Eric Reed: E-Bop (2003)
As the album's title suggests – and as one might expect from Reed's longtime association with Wynton Marsalis and the LCJO – E-Bop is essentially a hard bop affair with a clear regard for the jazz tradition. The opener, "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That," makes obvious allusions to Art Blakey, Horace Silver and Sidewinder -era Lee Morgan, while "Bouncin' with Boo Boo" is a nod to their bop predecessor, Bud Powell. Along with eight stirring originals, Reed also offers reinventions of tunes by Monk and Elmo Hope.
What elevates all this above a mere rehash of music – even excellently played music – that we've all heard countless times before is the warmth and vitality of Reed's playing; his ability to mix technical prowess with grace, soul and deep church roots. With help from likeminded contemporaries like Marcus Printup on trumpet and Walter Blanding Jr. on tenor sax, Reed makes the case that there's room for innovation, imagination and growth within tradition.
This review originally appeared in AllAboutJazz-New York .
Track Listing: 1. Aint Nothing Wrong With That (Reed) - 6:23 2. Bouncin' With Boo Boo (Reed) - 7:59 3. E-Bop (Reed) - 5:18 4. Little Girls (Reed) - 6:58 5. Grew-Vy (Reed) - 7:24 6. Ornate (Reed) - 10:17 7. La Berthe (Hope) - 4:06 8. Perugian Rain (Reed) - 6:11 9. Roller Coaster (Reed) - 4:46 10. Evidence/Think of One (Monk) - 6:21
Personnel: Eric Reed - Piano; Rodney Whitaker - Bass; Marcus Printup - Trumpet; Walter Blanding - Tenor Sax; Rodney Green - Drums.
Record Label: Savant Records