Composed, Performed and Produced by John Beasley
This tableau, Nuances, was improvised as it was being recorded. My intention was to make a musical journal of my stream of consciousness at a given moment, keeping in mind the parameters of length, song-form, blues-form, and simplicity.
I had picked up a book of music by Mompou and was surprised by its nuances. For months, I digested and distilled the emotions it brought forth. I returned to Batok, Scriabin, and Bach and noted the profundity of their short classical pieces. What followed was a deliberate and humble attempt to make a melange of ‘through composed’ musings without a pianistic feel, or Be-Bop influences, (saving it for another CD!). Thanks for indulging.
Production Credits / Liner Notes
Killer Bee Music (ASCAP), Administered by Bug Music
Recorded October 2003 in The Hive, Venice, CA
Mixed (Kohia Sugawara) and Mastered (Wataru Ishii) , Onkio Haus, Tokyo
Art Direction and Design by Yui Maki / Disc Illustration by Lynn Rosenblood
A&R Kazuki Takami (ewe inc.) / Product Manager: June Abe (ewe inc)
Executive Producer; Yukio Morisaki (ewe inc.)
Interview with John Beasley
“They began as early morning musings,” says soft-spoken John Beasley of his new release, Nuances. “I was improvising on the piano and after a while turned on the tape recorder.” Thus Beasley’s fourth album was born…his first collection of piano solos – each of the fifteen pieces a fine distinction from the next. Infused with influences ranging from Mompou to Bach, combined with Beasley’s background touring and recording with jazz icons Miles Davis, Steely Dan, and Freddie Hubbard, Nuances is a moody reflection of Beasley’s ability to capture classical, blues, jazz, and world music in varying degrees of piano solos. “It was a deliberate attempt to make a mélange of ‘through composed’ musings,” says Beasley, attempting to summarize the range of Nuances, with tracks such as the Monk reminiscent “Ritual” and the contemporary classical “Abbreviation”. Other noteworthy compositions include the intensity of the African influenced “Implication”, to the somber “Meaning”, followed by a trace of Bill Evans in “Solitaire”.
Praises and Reviews for Nuances
By turns ecstatic, pensive, and peaceful, this solo piano album is the work of a passionate player who is truly infatuated with sound.
-– Tom Schnabel, KCRW, Los Angeles
Meeting John Beasley’s Nuances for a listen is much like greeting the song of the morning sun: stimulating and enlightening, with the promise of good things to come. His music delights the intellect as well as the soul.
-– Peter Erskine
As soon as I started listening to Nuances, I was in the same place as John. That’s what he does here. He is a creative master. Just brilliant…he takes you there completely.
-– Vinnie Colauita
John Beasley is a pianist, composer and improviser with a fertile imagination, great sensitivity and a broad sense of style. This set of solo piano improvisations is warm, colorful and highly engaging.
– John Patitucci
Sometimes coalescing into sparkling “Preludes” (think Debussy, etc.), John Beasley merges his stream of consciousness with his pianistic brilliance to create a score for looking out the window on a rainy day and letting your thoughts splice pleasantly into one another.
-– Jon Hassell
With John playing against silence, or just his heart tones, he came up with these strikingly beautiful, short, dark dramas – this music- and they’re as deep as they are disarmingly sweet. I could never figure out if he was thinking with his fingers, or hearing the possibilities with his fingers, or is just so comfortable with the instrument that internally hearing it, imagining the music that could be, and playing it were effortless and immediate.
-– Kip Hanrahan, Record Producer
Nuances an intimate collection of improvised pieces for piano.