You
Donald Lee Bloomquist
1:52 $0.99
7. Echo, Echo, Echo
Donald Lee Bloomquist
2:13 $0.99
8. Barc-A-Roll
Donald Lee Bloomquist
2:08 $0.99
9. Charmaine
Donald Lee Bloomquist
1:53 $0.99
10. After You've Gone
Donald Lee Bloomquist
2:08 $0.99
11. Stumbling
Donald Lee Bloomquist
2:14 $0.99
12. Bells of St Mary's
Donald Lee Bloomquist
2:41 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Notes by Mort Goode, 1956:

It may sound a bit crazy, but I just don't recall ever hearing an accordion play anything but 'happy' music.
Oh, I know that there are times when the instrument takes on a sort of tear-in-the-beer-garden sentimentality, but even then, somehow, it's buoyant and bouncy and brisk, though it's always had the feeling of old world built in. The accordion always seems to be around when it's waltz-time or polka-playing or hop-along happiness.

Or it has been ... up to DON LEE and "Crazy Rhythm." Don has gotten a new 'happy' sound out of or into the squeeze-box that is as modern as the electronics he uses to create a satisfying excitement. He has combined a montage of his musical talents (Don is playing each and every instrument you hear on these sides) with a solid knowledge of the magic of electronics (Don engineered the multiple recordings and jelled the ‘tracks’). The sound is fresh and imaginative and creative.

Don’t get the idea that this is a one-man band testing a lot of not-quite finished musical abilities. Don is practiced and perfect. His arrangements are clean and crisp and qualitative. He is stimulated and stimulating.

Don Lee is young, but he is no correspondence-course cacophony. He started studying the accordion when he was 8 years old and was making radio appearances and sight-transpositions when he was 9. That was around a town called Lansing, Michigan.

Five years later Don was teaching accordion at a local music school and was playing clarinet and/or piano (as the case might have been) in the Eastern High School Band and Orchestra. That five years later made him all of 14. Naturally, he had to learn as much more about music as a lad with that much talent had to know so he was coasting through courses in harmony and theory at Michigan State University. Some of that side of his abilities shows up in 3 tunes included in “Crazy Rhythm”: “Echo, Echo, Echo,” “Cordy Boogie,” and “Barc-A-Roll.”

When Don was 18, he had a large-sized history to recount. He’d had a lot of radio and TV appearances and had been featured at hotels like The Hilton in Chicago when it was the Stevens, The Sherman, The Palmer House in Chicago, and the New Yorker in New York.

At that time (Don was 18), and he opened his first accordion studio in Lansing, Michigan. A year later, there was a second one in Mason, Michigan. They are now Michigan’s largest exclusive accordion studios and have become famous around the Midwest because of their Accordion Orchestra.

His knowledge and training in electronics goes back almost as far as the beginnings of his accordion training. Actually, it started when he was 12, and his sound-engineering has a basis in the experimentation and pioneering Don has done with the professional equipment he has been accumulating since then.

“Crazy Rhythm” sounds off the debut of an intriguing talent who has added the dimension of electronics to an excitement of performance. This ‘track-record’ (these multiple recordings have been multiplied as high as 12 times on some of these tunes) is not child’s-play. It’s professional and promising and prodigious.

In the language of the hipster, “Crazy Rhythm” is ‘Crazy, man, CrazY-y-y-y!” … (English Translation: it’s Happy, Hearty, and Hear-Marked for a hitherto un-new sound).



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Can't believe this was released in the 50's! This guy is REALLY good. Best accordion player I've ever heard, and I've heard a lot. A lot of fun to listen to this.


Incredible sound for the 50's and NOT typical accordion music!
The amazing thing about this album is that it was created in the 1950's. Before computers, before multi-track tape recorders, before digital signal processors, etc. A true technological marvel! If you only wanted this to listen to an amazing technological achievement, it would be enough, but combined with Don Lee's incredible talent it is a real joy to listen to. I am shocked at how fast his fingers move on the keyboard. I know of no one to this day who can play any keyboard instrument this well. This is really a great find!
Thanks for making this available.


Fast fingers!
Been playing accordion for a long time and have never heard an accordion played this well. Incredibly fast fingers! Really great sound overall and not your typical accordion music. Well worth it.

Sue G

He's the BEST
Not only is he talented and has MANY MANY years of experience in making an accordion talk - but he's special. He had a music studio in the 50's- early 60's and now at 81 is still entertaining folks with his talent of making that accordion talk. He's fantastic. My former teacher - one on one and the accordion band class that we had. We did concerts in parks, traveled to Chicago for one concert, and just had lots of fun with the music we made with his expertise in teaching us. God love him - and though the years have gone by - I still talk to him regularly and keep up on how he is doing. He wants to put out a new CD with gospel music and hopes it will do as well as Echo Echo Echo did in the late 50's - early 60's. That made the top 10 billboard charts back then. Don would love to find all the former Don Lee Music Studio students and create a website just for them. He has asked me to help locate as many as possible and I am finding that is not an easy task to do. I have located one former teacher from those days and two former students. If anyone out there remembers the studio Don had in Lansing and knows of or is one of his former students please contact me at bbearsTRUElove@comcast.net In the subject line - note Don Lee Student from the 50-60's so I will know it's ok to open the email. Thanks and CD Baby a special thank you to all for what you do to help Don get his music out there. Love it!!!!!!! Sue G.