FRIDAY JUNE 3, 2011 9 + 10:30PM
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90012 | 213.620.0908
LA WEEKLY: Brick’s Jazz Picks: Wild, Moaning, Screeching Jazz
by Brick Wahl Thursday, Jun 2 2011
As is the night before [Friday, June 3] at the Blue Whale, where pianist John Beasley’s Jazz Circle perform material from his terrific (and Grammy-nominated) Positootly!, plus some new raga-based material and even a noirish soundtrack (with stills from the flick itself). We find describing jazz piano next to impossible, but if we could, we’d go on and on about how much we dig Beasley’s playing. He’s got trumpeter Rashawn Ross, bassist Kevin Brandon and drummer Oscar Seaton in the Circle, plus incredible vocalist Dwight Trible, who blew minds at LACMA last week. $15. Way cool.
“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.” – LA Times
An original artist with a highly expressive and personal style, John Beasley, a veteran pianist, composer, and arranger, earned a 2011 Grammy nomination for his ninth album Positootly! (Best Jazz Instrumental Album
With a music career spanning three decades, Beasley’s credits reads like a who’s who in the music world. He has performed/recorded with illustrious artists, including Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Thad Jones, Hubert Laws, Dianne Reeves, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Wallace Roney, James Moody, Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett, and Kenny Rankin; took the lead as Music Director for Grammy Award winners Steely Dan, Queen Latifah, Carly Simon (DVD) and AR Rahman’s tours; played on box office hits Wall-E, Shawshank Redemption, Finding Nemo; composed for TV series Star Trek, Cheers and Fame; and arranged music or was Music Director for reality shows American Idol and Search for the next Pussycat Doll, including arranging for Ricky Minor productions and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
As a solo recording artist, Beasley’s compositions, arrangements and playing are inventive, explorative and exquisitely realized expanding musical thought, transcending limitations and genres while maintaining his unique and unmistakable style not only in jazz, but blues, classical and world music as well. His nine solo recordings illustrate how adept he is at writing both lyrically, rhythmically and across boundaries.