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MONK'estra, Vol. 1

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MONK'estra, Vol. 1
MONK'estra, Vol. 1


John Beasley has shared stages with some of the most important names in jazz during his three-decade career. From his days as a member of Freddie Hubbard's quintet and one of Miles Davis' last touring bands to his role as Music Director for Jazz Day galas for the Thelonious Monk Institute, Beasley has had a first-hand involvement with the genre's never-ending evolution. Thelonious Monk is a Mount Rushmore figure in the creation of modern jazz. As the centennial of his birth rapidly approaches, Beasley - pianist, conductor and arranger - has grappled with the complex composer's legacy with his versatile big band riffing on the wit and unmistakable architecture of the Monk songbook with irrepressible energy and swinging abandon on MONK'estra, Volume 1, available August 19 on Mack Avenue Records. MONK'estra, Volume 1 has its roots in a commission from Los Angeles's Luckman Jazz Orchestra. When the gig was over, Beasley felt inspired to search deeper and continued to write more arrangements long after the performance, eventually assembling some of the finest musicians in Los Angeles to bring the charts to life in a musician's union rehearsal room. Amassing enough arrangements and developing a signature feel, he took the band public at Los Angeles's jazz incubator, the Blue Whale, to sold-out crowds. With a fifteen-piece ensemble, which includes first-call horns like Bob Sheppard, Bijon Watson, Rashawn Ross, Beasley conducted the band with an improviser's eye - free flowing and open to solos that add to the narrative. Since that casual debut in 2013, the band has become a fixture on the scene, performing at Disney Hall, Jazz Standard, Ford Amphitheatre, SFJAZZ twice and most recently at the Playboy Jazz Festival held at the world famous Hollywood Bowl.


  1. Name
  2. Epistrophy
  3. Skippy
  4. Oska T
  5. Monks Processional (medley)
  6. 'Round Midnight
  7. Ask Me Now
  8. Gallop's Gallop
  9. Little Rootie Tootie
  10. Coming On The Hudson
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