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

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