Join us! Click to subscribe:

See the source image

Website Navigation


















In Memoriam 


Monument Dedication


Memorial Concerts 


Posthumous Honors 




















 Slide Shows



















Louie Bellson Legacy:     bellson_1@att.net


For Clearances, Charts Librarian, Press, Inquiries, Scholarships, etc. click CONTACT PAGE. 


For updates, always check the NEWS page.


Browse & Share comments in the GUESTBOOK.


Tunes that'll knock your socks off!

In His Own Words

(Click pics to play.)
Watch Louie Bellson discuss his beloved mentor, Duke Ellington in “Reminiscing In Tempo.”

At the 1981 Bands of America Grand National Championship. Louie was featured performing with the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and co-hosted the TV broadcast.

While giving a clinic at the Hollywood Vintage Drum Show, Bellson is pleased to be reunited with his Billy Gladstone Custom Snare Drum.

(1995 & 2003)
Watch Louie Bellson in these two interviews by NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants -- Oral History Program.

Hear Bellson’s 8 extensive interviews as conducted by the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, a part of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Louie Bellson is interviewed by Paul Chiaravalle, President of Chiaravalle & Associates at IAJE (Int'l Assn. for Jazz Educators) re: The Rich Matteson Foundation.

(Click pics to play.)

. . . . Drummer . . . . Bandleader . . . . Composer . . . . Arranger . . . . Clinician . . . . Inventor . . . . Author . . . . Recording Artist . . . . Grammy Nominee . . . . NEA Jazz Master . . . . An American Legend . . . .

Website ~ Tips

Navigation bar (at top) - Go to pages & subpages.


Sidebar (on left) - Useful links.  Displays on all pages.


Links (all site) - Nearly all title bars, photos & underlined                               words are clickable links to further info.

Inspirational Uses of Website for ...

Youth - history, music appreciation, term papers, theses.

Sr. Citizens - treat someone (w/o computer access) to a website visit.

Music Charts

Louie Bellson Big Band Library

Full arrangements

Titles now available: 50

• “Skin Deep”

• “Hawk Talks”

• “Intimacy of the Blues”

(click chart for more) -->        


• According to chart size/use.

• Includes repro, assembly. Shipping cost separate.

Request for Quote: <-- Click for instructions.

Conductor Guides: <-- Now Available!

"Hear Here!"

Hear sound clips from the last CDs.
(Click any image)  


History Lessons

New Bellson-related media


and the Music that Changed America.
By Jeff Kaufman (Film)

(To watch Trailers, click photos)

THE CENTURY PROJECT - 100 Years of American Music
from behind the drums. By Daniel Glass (2DVD set)

LB90 T-Shirt - Just Released!

“Celebrate a Maestro”

LB90 design on military green T-shirt

Unveiled at NAMM 2015

Power Wrist Builders booth


Order here!



THE SHOP at Bellsonia

Exciting items from our revamped store.


(click pic to enter shop)

incl. music, charts, shirts, bags, art, metal sticks, books, etc.


Satisfied customers abound!



Browse now at:

(click pic to enter)

Email List

Make changes to your info?  Click:

Image result for update button


Sept 6, 2006 - James Brown, Louie Bellson and Christian McBride performed at the Hollywood Bowl in a revisit to their 1969 album, "SOUL ON TOP." Seems there was wide difference of opinion (a chasm!) over this celebrated concert, only three months before the Godfather's untimely death at Christmas.

Even Mrs. B got in on the fray!  (see Letter to Editor below)

Click HERE for CD Review.


"Kansas Shitty Woman"
L.A. Weekly Review of Sept 6, 2006 James Brown Concert

 Ernest Hardy - L.A. Weekly - Music (Sep 13, 2006)


"The Boss & Mr. James Brown"
Blog entries by responders to the (above controverial) L.A. Weekly review.

 Jawnski - Christian McBride.com (Sep 16, 2006)

"Papa Don’t Take No Mess"
Letter-to-the-Editor response to the L.A. Weekly concert review. (page down)

 David Francis Mays - L.A. Weekly (Sep 27, 2006)


"The Boss & Mr. James Brown"
Blog entry by a concert attendee.

Karin Carson - Christian McBride.com (Oct 3, 2006)



LETTER TO THE EDITOR, JazzTimes Magazine
Sent to: letters@jazztimes.com
That you failed to get the name of the album right was an oversight [“Highs & Lows,” Jan/Feb ‘07]. It’s Soul On Top which appeared in JT [“Reviews Vox,” Nov ‘04]. But not to have mentioned that evening’s reunion with Louie Bellson (whose orchestra had played the original 1970 album) was a gross omission. After Bellson’s guest performance, Brown graciously exhorted the audience to stand in homage to Bellson. It was truly an historic and unforgettable evening for all.

Francine Bellson

Francine Bellson - JazzTimes, Letter to the Editor (Jan 23, 2007)
Caught in The Act: James Brown’s “Soul on Top”
When soul shouter James Brown released his big band album—Soul on Top--in 1970, it was received as neither fish nor fowl by the public. Jazz people were put off by the rawness of chart and voice, while the soul audience didn’t get the raw funk it craved. While the ensuing years have seen a rapprochement, of sorts, in public tastes, the 2004 Verve reissue of the album failed to stir much attention. In September, Soul Brother Number One closed out the Bowl’s summer jazz series with his first-ever live performance of the album. The enthusiastic near-capacity crowd suggested that now, finally, the public was ready to listen.
 The 73-year old soul-funk icon was in excellent musical hands. A handpicked orchestra of some of Los Angeles’s finest players, led by bassist Christian McBride, gave loving attention to Oliver Nelson’s original charts on standards and some JB evergreens. Brown’s touring band, the eleven-piece Soul Generals (complete with epauletted uniforms), alternated segments with the big band. Before the evening was over, a featured singer, a string contingent, three backup singers, two emcees and two go go dancers were onstage.
 Traditional songs like “Prisoner of Love” were rare items in Brown’s voluminous discography. His numbers with the orchestra pointed out inherent problems in these indulgences. While The Godfather of Soul is a rhythmic genius, melody has never been his strong suit. Although rhythmic invention allowed Brown to riff and embellish rhythm figures on swingers like “Every Day I Have the Blues,” ballads betrayed him. Fare like “September Song,” “That’s My Desire,” and “It’s Magic” depend on melody and Brown doesn’t have much of that left in his voice. His patented, rough, back-of-the-throat screech (what Wilson Picket called the “cornbread” sound) is similarly diminished.
Brown reverently introduced drum legend Louie Bellson, who drove the original album, for a feature on “For Once in My Life.” Bellson played an immaculately executed solo that was measured in its speed and exuberance. Tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb—another participant on Soul on Top—spun a lyrical and soulful chorus. The statuesque Tommie Rae (Mrs. Brown to you) emoted a histrionic “This Bitter Earth” that was buoyed by a biting alto solo by Soul General Jeff Watkins.
Standard tunes weren’t the only challenge for The Hardest Working Man in Show Business. The dance movements that once defied human ability (nobody ever served up the hydraulic mashed potatoes like James) were nodded to by a couple of rubber-legged interludes. It was when Brown threw in with the Generals, though, that the rabbit was thrown into the Briar Patch.
A medium-tempo Nelson chart on “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” let Brown do what he’s always done best: riff and improvise over funk rhythms to ever more intense effect. Generals trombonist Tyrone Jefferson let loose on a solo that put him in the company of the great JB instrumentalists like Fred Wesley. The go go dancer who shook and undulated upped the ante on “I Got You.” “Sex Machine” brought the whole house to its feet and when the orchestra—which had been still for a few numbers--broke into spontaneous background figures, the whole stage was jumping. It was a soul extravaganza of the old school and we’ll probably not see its like again.
Kirk Silsbee - Downbeat (Dec, 2006)
The 1969 album  
Click HERE for Soul On Top - CD Review.