☆ Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
☆ Best Improvised Jazz Solo
John Beasley, soloist
☆ Best Arrangement, Instrumental
Scrapple From The Apple
John Beasley, arranger
* A sweeping tribute by a top-flight ensemble. -WBGO (USA)
* Top ten albums -JAZZIZ Nov 2021 (USA)
* Stellar musicianship, the best of modern day and past composers, all harnessed together as one.-All about Jazz (USA)
The album “Bird Lives” presents the music of Charlie Parker co-arranged by Magnus Lindgren and John Beasley, with a squad of top-class guests such as Chris Potter, Joe Lovano, Tia Fuller, Miguel Zenón, Charles McPherson and many more.
The idea of “Bird Lives” was born in 2020 on the occasion of Charlie Parker’s 100th birthday as a close collaboration between Magnus Lindgren – SWR Big Band’s Artist-in-Residence, and John Beasley. Both musicians were keen to find a project to work seamlessly together in the unusual guise of co-arrangers. “For both of us it was our first time arranging as a team,” Lindgren points out. Five of the eight tracks on the album are co-arrangements. “It was a very creative way to make music, ” says John Beasley.
The music on this new album was to have been recorded and premiered by the SWR Big Band a couple of months before Charlie Parker’s 100th anniversary, which was on August 29, 2020. The planned concerts were finally affected by Corona, but the recording was able to develop at a much more measured pace. When safety rules permitted, the musicians met to record in Stuttgart mid November 2020.
And so was born the album that brings Parker’s legacy to life. In addition to Parker originals such as “Scrapple from the Apple” you can also hear standards that are among Parker’s favorites such as “Cherokee/Koko” or Gershwin’s “Summertime” until the grand finale – “Overture to Bird”, which includes. of Parker’s many musical notations and themes. With one foot in the past and the other in the future – this is how Lindgren and Beasley honor Parker’s musical genius in their arrangements and enrich it with elements from funk to Latin.
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