Veteran pianist-composer-arranger John Beasley is set to perform at Jazz Standard on Wednesday, July 27, with sets at 7:30pm and 9:30pm (Purchase tickets by clicking on the show you want to be at). He will be joined on stage by bassist James Genus, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts, saxophonist Antonio Hart and trumpeter Rashawn Ross. The appearance will be Beasley's first NYC performance since releasing his Grammy nominated album, Positootly! in 2009.
A young Beasley gained invaluable bandstand experience on the road with such revered jazz elders as Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis and since has been performing with the likes of Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett, Hubert Laws and Dianne Reeves, along with serving as musical director for Steely Dan and Queen Latifah. In recent years, Beasley has made impressive strides as a bandleader in his own right. His latest album, Positootly!, was nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award and was the eagerly anticipated follow-up to 2008's acclaimed Letter to Herbie (Beasley's impressionistic take on the music of Herbie Hancock).
"Letter to Herbie was more about arranging," he explains. "I had fun mashing up Herbie's songs." Jazz.com describes Letter to Herbie as, "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.' This mash is a real banger... a strong performance and a notch above your typical tribute project."
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.
July 27th's performance will feature music from Grammy-nominated Positootly! and Letter to Herbie, both featuring Jeff "Tain" Watts.
Are you a John Beasley fan? Which album is your fave - Cauldron, A Change of Heart, Mose the Fireman, Surfacing, One Live Night, Letter to Herbie, Positootly! or John Beasley Live?
Guess what? Since you've read the post this far, I'm going to let you know where you can get a free download of one of Beasley's tunes right now - YAY! Click here for a free download of So Tired from Positootly!