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Jazz Articles about Benjamin Shepherd

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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 ...

5
Album Review

Jon Armstrong Sextet: Reabsorb

Read "Reabsorb" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Saxophonist Jon Armstrong reminds us that life and death are two sides of the same coin. Although seemingly disparate, like two sides of an LP, they cannot be separated. His sextet recording Reabsorb models this contrasting device by presenting two contrasting compositions, one on each side of an LP (also available as a CD and download). The music, inspired by an Erin Armstrong poem, presents both sides, which at first encounter come off as binary elements. Loud and soft. Busy ...

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. ...


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