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  • Sep. 6, 2006



    Media support provided by KKJZ

    The one-and-only Godfather of Soul, James Brown, revisits his jazz big-band album Soul on Top for the first time since the original recording sessions in 1969. Backed by a big band led by bassist Christian McBride, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Carolyn and William Powers Creative Chair for Jazz, Brown performs his major hits and jazz standards featured on Soul on Top, as well as many of his favorites with his own band. Brown handpicked R&B songstress Angie Stone to open the show for this final performance of the 2006 Jazz at the Bowl series on Wednesday September 6 at 8 p.m.

    Led by inimitable drummer Louie Bellson and his orchestra, and arranged by distinguished composer Oliver Nelson, the 1969 recording of Soul on Top united Brown with an A-list selection of jazz musicians resulting in a one-of-a-kind record that reveals his jazz dexterity. As the album title suggests, Brown's trademark style is discernible throughout, satisfying both Brown devotees and jazz aficionados. Soul on Top experienced a period of rebirth in 2004, when Verve reissued the CD including previously unreleased material. It was during this time that Brown was approached by Laura Connelly, Program Manager for Jazz and World Music at the Hollywood Bowl, with the idea to bring Soul on Top to the iconic venue. Two years later, with Christian McBride - a long-time devoted fan of Brown's - at the helm as the Creative Chair for Jazz, the became a reality, a dream come true for McBride. McBride and Connelly were also able to recruit Louie Bellson, the original Soul on Top band leader, for a special guest appearance on one number.

    With all the players in place, the time came to resurrect the music from Soul on Top, but somewhere between 1969 and present day, the original Oliver Nelson arrangements were misplaced. After an extensive but unsuccessful search that included help from Oliver Nelson's son, the music was eventually transcribed from the CD for this exclusive Jazz at the Bowl series performance.

    Referred to by Duke Ellington as "not only the world's greatest drummer...(but also) the world's greatest musician!," LOUIE BELLSON has expressed himself on drums since age three. At 15, he pioneered the double bass drum set-up. At 17, he triumphed over 40,000 drummers to win the Gene Krupa drumming contest. He has performed on more than 200 albums with such greats as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Woody Herman, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Louie Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, James Brown, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Mel Tormé, Joe Williams, Wayne Newton and Bellson's late wife Pearl Bailey. Composer and author, he has written more than 1,000 compositions and more than a dozen books on drums and percussion. He received the prestigious American Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994. Also, he is a six-time Grammy nominee. In 1998, Louie Bellson was hailed (along with Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones and Max Roach) as one of four "Living Legends of Music" when he received the American Drummers Achievement Award from the Zildjian Company. Bellson holds four honorary doctorates, the most recent from DePaul University in 2001. In 2003, a historical land-marker was dedicated at his July 6, 1924 birth house in Rock Falls, Illinois, thus inaugurating their annual 4-day celebration in his honor. The 2006 CD release of The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson and the Jazz Ballet amply showcases his mastery and breadth as both composer and performer.

    JAMES BROWN's dynamic showmanship remains timeless. His style has been celebrated throughout generations. As one of the most sampled artists to date, he has more honors attached to his name than any other performer in music history. Mr. Brown is a three-figure hit maker with 114 total entries on Billboard's R&B singles charts and 94 that made the Hot 100 singles chart. Seventeen of these hits reached number one, a feat topped only by Stevie Wonder and Louis Jordan. Mr. Brown is an icon of the music industry. With his signature one-three beat, James Brown directly influenced the evolutionary beat of soul music in the Sixties, funk music in the Seventies and rap music in the Eighties. Mr. Brown instilled the essence of R&B with recordings under the King and Federal labels throughout the Sixties. With albums such as Live at the Apollo, Mr. Brown captured the energy and hysteria generated by his live performances. As the leader of the James Brown Revue (The J.B.'s), James Brown sweated off up to seven pounds a night through captivating performances. His furious regimen of spins, drops, and shtick such as feigning a heart attack thrilled crowds. The ritual donning of capes and skintight rhythm & blues became part of his personal trademark as a performer. Mr. Brown's transformation of gospel fervor into the taut, explosive intensity of rhythm & blues, combined with precision choreography and dynamic showmanship, defined the direction of black music from the release of his first R&B hit ("Please Please Please") in 1956. In 1965, Brown scored his first Top 10 pop single with "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag," and the hits kept coming one after another for the next decade. The gospel and blues structure of his early records gave way to rhythmic vocals and a complex funk sound. His innovations during this period had a profound influence on popular music styles around the world, including funk, rock, Afro-pop, disco and eventually rap. James Brown's status as "The Godfather of Soul" remains undiminished. He continues to influence new generations of fans who often hear his funk grooves as samples on rap recordings. A charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Mr. Brown added to his collection of accolades when he received a lifetime achievement Grammy Award in 1992.

    Grammy Award-winner CHRISTIAN McBRIDE is THE bassist-in-demand. Over the course of three albums as a leader and over a hundred as a sideman, Christian McBride has arguably become the most acclaimed acoustic and electric bassist to emerge from the jazz world in the 1990's. His passion for musical diversity has led him to work with everyone from Chick Corea to Pat Metheny, from Kathleen Battle to D'Angelo, from Diana Krall to Bruce Hornsby, from Quincy Jones to Sting. Given that the bass is the heart and soul of any music, this makes McBride's versatility all the more impressive. McBride has a recording coming out on Ropeadope that resists pigeonholes. His first release for the label, Live at Tonic, captures his capacious quartet joined by an array of guest artists, including eight-string guitar ace Charlie Hunter, Logic, pianist Jason Moran, violinist Jenny Scheinman, beat boxer Scratch, and Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno. McBride holds Artistic Director posts at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass summer program. In January 2005, he was named co-director of The Jazz Museum in Harlem. While working for the museum in Harlem, McBride has been racking up frequent flyer miles as the second Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. He works with the organization year-round, building on the Philharmonic's presence in the musical community as a leading presenter of jazz.

    ANGIE STONE fiercely manages to bring real soul to the table. After the number one single "No More Rain" on her debut record Black Diamond, and selling over 1.2 million records worldwide with her last disc Mahogany Love, the macktress is back and she's out to get the man. With Stone's third solo disc Stone Love, the songstress is out to prove that it takes more than a few dips of the hip to be a true diva. Indeed, with Stone Love as her most accomplished work to date, Stone is ready to join the pantheon of sassy soul sisters that includes Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle and Betty Wright. Having begun her career in the groundbreaking rap trio Sequence, the versatile Ms. Stone has worn many hats in the house of music. From playing saxophone in Lenny Kravitz's band to writing songs with D'Angelo to performing with Raphael Saadiq, the talented Angie Stone refuses to let any moss grow, staying as diverse as possible. With Angie Stone's soulful sass, electric emotions and funky fineness, Stone Love is a seminal disc rhythmic aficionados will revere for years to come.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 38th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2006, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the second year in a row at the 17th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.



    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood

    In order of appearance




    With special guest LOUIE BELLSON

    Media support provided by KKJZ

    Tickets ($1 - $81) are on sale now online at, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, or at all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons May, Tower Records and Ritmo Latino locations). Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3034; Lisa Bellamore, 213.972.3689; For photos: 213.972.3034