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. And subsequently, Doc Severinson.
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.
Label: Percussion Power
Producer: Francine Bellson (aka Mrs. B!)