NPR Music – A Supreme Blog
Meet The Man Who Assembles The World’s Biggest Jazz Concert
by HOWARD MANDEL
April, 30, 2013
Beasley’s envelope-stretching arrangements, his extraordinary orchestrating abilities, imaginative soloing from players: a net result of some of the most mesmerizing big band music –individually and collectively– of recent memory.
– Don Heckman, International Review of Music
Five Stars: Spectacular! The ultra-hip, ultra-cool, ultra-swinging John Beasley’s MONK’estra rocked the house at Vitellos.’ Supersize figure in the jazz music world, Beasley led a dazzling assemblage of players.
– Cynthia Lum, Examiner.com
Beasley is a real genius. His imaginative, modern arrangements are artistic charts colored outside the lines of traditional big band music arrangements.
– Paul Edelstein, Sounds of Timeless Jazz
Beasley, the one-time keyboardist for Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, 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, Bill Kohlhaase
John is truly an amazing pianist, imaginative composer, creative improviser and arranger. And with Positootly he created an album that people will look back as one of the first Jazz classic albums of the 21th century.
– Skip Norris,The Music Hall for the Performing Arts Center (Amazon.com customer review)Letter to Herbie CD Reviews:
Beasley is also a singular pianist who is chirpy and breaks up his dazzling melodic runs with staccato perfunctory harmonic statements that then bend the music in another surprising direction. Thus he is never predictable and always makes a new surprise flow through the tips of his fingers that take the keyboard to task every once and awhile.
– LatinJazz.net, Raul da Gama
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, Wilbert Sostre
Beasley opted for an all out tribute with an all star cast including Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Christian McBride and Roy Hargrove. In the true jazz tradition, Beasley has brilliantly interpreted Hancock’s music, transforming ‘4AM’ from its original funk into a swinging uptempo affair and juxtaposing ‘Tell Me A Bedtime Story’ and ‘Maiden Voyage’ into ‘Bedtime Voyage’. Herbie’s reply must surely be ‘You’ve done me proud’. Brent Keefe, Drummer UK
Clever arrangements. Hancock never wrote a song called ‘Bedtime Voyage,’ but Beasley does a ‘mash-up’ of ‘Maiden Voyage’ and ‘Tell Me A Bedtime Story,’ two of Herbie’s finest compositions. This mash is a real banger, and I would go back for second helpings. Beasley is quite effective, especially as a rhythm section pianist, and has mastered a number of Hancock’s signature devices. This is a strong performance and a notch above your typical tribute project. – Jazz.com, Ted Gioia 4 stars
February 2011 — Los Angeles, Walt Disney Concert Hall
John Beasley with Los Angeles Philharmonic: “Jazz and the Orchestra”