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John Beasley

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ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2012 | By Reed Johnson
The story may be apocryphal, but according to legend (i.e. Wikipedia) the jazz pianist John Beasley put together his first drum kit at age 2, using kitchen pots and pans. History does not record the title of the debut tune that Beasley performed on his DIY percussion set (let's hope, for his parents' sake, that it didn't take place 'round midnight). But history does record that Beasley went on to write a jazz composition that landed him a scholarship at age 14; record with Miles Davis, Queen Latifah and Steely Dan, among many others; make music for TV's "Fame" and "Cheers"; contribute to film soundtracks including "The Godfather III"; and consistently craft jazz-funk-roots fusion discs that cause critics to use encomiums like, "a groove so deep you could fall right in. " Best of 2012:   Movies  |  TV  |  Pop music  |  Jazz  |  Video Games |  Art  |  Theater  |  Dance  |  Classical music So take note, jazz historians: Next month, Beasley will collaborate on four consecutive Wednesdays during a residency at the Blue Whale in downtown's Little Tokyo.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Chris Barton
A selection of jazz and jazz-adjacent shows that lie ahead: Robert Hurst at the Blue Whale A onetime member of "The Tonight Show" band who has also been a part of Diana Krall's touring group, Detroit bassist Robert Hurst has an eclectic, richly rewarding output in his own right that includes last year's elegant "Bob: A Palindrome" and "Unrehurst Vol. 2," a 2011 live album recorded with drummer Chris Dave and Grammy-winning keyboardist-of-the-moment Robert...
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NEWS
August 25, 1994 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Too often, jazz in Southern California cleaves to one or two schools of thought. Mainstream jazz has its stalwart clutch of practitioners and devotees. On the other end, there is the vapid gravy train of "contemporary jazz," for which the term jazz may be a misnomer. But wait: that's not the whole story. Take the case of keyboardist John Beasley, who, at 34, has long made his way in an in-between zone.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2012 | By Reed Johnson
The story may be apocryphal, but according to legend (i.e. Wikipedia) the jazz pianist John Beasley put together his first drum kit at age 2, using kitchen pots and pans. History does not record the title of the debut tune that Beasley performed on his DIY percussion set (let's hope, for his parents' sake, that it didn't take place 'round midnight). But history does record that Beasley went on to write a jazz composition that landed him a scholarship at age 14; record with Miles Davis, Queen Latifah and Steely Dan, among many others; make music for TV's "Fame" and "Cheers"; contribute to film soundtracks including "The Godfather III"; and consistently craft jazz-funk-roots fusion discs that cause critics to use encomiums like, "a groove so deep you could fall right in. " Best of 2012:   Movies  |  TV  |  Pop music  |  Jazz  |  Video Games |  Art  |  Theater  |  Dance  |  Classical music So take note, jazz historians: Next month, Beasley will collaborate on four consecutive Wednesdays during a residency at the Blue Whale in downtown's Little Tokyo.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 1991 | DON HECKMAN
* * Various Artists, "The Usual Suspects," Sheffield Lab Records. Producer Jeff Weber's assemblage of pieces from John Beasley, David Benoit and Bill Champlin, among others, has the colorful variety of a spilled jigsaw puzzle, along with some of the chaos. Guitarist Eric Gale, saxophonist Gerald Albright and the dependable rhythm team of Paul Jackson Jr., John Robinson, Nathan East and Mike Fisher give the album its most notable quality--a powerful, spontaneous rhythmic sizzle.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 21, 1992 | LEONARD FEATHER
The Jazz Bakery, where fresh and adventurous ideas seem to abound, was the scene Friday of a performance by pianist John Beasley and bassist John Patitucci. Though they have worked together often in other settings, this was their first appearance as a duo. It became clear immediately that there is a rare empathy between the two. The program ranged from funk (Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island") to Monk ("Off Minor").
ENTERTAINMENT
March 31, 1995 | ZAN STEWART
The bassist, long enamored with the sounds of Latin America and Africa, delivers a crafty blend of rhythms and melodies that pack plenty of Brazilian panache. The music is mainly by the leader and new, with the delightful "Assim Nao Da" the closest thing to a recognizable standard. Mostly wordless, swaying vocals by such Brazilian singer-songwriters as Joao Bosco, Ivan Lins and Dori Caymmi light up the album.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 1993 | ZAN STEWART, Zan Stewart writes regularly about jazz for The Times.
John Beasley, wearing a black silk short-sleeve shirt, light blue jeans and dark-green Converse low-top tennies, sits at the grand piano in an auditorium at Santa Monica College on a recent Friday, playing a concert for about 400 jazz appreciation students. The pianist--grimacing as he plays, his feet dancing under the keyboard--offers chords that splash like stones breaking the still surface of a lake and lines that dart like Michael Jordan heading toward the key for a slam dunk.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Chris Barton
A selection of jazz and jazz-adjacent shows that lie ahead: Robert Hurst at the Blue Whale A onetime member of "The Tonight Show" band who has also been a part of Diana Krall's touring group, Detroit bassist Robert Hurst has an eclectic, richly rewarding output in his own right that includes last year's elegant "Bob: A Palindrome" and "Unrehurst Vol. 2," a 2011 live album recorded with drummer Chris Dave and Grammy-winning keyboardist-of-the-moment Robert...
ENTERTAINMENT
May 7, 1998 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The most recent bread-and-butter gig for the decidedly talented modern-jazz keyboardist John Beasley was a U.S. stint with the Spice Girls. "That paid the mortgage for awhile," joked Beasley, who has toured with Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. "We had an incredible band, and the circus around the girls was huge, so that was kind of fun. I was a big hit with my daughter, Sierra, and at her elementary school."
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 1998 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Perhaps it was the announcement that a colleague, pianist Kenny Kirkland, had died earlier last week in New York that so inspired keyboardist John Beasley's quartet at Steamers Cafe in Fullerton on Friday. The first set was particularly intense and decidedly emotional. Kirkland was in the Branford Marsalis edition of "The Tonight Show" band, toured with Sting and was a member of Wynton Marsalis' group of the early '80s.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 7, 1998 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The most recent bread-and-butter gig for the decidedly talented modern-jazz keyboardist John Beasley was a U.S. stint with the Spice Girls. "That paid the mortgage for awhile," joked Beasley, who has toured with Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. "We had an incredible band, and the circus around the girls was huge, so that was kind of fun. I was a big hit with my daughter, Sierra, and at her elementary school."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 31, 1995 | ZAN STEWART
The bassist, long enamored with the sounds of Latin America and Africa, delivers a crafty blend of rhythms and melodies that pack plenty of Brazilian panache. The music is mainly by the leader and new, with the delightful "Assim Nao Da" the closest thing to a recognizable standard. Mostly wordless, swaying vocals by such Brazilian singer-songwriters as Joao Bosco, Ivan Lins and Dori Caymmi light up the album.
NEWS
August 25, 1994 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Too often, jazz in Southern California cleaves to one or two schools of thought. Mainstream jazz has its stalwart clutch of practitioners and devotees. On the other end, there is the vapid gravy train of "contemporary jazz," for which the term jazz may be a misnomer. But wait: that's not the whole story. Take the case of keyboardist John Beasley, who, at 34, has long made his way in an in-between zone.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 1993 | ZAN STEWART, Zan Stewart writes regularly about jazz for The Times.
John Beasley, wearing a black silk short-sleeve shirt, light blue jeans and dark-green Converse low-top tennies, sits at the grand piano in an auditorium at Santa Monica College on a recent Friday, playing a concert for about 400 jazz appreciation students. The pianist--grimacing as he plays, his feet dancing under the keyboard--offers chords that splash like stones breaking the still surface of a lake and lines that dart like Michael Jordan heading toward the key for a slam dunk.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 21, 1992 | LEONARD FEATHER
The Jazz Bakery, where fresh and adventurous ideas seem to abound, was the scene Friday of a performance by pianist John Beasley and bassist John Patitucci. Though they have worked together often in other settings, this was their first appearance as a duo. It became clear immediately that there is a rare empathy between the two. The program ranged from funk (Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island") to Monk ("Off Minor").
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 1992 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A lot of jazz artists who want to reach a wide audience often have to water down their music to do it. But not John Beasley. The pianist's blend of world beat sounds and jazz soloing on his just-out Windham Hill Jazz Records debut, "Cauldron," makes for just the kind of collection that attracts fans from more than one genre.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 1998 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Perhaps it was the announcement that a colleague, pianist Kenny Kirkland, had died earlier last week in New York that so inspired keyboardist John Beasley's quartet at Steamers Cafe in Fullerton on Friday. The first set was particularly intense and decidedly emotional. Kirkland was in the Branford Marsalis edition of "The Tonight Show" band, toured with Sting and was a member of Wynton Marsalis' group of the early '80s.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 1992 | ZAN STEWART, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A lot of jazz artists who want to reach a wide audience often have to water down their music to do it. But not John Beasley. The pianist's blend of world beat sounds and jazz soloing on his just-out Windham Hill Jazz Records debut, "Cauldron," makes for just the kind of collection that attracts fans from more than one genre.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 1991 | DON HECKMAN
* * Various Artists, "The Usual Suspects," Sheffield Lab Records. Producer Jeff Weber's assemblage of pieces from John Beasley, David Benoit and Bill Champlin, among others, has the colorful variety of a spilled jigsaw puzzle, along with some of the chaos. Guitarist Eric Gale, saxophonist Gerald Albright and the dependable rhythm team of Paul Jackson Jr., John Robinson, Nathan East and Mike Fisher give the album its most notable quality--a powerful, spontaneous rhythmic sizzle.
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