Gerald Beckett’s instrumental expertise lies with the flute. He has traveled around the country, particularly on the coasts, playing at some of the hottest jazz clubs. His harmonious playing style is fully on display with THE MESSENGER, which he plays alongside a seven piece band. The songs here are a mix of original songs and covers, including Lee Morgan’s “Anticlimax” and Bud Powell’s “Tempus Fugit” as well as the original piece “Sunset Place.” The music incorporates a variety of different influences. “Lupe’s Ride” has a percolating Cuban sound, while “Mr. Softee” has more of a classic hard bop sound. Most of the songs are peppy with a dash of swing, making for a very vibrant listening experience. The biggest highlight is Beckett’s flute, which deftly maneuvers through each song with serpentine grace.
The Messenger, the new recording by flutist Gerald Beckett, is his most exciting release to date. With a mixture of originals and covers of tunes by well-known jazz greats, it takes the listener on a musical journey from foot-patting hard swing to finger-snapping Latin grooves. The CD cover alone indicates there is something serious about to happen. The ensemble of musicians on this project are among some of the best in the Bay Area, such as Bill Keaney (Jaco Pastorius, Brian Melvin) and Steve McQuarry (Nathan East, Dizzy Gillespie).
Gerald Beckett: flutes
Ruben Salcido: alto sax
Steve Heckman: tenor sax
Gary Zellerbach: guitar
Steve McQuarry: piano
Ollie Dudek: bass
Greg German: drums
Bill Keaney: percussion
Anticlimax • Little Brown House • Idle Moments • Lupe’s Ride • Bittersweet • Sunset Place • Mr Softee • Tempus Fugit • Sularin’s Dogma • Searching the Unknown
“One of the top flute players in the modern jazz scene.” — Scott Yanow
“With all the saxophone players out there today, the number of jazz flute artists is minuscule by comparison. Beckett shows that he belongs in the mix and has both the skills and style to be a force in this underrepresented genre.’’ — JAZZUSA
“Here’s a musician who is doing everything he can to keep jazz flute in the forefront of listeners’ consciousness … he swings like mad.” — AUDIOPHILE AUDITION