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Jazz Honors The Beatles

Michael Ricci By

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...I'd never noticed before how deep those lyrics were cause the original got layered behind so much production. For sure my taste for Indian music and for mixing genres and creating soundscapes can be traced at least in part to their adventurous approach to arrangements. ( I think my exposure to Bernstien's West Side Story also takes some credit here). Sure, lots of their songs, of course, are just simple pop tunes, but so many of are also classics that bear the test of time, and like all good poems, they change meaning each year if I revisit them. Not sure if I've answered the question really. I don't listen to them that all much any more, but one thing is clear, I simply cannot imagine my musical life without the Beatles. They were just always there.

Jana Herzen

Of all pop/rock bands in history, the Beatles created the greatest collection of outstanding melodies and innovative chord progressions. Compared to the three or four chord songs of their contemporaries, this music revolutionized pop music. Because of the sophistication of their songs, jazz and classical musicians have been able to reinterpret their material through a staggering array of arrangements and orchestrations. Few songs in pop history have stood up to the test of being successfully performed and recorded as instrumentals.

[Free MP3: Download Chuck Anderson's "Eleanor Rigby / Norweigian Wood Medley."

Chuck Anderson Advisory Board Member of The Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts

John and Paul could just write a good tune. Tight, economical, tuneful, bluesy undertones.

Here's a video of my sextet Liquid Jazz reinterpreting the lyrical Norwegian Wood.

Long live the Fab 4 (maestro Martin)!

Rick Hirsch

The Beatles were music's perfect storm. While we all watched in amazement, they defined a generation of pop music and culture. The Fab Four influenced virtually every other musician on the planet with their distinct combination of songwriting, performing, wit and charisma. Each member brought something special to the band as a whole, and George Martin was just the right individual to seize the chemistry and wrap it up in such an appealing package. Simple, yet sophisticated. Edgy, yet accessible. British, yet universal. Yes, the Beatles were music's perfect storm, and their legend continues to captivate and amaze us.

Kam Falk

I was lucky enough to play on sessions with both Paul McCartney and George Harrison. George ended up inviting me to play piano his 52nd Birthday Party at his house. He was a real gentleman, a great songwriter and it was really inspiring to meet someone so famous, and yet so "NORMAL!!!"

Terry Disley

Too much melody for any one person! Each member of the band brought their own element (all of which were tremendous by themselves) and the whole was more than the sum of the parts. Paul's sweetness, John's edge, George's wisdom, Ringo's humor. We should all be so lucky to contribute any part of the equation.

Bill Hartzell

"Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns, it calls me on and on across the universe." The Beatles unfolded a torrent of creativity in pop music which reverberates until today, beyond borders. Miles Davis also did something very similar in jazz, breaking down barriers. We are all richer with possibilities because of them.

Johnny Alegre

They were geniuses as far as I'm concerned. You can take almost any of their songs, on any album, play just the melody on any tonal instrument and you'd recognise it as a great tune. How many other people can say that?

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.

Mark Wingfield

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.

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