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Artist Profiles

Jazz Honors The Beatles

By Published: September 30, 2009
In my opinion there's not been any other group before or since that can match their genius in pure, original, melodic line, and few as prolific. But better still, so much of their music had such strong and visual atmospheres. They often entered a world somewhere just beyond the real, sometimes way beyond, yet somehow very much relating to people's lives and daily reality.

They were so innovative in the studio pushing the boundaries of technology and multi tracking at the time. But unlike so much that has come since, the artistic and musical results outweighed the sum of the technology by a long way.

They influenced me hugely melodically as well as with the atmospheres they created in so many of their songs, that links in very much for me in what I do.

class="f-right s-img">—Mark Wingfield
Mark Wingfield
Mark Wingfield

guitar, electric





When the Beatles were around, a new album by a major band was a major event. People would line up outside the record store to get their copies on the first day of release. It was more than about buying entertainment. It was, hopefully, about inspiring, about making you think.

So it was when the Beatles' "White Album" came out. I was standing in line waiting for the record store to open. They had a raffle for a free album. I was 12 years old. When they called my name as a lucky winner, I was the happiest kid in the world.

What did I learn from The Beatles? Don't worry about whether your lyrics follow standard forms. If you have a 15 bar lyric, that's just the way it's meant to be. Once I understood that you could break rules like this, an entirely new way of writing songs opened up to me.

The Beatles weren't afraid to be funny. They weren't afraid to be literate. In fact, they were completely fearless and took risks that no pop musicians would take today. Be fearless. They certainly aren't the only musicians to have followed this rule, but I know from them that it's rule number one for anyone serious about making music.

class="f-right s-img">—Stuart Rosh
Stuart Rosh
Stuart Rosh
b.1956
vocalist





If there's a single reason why I started making music, it was the advent of the Beatles.

What I find most fascinating about the music of the Beatles is that it consistently defied labels, genres and categories. If you take a dozen Beatles songs, you would have to probably put each one in a different bin at the record store these days: rock, soft rock, pop, blues, folk, psychedelic, ambient and so on.

The Beatles were possibly the only group ever to consistently climb to the top of the charts without being 'labeled' and forced to fit in a certain category. I just wish there was even one record label today that would even consider signing a group like the Beatles, the music industry would be better off.

class="f-right s-img">—Alan Steward
Alan Steward
Alan Steward
b.1961
multi-instrumentalist





My teenage years were spent immersed in rock music and the Beatles clearly were the most influential of their time. What started out as English rock and roll morphed into their own genre.

Sgt. Peppers and Magical Mystery Tour represented a new kind of popular music without peers.

The Lennon-McCartney collaboration was so unique and productive that not only were the songs cutting edge but the production values were revolutionary.

As a player, composer and arranger, I have the utmost respect for the Fab Four's ability to really play as a band and to craft tunes that will bear the test of time. One can hear classical, rag-time, blues, rock and jazz influences but in the final analysis this music stands by itself.

There's no question that this music has subtly infiltrated my compositions and one can only hope to bring that inventive spirit to their own creations.

class="f-right s-img">—Mike Clinco
Mike Clinco
Mike Clinco
b.1954
guitar





The Beatles were a supernova. Over a span of less than ten years they moved music from rhythm and blues into the rock era, while paradoxically contributing mightily to the Great American Songbook. With "Yesterday," "Michele," "Something," "Julia," "Blackbird," I'll Follow the Sun," "Here, there and Everywhere," "A Little Help from My Friends," "Eleanor Rigby," "For No One," "Penny Lane," and so many other great compositions, the Beatles proved that the era of great songwriting was not over. Their music continues to provide inspiration to my creative output.

class="f-right s-img">—Shelly Berg
Shelly Berg
Shelly Berg

piano





The Beatles went from "I Want to Hold Your Hand" to "Revolution Number 9" and meant it. You saw both an evolution of sound and consciousness in one phenomenon. They had a large portion of the Spirit of Truth.

class="f-right s-img">—Tony Bianco
Tony Bianco
Tony Bianco

drums





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