Terri Lyne Carrington
Darryl Munyungo Jackson
1. A Change of Heart
2. The Call
3. Fix It
4. Carnal Appetite
5. Frasier St. Lament
7. Tess, The Flake
9. Until Now
10. What Beas Needs
Production Credits / Liner Notes
Composer: John Beasley, except “Skippy” (Thelonius Monk)
Produced by Walter Becker
Executive Producer: Sam Sutherland
L.A. Jazz Scene, By Myrna Daniels
John Beasley, A Change of Heart – (Windham Hill Jazz)
Pianist John Beasley can be counted on to come up with interesting, sometimes even quirky compositions with strong world beat elements. This CD has an extra heavy dose of percussion, provided by Bill Summers, Munyungo and trap drummer Terri Lynn Carrington. Beasley is very accomplished on keyboards (acoustic or synth) so he managers to hold his own, despite his accomplished bandmates.
“A Change of Heart,” a moody piece, begins the CD in a low-key way, but Carrington’s steady drumming adds intensity. “The Call” bristles with rhythmic energy, thanks to severe percussion by Summers and Munyungo. Freddie Washington’s deep bass sets the pace and Beasley takes off with inventive improvs. The mood darkens even more with Tavaglione’s gritty sax and Bob Sheppard’s bass clarinet: they get into a heated debate with each other. The tune feels a bit “busy” to me; however this is typical Beasley material—multi-layered and intense. Beasley plays the Latin flavored “Fix It” in a pretty straight-forward manner, though he does allow for some dissonance. “Carnal Appetite” has a middle-Eastern feel to it, which made it very interesting. John Pattitucci’s bass summons the listener into “Frasier St. Lament.” This tune is incredibly seductive, made more so by Tavaglione and Sheppard on flutes. Beasley, the romantic, shines with a sure hand on acoustic piano.
“Tess The Flake” begins in a bluesy way, giving it great accessibility. Monk’s “Skippy” pairs Beasley with just the percussionists and they move at a brisk pace. It takes a bit of listening to get used to this unusual format. Tavaglione’s tenor is sultry and warm; Carrington (who is very impressive, in general) and Pattitucci are quite restrained on “Until Now,” a tender and thoughtful piece. Beasley has saved the best for last;”What Beas Needs” is a tangle of emotions, very outside in feel, yet I liked it a lot. The sense of chaos is musically compelling and exciting. All hands are on board and all let loose with an urgency that is electrifying. Beasley’s sure hand keeps it unified and cohesive. This challenging material is very different for the ear, yet it makes sense.
Beasley takes chances and always manages to surprise. That doesn’t mean that everything works but he must be applauded for scoring more often than not.