Nick Ceroli
b. 22 December 1939, Warren, Ohio, USA, d. 11 August 1985. Although adept in all settings, Ceroli's early career marked him out as a big band drummer. In the early '60s he worked with Ray Anthony and Gerald Wilson before joining Stan Kenton's LA Neophonic Orchestra in 1965. For the next four years he was with Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass but then settled in Los Angeles, where he was soon in demand as a studio musician and also in a wide range of jazz groups for club and recording dates. Among the musicians eager to hire him for small group work were Zoot Sims, Richie Kamuca, Warne Marsh, Pete Christlieb (with whom he recorded a sizzling performance at a Los Angeles club, Dino's, in 1983) and Bill Berry. But his experience and skill in big band music drew him inevitably into that area of performing, and his association with Bob Florence produced some of the finest big band jazz of the late '70s and early '80s. His playing on Party Hearty on Florence's CONCERTS BY THE SEA album is an object lesson for all aspiring big band drummers. Ceroli's interest in all kinds of music was comprehensive; he owned a huge record collection of music by Beethoven and Duke Ellington, and he communicated his enthusiasm through his playing. A fluid, supple drummer, Ceroli gave a tremendous lift to any band he worked with. His death in 1985 came when he was still very much in his prime.








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