MONK’estra – a BIG modern jazz BAND

Don Heckman, International Review of Music
“Some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory. Beasley’s arrangements…expanding and elaborating on the Monk originals…captured Monk’s unique quirkiness, the offbeat accents, punchy dissonances and surprisingly soaring melodies…with stunningly atmospheric ensemble textures. His obviously extraordinary orchestrating abilities, combined with superb individual soloing from virtually every musician, resulted in a definitive display of “Big,” “Modern” and “Jazz Band.”

MUSICIANS: John Beasley – Conductor/Arranger

SAX: Bob Sheppard, Justo Almario, Keith Fiddmont, Tom Luer, Adam Schroeder

TRUMPET: Brian Swartz, Brian Lynch, Rashawn Ross

TROMBONE: Francisco Torres, Wendell Kelly, Ryan Dragon, Steve Hughes

BASS: Reggie Hamilton

DRUMS: Gary Novak

CONCERT REVIEWS:

John Beasley, the one-time keyboardist for Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, whose playing reflects a variety of generational influences, incorporating the emphatic chordal clusters of Herbie Hancock, the rhythmic quirkiness of Monk and the lush intelligence of Art Tatum into a highly refined personal voice. ­ Los Angeles Times

John Beasley is one of the best pianists and improvisers on the jazz scene today. Beasley is a master musician, with total command of the jazz language, and his playing is always intense in both emotion and technique. All About Jazz

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