Hollywood, CA (February 7, 2017)—Conductor/arranger John Beasley, with co-producers Gavin Lurssen and Ran Pink, recently recorded MONK’estra Vol. 2 at United Recording in Hollywood.
Vol.1, which was released in August 2016, has been nominated for two 2017 Grammys: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album and Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Capella on “Ask Me Now.” Beasley’s debut MONK’estra album is a 15-piece big band project that captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk’s singular music—the off-beat melodies and humor, strange beauty and unbounded swing—in fresh contemporary jazz arrangements flavored with New Orleans spirit, hip-hop, Afro-Cuban rhythms and atmospheric colors. Veteran jazz critic Don Heckman described MONK’estra Vol.1 as “some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory.”
Beasley commented on his recent sessions at United Recording, “I’ve done many recordings at United over three decades, including my latest Mack Avenue record MONK’estra Volume 1 and the upcoming MONK’estra Volume 2. United is unique in that you can combine vintage and contemporary recording techniques that result in a unique sound palette for each project. Their equipment is top of the line and their staff are most helpful.”
Beasley is a far-ranging pianist, composer, and arranger who’s worked with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride, Steely Dan, Chaka Khan, and even a stint with James Brown. As music director for the Thelonious Monk Institute, Beasley directed the Jazz at the White House concert, which was broadcast on ABC and earned him an Emmy nomination.