Louie Bellson | The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson

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The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson

by Louie Bellson

Drummer-composer LOUIE BELLSON in concert with Symphony, Big Band and Choir. Spiritually inspired swing and vocals, in the genre of his mentor, Duke Ellington, for whom Bellson played. Exhilarating!
Genre: Jazz: Swing/Big Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lightning & Thunder
1:42 $0.99
2. No One But God
2:37 $0.99
3. He's the Lord
3:45 $0.99
4. Jesus
4:21 $0.99
5. Love
2:20 $0.99
6. Love (Instrumental)
2:37 $0.99
7. Thank You Lord
3:22 $0.99
8. He's the One
3:13 $0.99
9. New Lou
3:56 $0.99
10. The Wailing Dove
3:32 $0.99
11. Look At Me
5:16 $0.99
12. Celebration
3:47 $0.99
13. Celebration (Drums & Strings)
2:18 $0.99
14. No One But God (Reprise)
1:18 $0.99
15. Marriage Vows
9:41 $0.99
16. Dream Sequence
6:30 $0.99
17. Conflict
7:11 $0.99
18. 'Til Death Do Us Part
10:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Louie Bellson was the featured percussionist in Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts of 1965. During that collaboration, Ellington encouraged drummer Bellson to compose and perform a sacred concert of his own. In The Sacred Music, composer Bellson combines the “voicings” of symphony, big band and choir into a thrilling rendition which has been hailed “a masterpiece” and “a spiritual celebration” by Bellson colleagues Tony Bennett, Della Reese and others.

The Jazz Ballet is based on the vows of holy matrimony. It features veteran trumpeter Bobby Shew who had performed it several times before. The work originally premiered in Las Vegas (1962) with none other than Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet.

Supporting musicians for both works were faculty and students of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music Studio Jazz Band, Symphony String Orchestra and Choir.

The album contains a 20-page booklet of comprehensive liner notes written by renowned Ellington journalist and Bellson biographer Patricia Willard. Also included are photos of Bellson performing in 2000, 2002 and in 1965 with Duke Ellington and Lena Horne.

JazzTimes article, Nov 2007 "Louie Bellson: The Go-To Guy" by Don Heckman

Christian Jazz Artists (CJA) Network Newsletter, Fall 2007 Featured Interview

Louie Bellson on the JazzWax Blog (Sept 10 & 11 entries) http://jazzwax.com

Louie Bellson's new CD with Clark Terry, LOUIE & CLARK EXPEDITION 2.
Click sidebar link at left.

http://www.LouieBellson.com Information, Events, Links, Bio, etc.



to write a review

Ejazz News

Swinging orchestral score... luxurious album... dynamic sensations
A mixture of highly sacred music and swinging praise dedicated to God the Creator is the mode of this luxurious album.

The confluence of these diverse musical ideas merges into a statement that joyfully stands on its own merits.

From Jazzy themes to the thunder and lightning of heavenly and spiritual messages this album runs the gamut of both in spectacular fashion.

One can feel the intensity of the mighty hand of God in this music as well as the swinging orchestral score that puts an exclamation point to this tribute to Bellson's faith.

This recording has all of the emotional elements that carry the listener to new heights and dynamic sensations.

It is a spiritual celebration, as Della Reese so aptly puts it. 5 Stars --posted by John Gilbert, 5/9/06

JazzTimes Magazine

Spine-tingling majesty ... swinging big band grooves
With the impulse among Baptists (at least, the Southern wing I know) to water down the music for worship services these days, it’s bracing to hear a revival of some good old orchestral and choral fire and brimstone (not leaving out the love component, of course) with this album. Like Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Dave Brubeck before him, Bellson takes a grand approach to expressing his Christian faith. The drummer, who played on Ellington’s Sacred Concerts in 1965, recorded this album in 2000 using faculty and students from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music Studio Jazz Band, Symphony String Orchestra and Choir.
The 14-part “Sacred Music” ranges from bombastic opener “Lightning and Thunder” to the spine-tingling majesty of “No One But God” and the swinging big band grooves of “He’s the Lord” and “New Lou.” There are vocal harmonies reminiscent of the Hi-Lo’s and the Four Freshmen along the way, along with pure-toned soloists in the classical tradition bringing Bellson’s lyrics to life. Precise, crisp, springy solos by the drummer pop up here and there, a reminder of his swing-era tours and recordings with the big bands of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and others.

Bellson’s four-part “The Jazz Ballet,” subtitled “Marriage Vows,” premiered in 1962 at the Las Vegas Jazz Festival with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie as the featured soloist. Here, the lyrical and swinging Bobby Shew takes over. The arrangements reflect a stricter jazz orientation than “Sacred Music” and occasionally suggest some of the ’60s concert writing of Bob Brookmeyer, Gil Evans and Gary McFarland, among others.

-Owen Cordle, JazzTimes 9/2006

Bruce Crowther's Website - CD Reviews

Highly appropriate vehicle to transport the listener to other forms.
These are remarkable compositions by master drummer Louie Bellson. The first of these works was inspired by Duke Ellington's sacred works, which Louie played while a member of Ellington's band. Additionally, Louie was encouraged by Ellington to write this music. The works are performed here by Louie with students of the University of Southern California, the Thornton School of Music Jazz Band, and the Symphony String Orchestra and Choir. The music is commanding and inspired and the playing matches the needs of the music in every respect. Throughout this fascinating CD there is much that appeals to the ear and to the mind and will be welcomed by those who appreciate not only this very fine musician but also to those for whom jazz can be a highly appropriate vehicle to transport the listener to other forms. Released on 1 June 2006, this is warmly recommended set.
--Bruce Crowther, Jazz...and other Obsessions, 2006


A breathtaking experience
A wonderful CD with some excellent playing from musicians of all ages and experience - a truly wonderful merger of talents - young and old