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The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson

The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson

24 Apr 2008

£7.49 (VAT included if applicable)
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 28 Feb 2006
  • Label: Percussion Power
  • Copyright: (C) 2006 Percussion Power
  • Total Length: 1:18:25
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002J0G4RW

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Musical Extravaganza on Sacred Songs 26 Aug 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Louie Bellson is undeniably one of the premiere big band drummers and the finest parts of this somewhat mixed bag of a recording are those that allow Bellson to demonstrate his considerable talents on his instrument of choice. The album here is a collection of The Sacred Music of Bellson and while it is easy listening the quality of compositions fall into the Broadway show category - not that that is a bad category to embrace!

The first 14 tracks of the CD are devoted to a concert with the USC Thornton School of Music Studio Jazz Band, Symphony String Orchestra and Choir - adding Bellson and his own jazz musicians.

The quality of the performances is very fine and the commitment by everyone involved is apparent. The lyrics give religious evangelicalism a choral range that extends into the jazz realm and that is where the concept weakens: it ends up sounding disjointed instead of varied. Moving from a cappella choir renderings to bebop big band sound is a jolt, and more of a jolt than was obviously intended by Bellson the composer. No one would deny Bellson's obvious religious convictions in the lyrics and the tunes; it just somehow doesn't manage to work as a concept here.

The last four tracks on the CD are from Bellson's 'Jazz Ballet' and are titled 'Marriage Vows', 'Dream Sequence', 'Conflict', and 'Til Death Do Us Part'. While the Ballet is projected to symbolize the meaning behind the vows of marriage (with riffs on the various aspects of marriage), the music is hardly visual. But as far as big band sound it is terrific music with excellent solos and an energetic performance of a fine score. In a time when Big Band music is rarely available to listeners, this album, given its inherent weaknesses, does indeed deliver some very exciting performances! Grady Harp, August 06
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It's too bad the CD title uses "Sacred". It's certainly that but MUCH MUCH more. 7 Dec 2013
By PK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Probably L.B's best recording. In a sense, it's too bad the CD title uses "Sacred". It's certainly that but MUCH more. There are places where I found myself thinking about L. Bernstein's great MASS and the innovations using different time signatures, instrumentation, voices etc. Each track is a surprise. You think you know what's coming but the next track is always a pleasant surprise altering not only the mood (in a good way) but also coalescing the entire CD into an uplifting, jazzy performance. Louie's drum solos are melodic; not too long and never routine or boring. Dave Brubeck endorsed it as "Great big band wariting, choral writing and drumming." And Tony Bennett correctly calls it "A masterpiece."
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