Friday, December 17, 2010

Voice of America, "Positootly!" review, Holiday DISCOUNT

Beas in the Hive, ‘tis the week before Xmas

JAZZ AMERICA program on Voice of America
To all my friends around the world from Slovakia to South Sudan, Russ Davis is playing Grammy nominated songs this Saturday 2x (repeated Sunday). So, TUNE IN and listen to new jazz music from 2009/2010.

Saturday - 1-3am ET / 11pm-1am PT and Sunday -9-11am ET / 6-9am PT

Shortwave: 1300 GMT/UTC Saturdays and Sundays
Africa - 4.95 6.08 13.57 15.58 17.895 mhz
Middle East and Europe - 12.005 15.53 mhz
Asia and Pacific - 7.43 7.575 9.7 12.15 mhz

FM / AM: Check affiliate FM & AM stations worldwide.
Jazz America with Russ Davis: Dec 18-19
Program Set List:

HANK JONES Groove Merchant

*Herbie Hancock Interview

JOHN BEASLEY Shi.ti.ta.boom.boom (Positootly!)
DANILO PEREZ Galactic Panama
DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER Lady Sings the Blues

* Dave Holland Interview

PONCHO SANCHEZ Grand Central Blog – George Kahn - Review of “Positootly!”

Los Angeles Jazz "Positootly" Grows at the Grammys - (Dec 11, 2010, 4:15 PM PST)
"Whether Beasley wins the Grammy or not, the nomination is well deserved, and this project deserves to be heard, and not just in jazz clubs. It swings and rocks, and is "Positootly" worth buying."
Of the 109 Grammy awards given, 6 of them go to jazz albums. In the universe of music, with jazz accounting for less than 3 percent of all albums sales, you might say the Grammys are very generous giving the jazz area 6 trophies. But if you like this music, and you dig into the 5 people nominated in each of these 6 categories, you will find some astonishingly good music.

A refreshing turn of events here is that the vast majority of the nominees come from small independent labels. (Perhaps this is not a surprise as the major labels have pretty much abandoned new jazz and spend most of their time mining their catalogs over and over again). And another wonderful discovery this year is the large number of Los Angeles-based musicians showing up on the short list.

A perfect example of this is found in the "Best Jazz Instrumental Album" category: 3 of the 5 nominees are either LA-based, or self-professed "bi-coastal" musicians. The Clayton Brothers turn in a grand project, "The New Song and Dance" on ArtistShare. The sentimental favorite and front-runner will be James Moody's album "Moody 4B" from IPO records. (Moody was one of my early heroes, and he will be sorely missed with his passing this week). But, for the moment, let me dwell on the outstanding project that John Beasley turns in, "Positootly!" on Resonance Records.

The follow-up to Beasley's "Letter To Herbie", this album continues to show the pianist's many talents. His improvising is exceptional; the compositions are interesting, harmonically challenging but still musical and constantly swinging. John reunites with Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums, and adds bassist James Genus to the mix this time. Their playing together is intuitive and always joyful. "Tain" is a master of the toms, and he plays inside and outside the beat with equal skill.

The album takes the listener on a wonderful journey through many styles and aspects of jazz, from jazz trio to New Orleans funk to a little electric jazz, to tango and songs that could easily have been written and performed by Miles Davis' classic quintet. The whole project totally holds together with John's distinct piano style and writing.

It is a pleasure to hear Bennie Maupin stretch out on this record and do some straight-ahead blowing. Brian Lynch on trumpet keeps pace with Bennie, and the whole band swings especially hard on the opening cut "Caddo Bayou", as well as "Black Thunder"

The few compositions that are not originals are well chosen. Beasley's take on Jobim's "Dindi" is unique -- if I did not know the tune I might not even recognize it in this swinging version. His tribute to Bobbie Timmons is wonderful. Bobbie was one of the most overlooked pianists and composers in jazz, and it is great to hear one of his songs again.

If you think you know this album after the first 5 cuts, think again. Beasley's take on Piazzola's "Tanguedia III" kicks off the second half of this album and is probably the most inventive cut on the album. Each of the following songs is different and wonderful in their own ways. And whenever Bennie Maupin appears on a cut, with his soprano or tenor sax, it kicks the band up another notch.

Whether Beasley wins the Grammy or not, the nomination is well deserved, and this project deserves to be heard, and not just in jazz clubs. It swings and rocks, and is "Positootly" worth buying.

DISCOUNT on Positootly!

My record label is offering a Grammy discount, if you are looking for a musical gift or haven’t bought the CD yet.

Use code: GRAMMY2010 at checkout -
Audio CDfor $11.98

53rd GRAMMY Awards Nominee Positootly! showcases John Beasley's original, propulsive,
multi-layered compositions from funk and soul to bop, bossa nova, and nuevo tango along with three choice covers.

"This recording is his finest effort, and stands proudly alongside his previous recording, a fine tribute to Herbie Hancock." 4 ½ stars - AllMusic

Jeff "Tain" Watts, Bennie Maupin, James Genus, Brian Lynch, Munyungo Jackson, John Beasley

Thanks for tolerating my 2 blogs this week!
Wishing you all a jolly, joyous, jingle this holiday!


Friday, December 10, 2010

James Moody, AR Rahman, Dec Gig calendar, Grammy nomination

THE SECRET LIFE OF BEAS - December 10, 2010

I haven’t blogged in over 7 months, so I’ve a bit to write about.

James Moody sadly passed yesterday. I had the privilege of playing in his band for one week a couple of years ago and feel deeply blessed to learn from him. He is a true talent, expanded the art of jazz, and leaves an indelible mark.

127 Days with A.R. Rahman

I think this is about how much I worked with A.R. and his world tour this year. Every minute was an expanding experience. Not only did I learn new musical languages and how they choreograph with brilliant-neon Indian digital palettes and mesmerizing traditional Indian dance, but I had the privilege of playing and touring with the most eclectic combination of artists and crew. Looking forward to 127 more days in 2011 in Asia, Australia, and another A.R. world.

Speaking of A.R., have you checked out his score on "127 Hours." His musical accompaniment for the squeamish moment when James Franco cuts his own arm is so complementarily calming. Yes, he really was thinking about us in the audience squishing in our seats, closing our eyes, but still being able to hear every musical pin note drop. We chatted about it on Monday and I can’t believe he had to watch that difficult scene more than 40 times. He’s not only a musical architect, but now a musical surgeon!

Grammy nomination for “Positootly!”

This is crazy news! My latest CD “Positootly!” (Resonance Records) is nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group. Thank you peers for supporting this project, the music and the Killer Band: Jeff “Tain” Watts, Bennie Maupin, James Genus, Brian Lynch + Munyungo Jackson.

Performance Links on YouTube:

Positootly! Dindi -

Bedtime Voyage -

Resonance Records has a free download of “So Tired” on their site

My token gift of music – Silent Night – piano MP3 and chart - FREE

I’d like to show some holiday gratitude. I originally did this arrangement of “Silent Night” for Chaka Khan. The Luckman Jazz Orchestra will be playing it this Saturday – ck calendar below. Please email and she’ll send you the chart. MP3 on

Spreading the word on new CDs that I’ve worked on in 2010:

Support jazz! Support independent artists!

Bob Sheppard "Close Your Eyes"

Chris Colangelo "Elaine's Song"

Robby Ameen "Days in the Life"

Kevin Crabb 'Waltz for Dylan"

"Simplexity" John von Seggern, Gary Novak, Steve Taviglione, Walt Fowler, Judd Miller, John Beasley

THOMAS NEWMAN’s NEXT SCOREThe Adjustment Bureau (Matt Damon and Emily Blunt)

Always a musical education working with Tom.

December GIG CalendarIt’s all about the Holidays! Support LIVE music and musicians!

Saturday, Dec 11 noon-midnight Los Angeles, CA

A BENEFIT JAZZ FESTIVAL - One year anniversary celebration

Music starts at noon: (7-7:45pm) John Beasley Trio

Blue Whale Bar -!/event.php?eid=110781275658116

Saturday, Dec 11 8pm Los Angeles, CA

Luckman Jazz Orchestra: Holiday Concert

Guest Arranger for the Luckman Jazz Orchestra, John Beasley adds “Silent Night” and “The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) to the repertoire of classic holiday favorites in true jazz style.

Luckman Fine Arts Complex -

Wed + Thurs, Dec 15 + Dec 16 7pm Long Beach, CA

Allan Harris sings Nat King Cole, featuring John Beasley

Vocalist, Allan Harris returns to put the cool in Yule—with his rich, sultry sound, rhythmic bite, and sly elegance as he croons the holiday jazz classics of Nat King Cole!

Carpenter Performing Arts Center -

Saturday, Dec 18 11:30am + 2:30pm Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Philharmonic: Holiday Sing-A-Long

David Prather, host, The Angeles Chorale, John Sutton, conductor, featuring John Beasley

Christmas and holiday songs. Lyric sheets provided. Breakfast with Santa at the Music Center 9:30 am & noon. Call 213.972.7565

Walt Disney Concert Hall -

Tuesday, Dec 21 7-10pm Los Angeles, CA

Duke Ellington Society Holiday Concert

John Beasley Trio (Marvin Smitty Smith, Kevin Brandon, John Beasley)

Playing from the Duke Ellington songbook with Beasley’s signature arrangements and playing.

UTLA Building, Auditorium - 3303 Wilshire Blvd - 323-292-7432 - $5



Have a safe and “positootly!” holidaze!

All Music Review - 4 ½ stars "This recording is his finest effort, and stands proudly alongside his previous recording, a fine tribute to Herbie Hancock.

BUY:,,, Rhapsody

Facebook: johnbeasley

Twitter: johnbeasley

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010


We’re set to be back on the stage. After the terrible accident in Detroit with the stage and the cancellation of our European tour, we’re putting our karma in the next and last three concerts for the summer. If you are in the UK, come for a musical and visual feast. If not, we’ll be rescheduling the U.S. and European dates in the Fall/Winter.

A.R. Rahman Jai Ho Concert - The Journey Home World Tour

The Los Angeles Times describes the concert as “Combining Bollywood, Broadway and a rock circus, "Jai Ho Concert" is intended as a gateway into the American mainstream. Steeped in spectacle and exerting a high-tech razzle-dazzle mo

re in step with, say, Lady Gaga than a composer dubbed "the Mozart of Madras, Rahman – who was named to Time magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people last year – in his quest to connect with Western audiences like no South Asian pop star before him while still relatively hot off his "Slumdog" success.”

The Promo:

Rahman is collaborating with Music Director John Beasley who has directed tours for Queen Latifah and Steely Dan and was keyboard player for Miles Davis, Chaka Khan, and James Brown’s final concert in LA, to name a few artists. Amy Tinkman, who is known for her shows with Madonna, Britney Spears, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, is the Artistic Director.

Tour Schedule – UK

Friday July 23 Birmingham - LG Arena

Saturday July 24 London - O2

Sunday July 25 London – Wembley



From hyper electronic jazz, to Afro-Cuban, to straight ahead with these new Cds that I’m playing on: Simplexity, Days In The Life (Robby Ameen), and Elaine’s Song (Chris Colangelo)


A couple of years ago, when Dave Carpenter was still with us, John von Seggern, Steve Taviglone, Walt Flower, Dave Carpenter, Gary Novak, Judd Miller got together and jammed for a couple of days at Gary Novak’s studio with the intention of creating a completely ‘free’ experience. We did overdubs and the sax, drums, keyboards, and bass were mixed and combined with computer beats and grooves in live session, then later edited and remixed into compositions by John von Seggern, nicknamed John von Badass us.

We called the group Simplexity – a West Coast electronic jazz group and named the album “Extreme Measures”

Check it out at or John von Badass’

Vibration Institute, the home of electronic experimental future music:

Simplexity - Extreme Measures - $5.99 MP3 or $9.99 CD

Steve Tavaglione: tenor and soprano sax, EWI, electronics and effects

John von Seggern: computer beats and loops, electronic textures and effects

Walt Fowler: trumpet and whistling

John Beasley: keyboards

Dave Carpenter: bass

Gary Novak: drums

Judd Miller: additional EVI trumpet and electronics

Robby Ameen - Days in Our Lives

This is new burning creative jazz which has afro-cuban, straight-ahead, and post- modern funk influences played by musicians with a lifetime rapport.

Robby Ameen – Drums, Percussion

John Beasley – Piano, Hammond B3, Fender Rhodes

Lincoln Goines Acoustic and Electric Basses

Wayne Krantz – Guitar (1,2,4,6,8)

Richie Flores – Congas (3,4,5,7,9)

Conrad Herwig - Trombone (2,3,5,7)

Brian Lynch – Trumpet (2,3,5,7)

Review – Jazz Times

Ameen’s originals veer from a pronounced rock/funk edge on electric quartet pieces like the fusiony “Swiftboating” and heavy-metal bashing “Skateboard Intifada” to horn-led tracks with a Latin jazz-soul feel such as “Una Muy Anita,” which resembles a standard on the album, Lee Morgan’s “Ceora.” That and the other jazz standard, Joe Farrell’s “Sound Down,” have the most memorable melodic lines, although Ameen’s pieces make up in atmosphere and action what they lack in tunefulness. “Stagger,” a medium to slow blues, finds Ameen creating distinctive rhythms with bundles rather than sticks or brushes; also on that track, Krantz’s distorted, whammy-bar-inflected phrases contrast the down-home acoustic bass and piano. “Baakline,” the only track with guitar and horns, creates a dense ensemble sound with added organ plus synth strings over a chugging backbeat and horn solos that overlap. The final track is a sizzling duet by Ameen and conguero Flores.

Artist's Website:

Chris Colangelo - Elaine's Song

Musicians: Chris Colangelo (bass), John Beasley (piano), Steve Hass (drums), Bob Sheppard, (tenor sax, tracks 1,3,9, soprano sax track 8)) Benn Clatworthy (tenor sax 2,6, flute track 4) Zane Musa (alto sax track2)

Jazz Review

This young man, Chris Colangelo, has firmly established his position as one of the premier bassists in the jazz milieu. When he solos, it's dexterity plus rhythmic perfection. His sound is big, but sensitivity is inherent in every note.

Somehow I feel that this writer was responsible for penning the sobriquet the "Ubiquitous One" on Colangelo because he is much in demand and appears in all the major jazz clubs. So, the first tune is aptly titled "The Ubiquitous One." Bob Sheppard's solo is a study in ideation and sonority. The bass speaks volumes in understated, but dynamic fashion.

"Like Kenny" opens with the plaintive, but powerful sound of Benn Clattworthy, who then takes the tenor to another level with a solilioquy that has a message that bespeaks of a master player. I have long admired Clatworthy for his ability to swing and his unafraid style. Clatworthy plays whatever he wants to. The transference of ideas from mind to horn is incredible. John Beasley's piano solo is a bop inspired tour de force that adds much to the tune.

In "Gryffindor's Revenge," Colangelo struts and walks his bass like the Nicholas Brother's danced. Beasley has a Powellesque solo that is a thing of beauty. Chris Colangelo is magnificent in his time at bat, the notes flew and the ideas flowed like the Malibu surf.

All of the tunes on this album were composed by Chris Colangelo except tracks seven and eight. This recording demonstrates this bassist's ability to compose, arrange, and then transport it all into orbit in the rarified air where few dare to venture.

Artist's Website:


Duo Concerts with Dwight Tribble at Red Cat and Mimis and BROAD concert with Iranian artist Susaan Deyhem, who blends music from Persian Sufi masters with cutting-edge techno and hip-hop. .

Then the AR RAHMAN U.S. and European concert tour resumes. More details check my website.

A bientot! Until soon…

So, go ahead and listen to NEW music this Summer while having precious moments with your family and friends.

Always glad to hear from you from the road. Back in LA around August 15.

--Beas out of the hive in London and Paris and then checking out in the South of France

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Beas on the Road with Cirque du AR Rahman

The Beas On the Road with Cirque du AR Rahman - June 18, Chicago

JAI HO (may victory be yours) to everyone! Hope you are enjoying the first part of summer.

I’m on one of the most ambitious music tour I could ever have imagined, which is not only expanding my musical palate with AR Rahman’s intricate, infectious and intriguing compositions, but my visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory senses are hyper awake by the psychedelic sets, lighting, video, technical fireworks, the multitude of Indian nuances and expressions in the classical dances and songs, the hypnotic acrobatics and pounding street dancing, the superb versatility of all of the musicians, the stunning voice of AR; and with the mix of the sweat of 90 people coming together for this production, it surely is a complex masala.

YouTube promo and rehearsal clips for a preview:

Meet the Musicians and Dancers on the bus on the road:

Hell Has no Curry Like AR Rahman’s Reheasals and Tour

As Music Director, I packed in a month’s worth of technical rehearsals into two weeks! After a 7 days of sound checks, we discovered that the digi-design monitor console wasn’t saving the scenes….whoa! But the band held together and despite looooong hours to make up for lack of rehearsal time, we managed to nail the first three shows (New York, Atlantic City and Washington, D.C.)!

We’re wrapping up our first 3-day break since early May. I spent it trying to forget how I was mixing pro-tools from 7am to 10am; holding band rehearsals for the next two hours, then the tech, staging, dance rehearsals, set moves, lighting, video had to be done at break-neck pace until about 11pm at night. The amazing Peter Morse came in at 11pm to 7am to work his magic with lighting. And Amy Tinkman, the Creative Director – WHAT A VISIONARY!

I salute AR for his incredible patience while we pieced together this jigsaw quilt. He and his music were surely the anchors.

You da PEOPLE!

I was surely impressed by AR’s loyal and new fans. We felt the thunder of 20,000 people singing along, dancing spontaneously and yeah going crazy.

Come join us:

AR Rahman’s Tour Schedule – U.S., Canada, Europe and UK

Friday June 18, 2010 : Chicago - (Sears Centre Arena)

Saturday June 19, 2010: Detroit - (Pontiac Silverdome)

Sunday June 20, 2010 : Toronto - (Air Canada Centre)

Saturday June 26, 2010 : San Francisco - (Oracle Arena)

Sunday June 27, 2010 : Los Angeles - (The Forum) - YEAH LAKERS!

Wednesday June 30, 2010 : Vancouver - (PNE Collesium)

Saturday July 3, 2010 : Houston - (Houston Toyota Center)

Sunday July 4, 2010 : Dallas (American Airlines Center)

Friday July 9, 2010 : Boston - (Tsongas Center)

Saturday July 10, 2010 : New Jersey - (Sun National Bank Center)

Sunday July 11, 2010 : Raleigh - (North Carolina)

Friday July 16, 2010 : Zurich - (Hallen Stadion)

Saturday July 17, 2010: Paris - (Parc des Expositions, Porte de Versaille)

Sunday July 18, 2010: Germany, (SAP Arena, Mannheim)

Friday July 23, 2010 : Birmingham - (LG Arena)

Saturday July 24, 2010: London - (O2)

Sunday July 25, 2010 : London - (Wembley)

Last Tuesday, Alex Gallafent from that terrific show BBC/PRI The World interviewed me about playing with AR. Have a listen and there’s a video also. When you go on their site, do SHARE on FB so more people will find out about AR’s music.