The Beatles' place in the history of rock and roll is indisputable: many consider them to be the best band ever, and their influence in the music of the last 40 years is immeasurable. With the recent remastering of the Beatles' recorded catalog and the release of the much-anticipated "Beatles Rock Band" video game, many people are listening to the band with fresh ears.
Beatle fans may be surprised to know, however, that Beatlemania also caught on with the jazz crowd long ago. Jazz musicians have been putting their stamp on the Lennon and McCartney songbook since before the Fab Four dissolved in 1970. Artists ranging from Count Basie to Brad Mehldau have found inspiration in the Beatles' music, often programming their songs alongside those by Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and George Gershwin. In fact, songs like "Yesterday," "Eleanor Rigby" and "Norwegian Wood" may be considered part of the standard repertoire.
The AccuJazz channel is playing over 150 different tracks, all of which are Beatles songs or compositions by Beatles members. Stylistically, the selections range from Buddy Rich's propulsive big-band arrangement of "Norwegian Wood" to Gene Harris' groovy soul-jazz version of "Get Back" to French pianist Baptiste Trotignon's contemplative take on "Julia." Listeners will witness the undying inventivess of the jazz musicians on the channel, who take familiar melodies to surprising and delightful musical destinations.
Also new on the AccuJazz website is a channel called "Pop Composers," featuring jazz players taking on the music of the Beatles as well as other "non-jazz" musicians like Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Burt Bacharach and many more.
"Composers: Beatles" and "Pop Composers" mark the 49th and 50th channels in AccuJazz's channel lineup, joining other popular channels like "Piano Jazz," "Decade: 50s," "Brazilian Jazz," and "Jazz Fusion." As with all AccuJazz channels, listeners can customize their experience by pausing, skipping songs, and "deselecting" artists they would rather not hear.