All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Profiles

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2,756

Jazz Honors The Beatles

Michael Ricci By

Sign in to view read count
"I was in competition for who had the most Beatles records with a few of my friends at around age 10. Still listening and loving those records. Been through vinyl, cassettes, CDs, and now MP3s. i was pretty blown away when Sir Paul showed up at a gig of mine a few years back. He's still hungry for new energy and music. Maybe that's one of the many reasons they were such a great band."

Ben Perowsky

The timeless music that The Beatles created remains a source of listening enjoyment and artistic inspiration. The collective growth that occurred in their songwriting and album concepts amazes me every time. I listen to some of their later records like Sgt. Pepper's or Abbey Road. I would be hard pressed to name another rock band that had the musical breadth and depth of The Beatles.

Steve Smith

The Beatles have always been an enormous influence on my music and playing. Specifically, different harmonic passages they use have found their way into my music time and time again. I'll also find myself trying to imitate Lennon's voice or McCartney's bass sound at the piano or keyboard. But one of the main influences I get from their music time and time again are the recordings. The sounds they achieved at the time with such limited technology. "Tomorrow Never Knows" from Revolver is an excellent example. On that song, McCartney came in with the idea of using tape loops and tape reversal. Also, Lennon's vocals were run through a Leslie speaker which had never been done before. It's these kind of techniques I find myself using constantly when recording at home or elsewhere. Don't even get me started on Sgt Peppers...

Frank LoCrasto

I grew up with the Beatles. My mother had a bunch of their records, like Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Peppers, also a live concert from Hollywood Bowl in which all that is audible is screaming girls. I think it's fascinating that a group that gained super popularity based on idolatry ended up making music that rivaled any of the great composers in it's creativity and purpose. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were one of the most prolific songwriting teams of the modern era: how many Beatles songs are immediately recognizable?

George Colligan

I was one of the few people on February 9, 1964 who didn't see the Beatles performance on the Ed Sullivan show, but boy did I hear about it the next day at school.

I liked some of their songs but at the time I was more into Motown and James Brown. Every Beatles album always had songs that I liked. AM radio played them every hour on the hour. Rubber Soul and Revolver got my attention as full LPs but it was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that pulled me all the way in to them on a deeper musical level.

What I discovered was that the Beatles weren't afraid to break convention in their songwriting and records. "Good Morning" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" have odd meter bars. From the beginning they always used Major 6th and dominant 9th chords reflecting their affinity with jazz and rhythm and blues. The use of interesting choices in rock/pop music instrumentation (piccolo trumpet, sitar, french horn, string ensembles etc). They used the recording studio to experiment with extensive editing techniques and innovations like running a track backwards and recording on top of that. They wrote and recorded pop, country and western, rock, blues and ballads.

My writing as a composer and arranger is most directly influenced by the Beatles work. I have always admired how colorful and vivid their music sounded. They opened minds and musical ears to possibilities.

Wayne Wallace

One might not expect a jazz vibraphonist to have that much in common with the Beatles. However, they set the bar for creating enduring popular music, and I think about them all the time. Any performer has to be in awe of the virtuosity of the young Fab Four. Any studio musician has to be amazed by the recordings they achieved with producer George Martin. And any composer has to be inspired by the sheer beauty of their melodies, and the inventiveness and timelessness of their songs.

Steve Shapiro

The Beatles are part of my musical DNA. I grew up listening to them on my parents' stereo, and I can still remember putting on the "White Album" to listen to "Julia" and "Blackbird" over and over again. I also recorded a version of "For No One" with Bill Charlap, Avishai Cohen and Andy Watson for a demo many years ago that not many people have ever heard! I still think it's one of the great heartbreak songs. I don't think I consciously ever tried to write like them, but I think the emotion in their songs is what I carry with me. I've always been most attracted to the wistful and sad songs in their catalog. "She's Leaving Home," "Eleanor Rigby," "Because," "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away," etc...

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Don Suhor: From Dixieland to Bopsieland Profiles
Don Suhor: From Dixieland to Bopsieland
by Charles Suhor
Published: September 2, 2018
Read Aretha Franklin, The Lady Soul: 1942 - 2018 Profiles
Aretha Franklin, The Lady Soul: 1942 - 2018
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 17, 2018
Read Remembering Tomasz Stanko Profiles
Remembering Tomasz Stanko
by AAJ Staff
Published: July 29, 2018
Read SFJAZZ: Decades After, Five Years In Profiles
SFJAZZ: Decades After, Five Years In
by Arthur R George
Published: July 19, 2018
Read Kuumbwa And The Magic of Monday Night Profiles
Kuumbwa And The Magic of Monday Night
by Arthur R George
Published: July 2, 2018
Read On Stage at JALC: Paul Jost Profiles
On Stage at JALC: Paul Jost
by Suzanne Lorge
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature - Part 2-2" Profiles Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature - Part 2-2
by Barry Witherden
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "Zara McFarlane: Embodying the Spirit of Jamaica" Profiles Zara McFarlane: Embodying the Spirit of Jamaica
by David Burke
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "Kuumbwa And The Magic of Monday Night" Profiles Kuumbwa And The Magic of Monday Night
by Arthur R George
Published: July 2, 2018
Read "SFJAZZ: Decades After, Five Years In" Profiles SFJAZZ: Decades After, Five Years In
by Arthur R George
Published: July 19, 2018
Read "On Stage at JALC: Paul Jost" Profiles On Stage at JALC: Paul Jost
by Suzanne Lorge
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature - Part 1-2" Profiles Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature - Part 1-2
by Barry Witherden
Published: November 2, 2017