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Louie Bellson- an American Legend

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by adrian garcia, Mar 14, 2005.


  1. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    God gifted me with a wonderful experience tonight. One that i will never forget. I was blessed to play a concert with the legendary Louie Bellson. An incredible honor that I assure you I do not deserve. The man is a wonderful, wonderful spirit. I had an ear to ear s*** eating grin the entire time. When they brought him onstage, there were stage hands ready to help him on to the drum riser. Mr Bellson would have none of it. He walked up there with the brisk dexterity of a man in his 30's. And he proceeded to charm his audience and the entire band. A total of sixteen horns, i believe. He was so cool and relaxed at rehearsal that he did not even bother to go over two of the tunes, leaving us to sight read them on the actual show. Yikes!
    I made it a point to glue myself to his right hand for the ride cymbal and hi hats to stay RIGHT WITH HIM. Horn players have a way to play things a little behind and I was standing behind the drums next to the trumpet section, Don't ask me why, but i could not hear guitar or piano. It was Mr Bellson, my amp and a couple of the trumpet players that i could hear.
    Louie Bellson played great. It was magical.
    Now I have a memory that I can take with me. I thought a whole lot about my dad, whom i lost over a year ago, and was the foremost trombonist in Cuba in his time. He would have just loved it. 16 horns, Dad would have been in his glory.
    I'm sure he heard it and saw it from Heaven, though...
    the bass notes were for you, Dad. Louie says hi...
    [​IMG]
     
  2. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Congrats on being asked to perform with such a legend! Are there any recordings of the show?

    One of my memories was being in high school jazz band playing bass. I was so new on bass, I couldn't yet read the charts and fumbled my way through the few songs I'd actually memorized (to compensate for lack of reading skills). Anyway, we performed in our high school auditorium, warming up for Northern Illinois University's jazz band. They played two sets, the second of which featured Louie Bellson!!! :hyper:

    All of the musicians took time between some of the rehearsals to give us one-on-one clinics. Because of the close relationship between bass and drums, part of my clinic included the bass player from NIU, the drummer from NIU, and Louie Bellson himself! After the clinic he came to observe the entire high school jazz band in practice and offered some tips, some of which I still remember to this day!

    Great memories.:D
     
  3. FenderHotRod

    FenderHotRod

    Sep 1, 2004
    Arkansas
    Man that is killer. Louie Bellson inventer of the double bass drum. I had the pleasure of meating him when he came to westark and played for are spring show. I was playing guitar back then, but i remember Harvie swartz was playing bass. He signed my CD, hat and Louie Bellson towel. Man he was such a nice guy. I was playing with a YO-YO when Louie walked back stage. He said oh wow a yo-yo do you mind. So louie played with my yo-yo.lol

    I had the pleasure one year of playing In a Mellow Tone with the New York Voices one year and they all signed the lead sheet I used. it was good times back then in college.
     
  4. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    what a great idea! i should have asked him to sign my charts! heck, i got to keep them ( copies ) - i scribbled rehearsal notes all over them!
     
  5. FenderHotRod

    FenderHotRod

    Sep 1, 2004
    Arkansas
    Man how old is he now? I think he was 71 when I met him. Is he still married to the same Tall Black lady? She was cool too. Man she watched over him.
     
  6. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Minnie Pearl.
     
  7. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Pearl Bailey. Wonderful black singer.
    (a far cry from Minnie Pearl, RAM, sorry!)
    She passed years ago, he has present wife, i believe-
     
  8. ApeIsHigh81

    ApeIsHigh81

    Aug 24, 2004
    CA
    Hey congratulations, I'm happy for you :cool:
     
  9. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Oops! You're right! :bag:

    I knew it waas a Pearl... ;)
     
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Louis Bellson rocks.

    He came and gave a drumming demonstration at my junior high school about 30+ years ago. I was amazed. Later that evening he was the guest artist at our high school's wind and jazz ensembles' spring concert. The school district had an excellent music program, which was uncommon then and would be a downright rarity today.

    The drummer for the James Harman Band, whom I've done sound for a few times, uses an old 40's-vintage drum kit that used to belong to Louis. The thing is beautiful.