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12 November 2021
On the occasion of Charlie Parker's 100th birthday in 2020, “Bird Lives” opens, produces and records a new, orchestral view of his music. Played by one of the best big bands in Europe, arranged by Magnus Lindgren and John Beasley and with a squad of top-class guests, some of whom have received Grammy Awards, such as Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, Miguel Zenon, Tia Fuller and many more.
Magnus Lindgren is a multi-talented creator of music. His ability to express himself on the tenorsax, clarinet or flute wears the sign of a real master. However, he is also able to explore interesting music on several other instruments. Multi is a good expression of this gifted person. As a composer he has a great potential to fulfil his own creative impulses. He dresses them in a melodical costume, optimal for the stylish frame that is proper for the moment.
Last but certainly not least; the obvious masterclass in the musically versatile arsenal of Magnus Lindgren is his brilliant emotion for arranging music. The greatness lies in the way he puts together the sublime samples of notes, the sound colours, the rhythm figures, the harmony sequences.
All this in a truly organic way; no risk for overdoing. The final result brings a sence of dewfresh contemporary statement. If you on top of this add the natural gifted Magnus Lindgren´s ability to accommodate the subtle quality from a large range of musical genres; then the comparison with the musical titan Quincy Jones is obvious.
Therefore, it´s not surprising that Quincy is the mentor who Magnus admires the most, along with giants as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. In Magnus way of looking at it, those three legends have had the guts to always look further into the universal world of music, even though they already had proven their greatness.
In the same manner Magnus works all the time to extend his musical frames, no matter if he deals with small jazz combos, big bands, choirs with instrumental soloist, intergration between classical orchestra and jazz group, swedish folklore, heavy funk rhythms, brazilian samba or african traditional music. Structures and genres are always given new dimensions, a certain amount of risks are included and the joy to participate is offered to everyone who has the opportunity to experience his enchanting efforts.
When Magnus Lindgren receives well earned honours for his various musicianship he responds with deep confession that his own thoughts on this matter truly is that he has just begun! He claims very prompt that music can vary a lot; the main thing is that it always must be worked out with a solid personality and total honesty.
In his early days, Magnus listened to big band jazz created by Buddy Rich; the melody was Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. With his own words; he was overwhelmed. The first LP he bought was the Michael Jackson album Thriller. It catched him totally. The fact that Quincy Jones had created the intensive dynamic and spectacular varied background for the legendary popicon was a logical summary for the taste of Magnus Lindgren.
All music must come from the bottom of your soul, according to Magnus Lindgren. Therefore, it´s logic that his cd-project from autumn 2013 is called Souls. In a furtile collaboration with the american bassplayer and producer Ira Coleman, Magnus has put together a nice couple of newly written originals. The disc with a certain club feeling and to some degree with old school technology was recorded in New York. The production Souls contents a spectacular group of international musicians, together with vocal artists with star glance. For example the Swedish singers Rigmor Gustafsson, Marie Fredriksson (from Roxette) and Anna Christoffersson. Souls can be considered as a manifest from Magnus Lindgren for his ability to make music with a broad musically spectrum, together with an open hearted attitude.
In Magnus Lindgren´s way of looking at it, the improvisational moment is the centre of the musical universe. The established jazz quartet offers generous possibilities to spread a creative flow. Magnus is steadily returning to that kind of chamber musicial cooperation. He proved it again in the cd-production Four, released 2012. The result gave lots of acclaimed media respons and also a Swedish Grammy nomination. The album Four consists of the world renowned bassplayer Palle Danielsson, the astonishing drummer Jonas Holgersson and Daniel Karlsson respectively Anke Helfrich, two pianoplayers with the ability to give a good back up with sublime expressions. The music is merely Magnus´ own compositions, completed with a colourful version of Michel Jackson´s I Just Can´t Stop Loving You.
Born in Louisiana, Beasley started writing arrangements in junior high school, which sparked the attention of Jimmy Lyons—the founder of the Monterey Jazz Festival—who recommended him for a scholarship at the Stan Kenton summer jazz camp. The pianist cut his teeth with Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard in the 1980s and has since performed and recorded with a who’s who of artists including James Brown, Marcus Miller, Chaka Khan, Christian McBride, Steely Dan, Dianne Reeves, Sergio Mendes, Carly Simon, John Patitucci, Al Jarreau, Kelly Clarkson, George Duke, John Legend, Chick Corea, Destiny’s Child and Queen Latifah, among others.
Living in Hollywood, Beasley juggled a touring musician’s schedule while working in studios composing for award- winning television sitcoms and commercials including Cheers, Family Ties, Star Trek and Fame, to name a few. He has worked with multiple Oscar-nominated film composer Thomas Newman for three decades on credits including James Bond Spectre and Skyfall, Get On Up: James Brown, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel I & II, Finding Nemo & Finding Dory, Wall- E, Shawshank Redemption and more.
While touring with Miles Davis, Beasley was inspired to make his first of eleven recordings, Cauldron—which was produced by Walter Becker of Steely Dan-and went on to earn a GRAMMY® Award-nomination for his 2011 release Positootly!. He has since served as musical director for the Monk Institute’s gala concerts since 2011, guiding legends and the next generation of jazz greats through all-star tributes to Quincy Jones, Bill Clinton, George Duke and Aretha Franklin. He has also served this role for International Jazz Day since 2012, notably at the White House’s 2016 blowout bash. Under the global eye, he seamlessly shaped the televised concert featuring Aretha Franklin, Wayne Shorter, Joey Alexander and Sting through a night of swing and celebration. Since 2005, Beasley has worked as Lead Arranger for American Idol until its final season in 2016, and ushered the twelve female finalists of 2005 (including Carrie Underwood) by coaching and rehearsing them as well as selecting and arranging songs.