Jazz Honors The Beatles
class="f-right s-img">Joel Harrison
In 1966, when I was 8 years old, John Lennon said, "We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go firstrock and roll or Christianity." I was living in the South when he dropped that devil of a quote and pretty soon Beatles music was banned and people were stomping on their albums and Beatles material. This reaction proved a windfall for me, because my GODfather gathered his daughter's entire Beatles album collection and released the devil's music on me. I promptly put the first record on my player, got on my drum set, and pretended I was Ringo.
When I heard "Revolution," "A Long and Winding Road," and "Let it Be" I realized they were the first examples of pop-fusion music. The Beatles fused melodicism and harmony with the spirit of rock and roll. I was writing songs at an early age, so I incorporated this 'fusion' in my compositions. They paved the way for experimentation in the studiowhether it's Lennon doing a vocal track lying on the floor to create a different sound, they just let it be. When I'm in the studio, I keep that spirit of experimentation. Whatever goes!
I see their body of work mirror the arc of great jazz musicians. Their music changed from song to song and record to record. The Fab Four has inspired me to keep high standards of creativity with every project that I undertake.
class="f-right s-img">John Beasley
I think the Beatles were the most influential band in pop music history. Think about it, their music is known all around the world and to this day their music is still on the radio and TV commercials daily. The main four members were only a band for about 7 years and changed the face of music in that short time. Forty years later they still have a mystique and fan base that will probably never be topped.
If you look at the evolution of what the Beatles sounded like from Please Please Me to Let It Be, their sound completely changed. The one absolutely amazing thing that they did was they took their fans with them on their musical journey. How many bands/musicians can evolve so much in a short time and not only keep their fan base but grow it? To me that is amazing.
So much of their song writing was from an era where songs were truly songs, that's why so many jazz artists have recorded Beatles tunes. Melodies, chord changes, and actual song structure. Because of that their songs will last forever because many of them are not trendy and time period based.
I personally have recorded five Beatles tunes and I am sure I will record more.
"Come Together" on Wood (Artistry Music); "Let 'Em In" on Wood II (Artistry Music); "And I Love Her" on Brombo (King Records, Japan); "Day Tripper," "Yesterday," "Eleanor Rigby" on Hands (King Records, Japan)
To me their body of work is tremendous and there is always something you can do arrangement wise with a great melody. Plus, being a bassist it is awesome to me that Paul McCartney is also a bassist. He also spent a fair amount of time in my home Town of Tucson, AZ. I hope I get to meet him one day!
class="f-right s-img">Brian Bromberg