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Jazz Honors The Beatles

Michael Ricci By

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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.

Matt Jorgensen



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.

Chad McCullough

"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."

Matt Jorgensen

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.

Gary Burton

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.

I remember being totally blown away in succession, by two of their recordings; Rubber Soul is the sixth album by The Beatles, Released 3 December 1965, which seemed to appear in the record racks at the Sam Goodies record shop in my hometown over night with no fanfare. I remember taking the album home to listen with bated breath and after listening through, I couldn't believe how prolific they were and what amazing texture the recording had. Revolver was the seventh album by The Beatles, released on 5 August 1966. I think these recordings eventually changed the way I listened music and this music on these recordings introduced me to a greater sense of what music should be, especially learning from the experimental aspects and techniques in the recordings themselves. Willing to take risk in composition and in the sound of different instruments. I still enjoy listening to these recording some forty years later. There's something to be said about that.

As a producer, musician and composer, I have excelled by mere fact that I intently listened and studied this music and feel that it was a true master class in sound design, recording technique, performance and music composition.

Jimmy Haslip

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