MONK'estra Big Band Sampler




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Published on Nov 17, 2013

A sampler of MONK'estra arrangements recorded live in concert at SFJAZZ Center (San Francisco) and the Blue Whale (Los Angeles).

"Some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory." Don Heckman, International Review of Music

MONK'estra is a 17-piece BIG modern jazz BAND. John Beasley captures the spirit of Monk's unique quirkiness, offbeat accents, punchy dissonances, in his fresh arrangements of Monk's and other classic and original compositions.

Beasley's contemporary twist incorporates Afro-Cuban rhythms, modern jazz, hip hop, big band instrumentation, stunningly atmospheric ensemble textures, powerfully driven by a propulsive rhythm section.

Don Heckman, International Review of Music
Beasley's arrangements...expanding and elaborating on the Monk originals...captured Monk's unique quirkiness, the offbeat accents, punchy dissonances and surprisingly soaring melodies...with stunningly atmospheric ensemble textures. His obviously extraordinary orchestrating abilities, combined with superb individual soloing from virtually every musician, resulted in a definitive display of "Big," "Modern" and "Jazz Band."

MONK'estra Big Band::
Bob Sheppard, Jeff Driskill, Justo Almario, Tom Luer, Tommy Peterson

Bijon Watson, Willie Murillo, Ray Monterio, Brian Swartz, Gabe Johnson

Francisco Torres, Wendell Kelly, Steve Hughes, Ryan Dragon

BASS: Ben Williams (SF) / Rickey Minor (LA)

DRUMS: Gary Novak



John Beasley, the one-time keyboardist for Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, whose playing reflects a variety of
generational influences, incorporating the emphatic chordal clusters of Herbie Hancock, the rhythmic quirkiness of
Monk and the lush intelligence of Art Tatum into a highly refined personal voice. Los Angeles Times

John Beasley is one of the best pianists and improvisers on the jazz scene today. Beasley is a master musician, with total command
of the jazz language, and his playing is always intense in both emotion and technique. All About Jazz


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