Jazz is built on a foundation of constant reinvention. Nothing gets to stays the same, not even classic songs that have defined the very essence of the music. At once timeless and entirely new, Jazz has the unique signature of an art form that's always in transition. This kind of creative volatility, and its challenge to embrace a "now" built on so many echos from the past, is exactly the kind of creative atmosphere that John Beasley thrives within.
Having spent years working with legends like Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard, Beasley consistently finds himself returning to the influence of other masters from that era like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and most prominently, Thelonious Monk. Honing a creative compass that's shaped his contemporary identity as the one of foremost interpreters of Monk's genius, Beasley continues to channel Monk's inspiration to serve his own musical ambitions.
MONK'estra Plays John Beasley elegantly bridges Bealsey's skills as interpreter and master arranger with the gifted songwriter whose original compositions bare a familiar ingenuity, commitment to craft and musical prescience Monk fostered throughout his career. Ranging from the full force of the MONK'estra to more intimate trio, quartet and quintet settings with guest artists, John Patitucci, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Grégoire Maret, the album winds its way through cleverly re-imagined Monk originals, a stunning Latin interpretation of 'Donna Lee' and a larger than life rendition of Duke Ellington's 'Come Sunday'.
Finding yourself in Jazz is a lifelong affair. John Beasley has spent a career cradling influences that summon the courage to ‘Be.YOU.tiful,’ making music that matters in a time when we need it most. As experiencing Jazz in person has become exponentially more difficult, John Beasley has created another work that invites you to stay in the present, embracing the majestic tradition of an art form that's certainly not done reinventing itself.
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