Naptown Legacy

"Killer" Ray Appleton

Hollistic MusicWorks (HMW10)


  1. So Do It
  2. Backlash
  3. Out Of This World
  4. Flamingo
  5. Luana
  6. Bamboo
  7. Fatback
  8. Quiet Thing
  9. Yellow Bird
  10. Twisted Blues
  11. Maybe September


Legendary drummer “Killer” Ray Appleton revisits the fertile Indianapolis music scene of his youth for his new recording “Naptown Legacy” on Hollistic MusicWorks. Tunes by eminent Indianpolitans Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery and his brother Buddy (all of whom Ray was a drummer of choice for), J.J. Johnson and organist Melvin Rhyne are the frames for spirited, concise blowing by an all star cast of Ray’s friends including Grammy® award winning trumpeter Brian Lynch, guitarist Peter Bernstein, and alto sax ace Ian Hendrickson-Smith. Equally adept are talented pianist Rick Germanson, tenor saxist Todd Herbert (formerly Freddie Hubbard’s sax man), bassist Robert Sabin, and percussionist Little Johnny Rivero, who helps Killer keep the groove on numbers like Hubbard’s boogaloo “Backlash” (where Appleton reprises his role on Hubbard’s original 1967 recording) and Rhyne’s Latin “Bamboo”. But it’s Killer Ray’s peerless ride cymbal beat, driving and illuminating, that shows, on numbers like J.J Johnson’s “Fatback” and Wes Montgomery’s “Twisted Blues”, why he’s considered by connoisseurs as one of the last of the truly swinging drummers of modern jazz’s classic era.


Killer Ray Appleton, drums;
Brian Lynch, trumpet;
Peter Bernstein, guitar (#7, 9);
Ian Hendrickson-Smith, alto sax;
Todd Herbert, tenor sax;
Rick Germanson, piano;
Robert Sabin, bass,
Little Johnny Rivero, percussion(#2,3,8).

Production Credits

Recorded December 10th & 12th, 2010 at Hirsch Studios, New York City
Engineered by Armand Hirsch
Mixed & mastered by Ian Hendrickson-Smith
Cover photo by Jimmy Katz
Design & Layout by Ian Hendrickson-Smith
Produced by Brian Lynch, Ian Hendrickson-Smith, James Polsky & Ray Appleton
Executive producer: James Polsky