Award-winning composer and trumpeter Jeff Beal's music is a complex yet always accessible weave of jazz, classical, and new age threads.
His best compositions feature a logically arranged synthesis of both improvisatory and composed elements. The New York Times lauded "the richness of Beal's musical thinking," stating that "his compositions often capture the liveliness and unpredictability of the best improvisation." Among the 11-time Emmy winner's most high-profile scores are his work on the TV series Monk, Rome, Carnivàle, and House of Cards, and the films Pollock, Blackfish, and The Queen of Versailles, to name a scant few. Beal composes, orchestrates, conducts, records, and mixes his own scores, which gives his music a very personal, distinctive touch. This is evidenced on his solo jazz and orchestral recordings such as 1998's concerto for orchestra entitled Red Shift, 2000's acclaimed Three Graces, and 2018's House of Cards Symphony.
Beal was born June 20, 1963 in Hayward, California, and began studying the trumpet in the third grade. He wrote his first long-form composition while he was a student in high school, and his merging of improvisation and classical composition would become his professional signature. He studied composition and trumpet at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, graduating in 1985. Beal then moved to New York City, where he recorded his first album, 1988's Liberation, for Island Records, the first of several solo albums. His Island follow-up, Perpetual Motion, arrived a year later. He moved to the Triloka label for his next four albums: 1991's Objects in the Mirror, 1993's Three Graces, 1994's Contemplations, and 1996's The Gathering. Rounder issued his 1997 LP Alternate Route. Recorded with the Metropole Orchestra, his Red Shift: Concerto for Orchestra was released by Koch in 1998.
After Beal relocated to Los Angeles, his skills at writing accessible orchestral compositions that allowed room for improvisation found him more steady film and television work, and he landed Ed Harris' directorial debut, Pollock, in 2001. Highlights of his subsequent film work that decade included Harris' Appaloosa, the William H. Macy romantic comedy The Deal, and a handful of Tom Selleck made-for-TV Jesse Stone mysteries. In the meantime, he won Emmys for his theme to TV's Monk and for his work on the 2006 Stephen King mini-series Nightmares & Dreamscapes.
The following decade brought more entries in the Jesse Stone franchise, documentaries such as 2017's Boston and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, and work on the hit Netflix series House of Cards. His suspenseful mix of jazz and classical music for the show received season-by-season soundtrack releases by Varèse Sarabande. ~ Steve Leggett & Marcy Donelson, Rovi