Jazz Honors The Beatles

Michael Ricci By

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I got to listen to the individual tracks of the "White Album" once. Another mind blowing experience. Without mentioning the technological adventures they went through in order to achieve what anyone can do today from home in a click of a button, it was simply shocking to realize how clear and in-tune their singing was. To nail two and three voices harmonies in one take and have it be so correct and beautiful—I don't know many who do it today like that. And even more shocking is how they did it on stage. Imagine trying to sing in tune when all you have is couple of amps on stage and thousands of people are standing in front of you screaming their lungs out... Have no idea how they did it...

Avishai Cohen - Trumpet

The Beatles were, are and will forever be THE greatest rock band of them all! They covered all the basses, and the sheer body of work recorded in such a short period of time is astounding, simply because it's quality material. This amazing band of writers/musicians and personalities literally changed the world and music forever...they continue to inspire generations with timeless tunes of every genre. Finally, let's not forget the genius of producer George Martin, and engineer Geoff Emerick who worked hand-in glove with the band to create these wonderful soundscapes. There won't be anything like The Beatles again for a looooong time...if ever. BRAVO Gentlemen!

—Clint Bahr

Growing up in Motown was a great thing as a child. I always felt I could excel in my art because there was so much wonderful music all around. If you worked hard you could have a career in music—it never felt unattainable to do what I wanted to do.

Having said that, after first hearing The Beatles, watching the rapid growth of their music was—and still is—the most incredible thing musically that I've seen. I think so many musicians of my age would agree.

Theirs was the first music I heard that really started me thinking about record production. Not only playing the music, but writing, arranging and using the studio as an instrument to construct your own musical landscape free of restrictions. They changed the world! —Earl Klugh

The Beatles, in many respects, represent the ultimate fusion of innovation and mass appeal. They managed to push the boundaries of their genre, while at the same time, touching massive numbers of people, across all social and economic lines.

We, in the jazz world, could learn a thing or two from them!

Seth Kibel

Sometimes I think it's difficult to fully appreciate how brilliant The Beatles were. Perhaps it's because they were so instrumental in creating what we now view as the standard for contemporary music. They have become part of our language. They raised the bar and completely changed the game.

Spencer Day

The Beatles were the strongest musical influence on me when I decided that I wanted to play music all my life and the was 44 years ago when I bought Beatles 65. Since I am left-handed I naturally took Paul as my role model and bought a Hofner 500/1 and that was the start of my long and winding road with the bass. I have since concentrated on universal music and double bass and I am eternally grateful to the Fab Four for their musical vibes and example.

Manny Flores Jr.

The Beatles are one of the most important things in my life. I have a band BeatleJazz and we have four CDs of Beatles music and been touring around the world and I feel very happy to be able to do that. From a musical standpoint, The Beatles' compositions are original in their use of modes—harmonically as well as melodically, but at the same time breaking the rules. I think part of it was an intuitive musical sense rather than a formal approach. As we all know they never studied formal music theory but what they came up with is something I've studied and continue to do so. In a way it's easier to break rules if you don't know all of them, but that is too easy an explanation.

There is something special about their voices blending that are just sheer magic. John had a profound use of words and a great natural harmonic gift and Paul would take some of his few note melodies and come up with a harmony melody that many times complemented the melody with an amazing counterpoint. The Lennon/McCartney partnership is one of the main ingredients for there wonderful music. George and Ringo were great also. And then there was their style, the way they looked, and talked, their hair, clothes, wit etc. Maybe for being a youngster when I first got into them it represented youth itself. It was something that was different than what my parents were used to. That in itself was appealing for me and my generation. The words spoke to us in a way that was not heard before from Cole Porter, George Gershwin, etc. But really, none of that is the main reason. For me the main thing is the feeling I get when I get when I hear them. It actually goes beyond anything I've mentioned. It can't really be put into words. All I know is it makes me be happy to be alive.

David Kikoski

At the age of 8, between Peggy Lee's Things Are Swingin' and Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Rodgers and Hart Songbook I discovered my mother's copy of Meet the Beatles. ...and we'll go on meeting 'til we die, Paul, George, Ringo, John, and I.

Kat Edmonson

The Beatles were for me the first introduction to being obsessive about music as a listener (and later as a musician, and I mean this in the best of ways. I spent many hours from around grade 4 and on listening to the amazing breadth of their work. Started from the "White Album," and made my way slowly through the catalog. Thanks for the great music!!

Oren Neiman

The Beatles always impressed me with the diversity of their songwriting. They're probably the first group I acknowledged as experimenting with and ultimately shaping several styles of popular music. More than any particular song I've always admired The Beatles for the confidence they had in their own curiosity.

Sachal Vasandani
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