[In 1951] Johnny Hodges, Lawrence Brown, and Sonny Greer all left the band at one time��� "All you've got to do," [Juan] Tizol said, "is to say the word, and take Louis Bellson, Willie Smith, and me, and we'll leave Harry James and come with you." This was the big solution���
Quite apart from having Tizol back, Willie Smith was the world's greatest first alto man, and everybody was jumping up and saying, "Louis Bellson -there's no drummer like him!" So I told Tizol, "That's crazy, man!" And we did it���
It was a sensation in the whole music world, and it resulted in very positive publicity. Willie Smith, of course, gave an entirely different character to the color of the sax section. And Louis Bellson brought real precision into the band. Then, naturally, it made me happy to have Tizol's wonderful valve trombone back again with its warmth and melody.