Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page. Read our daily album reviews.

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SoCal Jazz

The Music of Thelonious Monk: John Beasley's MONK'estra Live

Read "The Music of Thelonious Monk: John Beasley's MONK'estra Live" reviewed by Jim Worsley


If you are familiar with John Beasley's MONK'estra, then you may understand my excitement level at the prospects of seeing and hearing his music in a live show. The brilliance of Thelonious Monk's compositions propelled by the power and sass of big band swagger. This recent performance took place at The Barclay Performing Arts Center on the campus of UC Irvine. The city of Irvine is located on the south end of Orange County, about forty miles south of Los ...

13

Album Review

MONK'estra: MONK'estra Plays John Beasley

Read "MONK'estra Plays John Beasley" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The MONK'estra is actually a number of groups of various shapes and sizes, from duo to big band, assembled under the guiding hand of composer, arranger & pianist John Beasley to—wait for it!—"play John Beasley," an artist whose admiration for Thelonious Sphere Monk is clear throughout this buoyant and resourceful album, as it was on Volumes 1 and 2 of the series, in which the MONK'estra “played Monk." Beasley wrote eight of the album's fourteen genial numbers ...

8

Radio & Podcasts

Tributes to Monk, Part 2

Read "Tributes to Monk, Part 2" reviewed by Russell Perry


Around the 100th anniversary of Thelonious Monk's birth in 2017, there were so many excellent collections of his music released that the previous hour of programming couldn't contain them all. More Monk tributes from John Beasley and MONK'estra, the Microscopic Septet and Wadada Leo Smith in this hour of Jazz at 100 Today! Playlist Host Intro 0:00 Wadada Leo Smith solo “Crepuscule With Nellie" from Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk (Tum Records) 3:01 Microscopic Septet “Friday The ...

8

SoCal Jazz

The Monk'estra Trilogy: The Genius of John Beasley and Thelonious Monk

Read "The Monk'estra Trilogy: The Genius of John Beasley and Thelonious Monk" reviewed by Jim Worsley


His music was ahead of its time. I know, how many times have you heard that said about the incomparable Thelonious Monk? Still, to sit on that thought for just a minute, his music has skyrocketed into the twenty-first century in a time capsule. A jazz icon in his lifetime, he is remarkably revered and understood today. Pianist, composer, and arranger John Beasley grasped Monk's music at the ripe old age of eleven. Noteworthy, in as much as ...

10

Album Review

John Beasley: MONK'estra Plays John Beasley

Read "MONK'estra Plays John Beasley" reviewed by Jim Worsley


In 2016 John Beasley gifted us with John Beasley Presents Monk'estra Volume 1 (Mack Avenue). The buzz of that superb record led to John Beasley Presents Monk'estra Volume 2 (Mack Avenue, 2017). Both records were Grammy nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. They were both more than Grammy worthy, but alas the competition is fierce. Beasley has been more than a Thelonious Monk fan throughout his life, including his now over forty years in the music industry. ...

31

SoCal Jazz

John Beasley: Master of All Trades

Read "John Beasley: Master of All Trades" reviewed by Jim Worsley


In today's busy world, sometimes you just can't do it all. Apparently, John Beasley never received that memo. The pianist, composer, arranger, producer, music director, and film and TV composer is in high demand, and has an enormity of projects that would seem to belie the twenty-four hour day reality. It is perhaps the variance in scope and style of these collaborations that heighten the bar and, frankly, boggle the mind. The Louisiana born Beasley has a non-stop schedule (outlined ...

360

Live Review

John Beasley’s Monk’estra At SFJAZZ

Read "John Beasley’s Monk’estra At SFJAZZ" reviewed by Walter Atkins


John Beasley's Monk'estra SFJAZZ Thelonious Monk Centennial Celebration San Francisco, CA October 15, 2017 The double Grammy nominated Monk'estra big band lead by conductor/arranger and pianist John Beasley performed Sunday night in SFJAZZ's spacious Miner Auditorium. Released in September of this year, Beasley's Monk'estra Vol. 2 (Mack Avenue Records, 2017) had garnered some serious attention. This was also a special occasion commemorating Thelonious Monk's centennial and the audience was giddy with anticipation. Fans were ...


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