The attributes of exceptional drummers include superb timing, sensitive touch and self-expression of which Harry "Butch" Reed displays on his auspicious debut 1st Time . The Philadelphia-based player is a prime example of a talented musician that's worked to hone his craft over time. In a satisfying program that includes straight-ahead jazz delivered by Reed and equally impressive band members the music yields a wealth of enjoyment.
It is one thing to have technique but quite another to possess musicality. These pieces swing with melodious energy echoing the sentiments of the past and the present. It would be easy to make comparisons to more recognized names but Reed's skillful band proves that jazz is an expressive art-form that still thrives heard in the drummer's spacious drum and percussion opening in "Let's Go" and the radiant tenor work of saxophonist Greg Riley in "For You, Joann" as well as Matthew Parrish's powerful bass solo in the soulful "Circle of Love."
With original music mostly written by Reed the compositions focus song-like tunes with deep-pocketed theme in the blues groove "Love's Secret." But lighter motifs are found in the airy "Dancing in Five" with some wonderful acoustic guitar from multi-instrumentalist E. Shawn Qaissaunee and the Latin-flavored "What Time Is It" where Riley's bass clarinet serenades with supple piano comps and explosive drumming at the close.
The closing "Trip to Africa" is inspired by Reed's travels to Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Ghana in 2009 with jazz musicians including violinist John Blake. It's an infectious piece colored with the sound of varied drums, mysterious percussion and what sounds like locusts. What is clear throughout this debut is that Reed is not only a skillful musician but one with a keen ear lending credence to the Indian proverb that "A good drummer listens as much as he plays."
Track Listing: Let’s Go; Wakeup Blues; For You JoAnn; Edenfred; Circle of Love; Love’s Secret; Dancing in Five; You Don’t Say; What Time Is It; Trip to Africa.
Personnel: Harry “Butch” Reed: drums, percussion; Matthew Parrish: acoustic bass; Aaron Graves: piano; Greg Riley: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; E. Shawn Qaissaunee: piano, bass, acoustic guitar.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.