495

John Beasley: Letter to Herbie

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
John Beasley: Letter to Herbie Herbie Hancock has given the jazz world numerous song memories that linger. Through this tribute album, pianist John Beasley honors the composer with innovative arrangements of his compositions, all with the kind of interplay that Hancock has always enjoyed in performance. Here, pianist Beasley, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts enjoy a thorough workout from the music.

As the pianist and his crew get on board, most of the program swings hard or drives incessantly. There's nothing like a good composition to stir the pot, and "Bedtime Voyage" blends two of Hancock's tunes for an excursion that pushes buoyantly. Using tension and repose in a fruitful balance, the quintet gives this arrangement a lovely sheen. Roy Hargrove's trumpet sounds better than it has in years.

"Diana" differs from the rest of the program with its slow, ballad air and its sensual beauty. Here, the trio goes for a pure treatment, with an emphasis on the way Hancock's music can draw from within. As McBride and Beasley announce their dreams casually with deep feeling, the song fills with a loving heart.

The pianist, for his part, tosses off arpeggios and glissandi with a casual air as he and his musical partners honor the music with respect. Quite often, it's the music that makes a session; the artists merely interpret without going too far overboard. That's the case here as Beasley and his team take on some of the best music written, and honor a legendary man through their well-crafted performance.


Track Listing: 4 A.M.; Bedtime Voyage; Chan's Song; Three Finger Snap; The Naked Camera; Eye of the Hurricane; Diana; Hear and Now; Still Time; Vein Melter.

Personnel: John Beasley: piano; Christian McBride: double bass; Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums; Roy Hargrove: trumpet (2, 5, 6, 10); Steve Tavaglione: flute (2), bass clarinet (5); Luis Conte: percussion (3); Michael O'Neal: guitar (5).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Resonance Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Bring Their 'A' Game" CD/LP/Track Review Bring Their 'A' Game
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "Varanda" CD/LP/Track Review Varanda
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Fourtune" CD/LP/Track Review Fourtune
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Ida Lupino" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Lupino
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "That Feelin'" CD/LP/Track Review That Feelin'
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute to Horace Parlan" CD/LP/Track Review My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute to Horace Parlan
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!