My latest for JazzTimes — Pianist @JohnBeasley is the Zelig of the jazz and pop music world, playing with everyone from Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock to Steely Dan, Carly Simon and Rickie Lee Jones, arranging music for American Idol, playing on James Bond movie scores, and serving as musical director for Jazz at the White House and International Jazz Day. But it’s his brilliant writing for the Grammy-winning MONK’estra that has won him his greatest acclaim. And he’s got a few stories… https://jazztimes.com/features/profiles/john-beasley-reflects-on-miles-herbie-and-of-course-monk/
Tag Archives: Herbie Hancock
John Beasley Reflects on Miles, Herbie, and (of Course) Monk (JazzTimes, Jan/Feb 2021)
The making of “Miles Ahead” – my DownBeat cover story (April 2016)
When Don Cheadle and Vince Wilburn, Jr., Miles Davis’s nephew, set out to capture Miles’s life on film, they had to figure out a “non-corny” way to do it. It had to be a film that Davis would have wanted to be associated with – not a traditional biopic. And they had to get the music right. Which meant that Cheadle, already a competent jazz sax player, had to learn to play the trumpet well enough to play actual Davis solos. The score used a mix of original Davis recordings (Cheadle is playing along, but you hear Miles), and original music composed by Robert Glasper, featuring the gifted young trumpeter Keyon Harrold. For the DownBeat cover story, I had extensive conversations with Cheadle, Wilburn, Herbie Hancock, Miles’s first wife Frances Taylor Davis, Glasper, and Harrold. I loved the film, and I think I’m in good company (see Manohla Dargis’s review in the New York Times). I’d love to know what you think. You can read it here.
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