December 29, 1991 |
* * 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.
September 21, 1992 |
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").
March 31, 1995 |
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.
June 20, 1993 |
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.
May 7, 1998 |
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."
September 14, 1995 |
Though there have been other tenor saxophonists in Doug Webb's life, John Coltrane remains the man closest to his heart. Webb also plays tenor sax. He was again reminded of Coltrane's impact when he picked up "The Heavyweight Champion"--a newly released seven-CD set that contains all of Coltrane's late '50s recordings for Atlantic Records.