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Artist Profiles

Jazz Honors The Beatles

By Published: September 30, 2009
Even the great songwriters like Gershwin, Kern and Porter merely wrote an awful lot of love songs... they fell into the categories of "me," "you" or "us." But the Beatles tapped into the first generation where youth split away into their own pot filled, rebellious "baby boom" universe, turned culture on its head and were there with a correspondingly original soundtrack.

All these years, the Fab Four have been acting as a silent tribunal, inspiring me and making me aware of the importance of breaking rules, being bizarre, taking chances and leaving no doubt about what I'm setting out to "say." Nobody was ever better at that- not Duke Ellington, nor John Williams or even Stevie Wonder.

class="f-right s-img">—Marius Nordal



I fell in love with The Beatles when I was a very young kid and they became a bit of an obsession for me as I got older and their popularity grew. I was along for the ride from the beginning when they had their first major hits on the charts in the early 1960s, "Love Me Do," "P.S. I Love You" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." (This was before I was five years old!) In '68 when the White Album was out I had learned all of the lyrics to the songs and was intrigued by the 'Paul is dead' rumors, trying to identify the clues that were supposedly etched into that album cover and in the lyrics of "Revolution Number 9" when played backwards.

As a songwriting team, the duo of Lennon and McCartney were unsurpassed in the second half of the 20th Century. And like the great teams before them, their songs have had lasting value not only in American society but worldwide. There are blues tunes like "Come Together" and "Can't Buy Me Love," standards like "The Long and Winding Road," "Hey Jude" and "Michelle" and so many others in between.

Because The Beatles' music is not only classic, but was like a soundtrack for so much of my early life, it's no wonder that I would be compelled to play songs from their rich catalogue. The depth of their songwriting, harmonically and melodically, has enticed me to want to play and record them on many occasions.

class="f-right s-img">—Matt Jorgensen
Matt Jorgensen
Matt Jorgensen
b.1972
drums





Even before I knew what music was, I knew The Beatles. The first music video I ever saw was George Harrison's "I Got My Mind Set On You." I don't know if it changed my life or not, but I remember it was pretty awesome. Wrapping my head around all of the things that they accomplished in less than 10 years is like trying to wrap my head around the size of the universe. When I was in high school, there was an exchange student from Russia who loved The Beatles. We played in a band together. His accent went away when he'd sing—it was my first realization that music knows absolutely no political, or geographical boundaries. I wish I had been in The Beatles.

class="f-right s-img">—Chad McCullough
Chad McCullough
Chad McCullough
b.1981
trumpet



"My mom had an original serial numbered version of "The White Album," and when I was a kid that was the first record that I fell in love with, and played endlessly. It really changed the way I think about everything. I still listen to it today, and each time I hear new things in the recording."

class="f-right s-img">—Matt Jorgensen
Matt Jorgensen
Matt Jorgensen
b.1972
drums



The music of the Beales had a major impact for me being as they appeared on the scene as I was in the process of making the the first Gary Burton Quartet, so we included a lot of different musical influences, not just types of jazz.

class="f-right s-img">—Gary Burton
Gary Burton
Gary Burton
b.1943
vibraphone





I have been and am seriously influenced by the Beatles in so many ways. They personify some many interesting qualities. The Beatles were so creative on so many levels.

Whether it was the music, the production values and the inventiveness of both. The image they created, even from project to project how they changed their focus artistically, their musical vision and how they matured, progressively challenging the audience yet drawing the audience right into what they were doing at that moment. Sure they had some awesome help from visionary producer George Martin. No matter, they were open to experimenting and creating new music at every turn. Something I feel has been lost in music of today on some level.


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