434

Mike Reed's People, Places & Things: About Us

By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Reed's People, Places & Things was conceived as a band dedicated to reviving and expanding on aspects of the Chicago jazz scene of the late 1950s, bringing a fresh approach and contemporary ideas to the music of that era. About Us continues in that vein, but as the title states, its focus is more on the band itself. Although led by a drummer, this piano-less quartet puts the dynamics in the hands of saxophonists Tim Haldeman (tenor) and Greg Ward (alto).

The tunes generally start with a stated melody and when the saxophones come in they push themselves (and each other) to the limits, straining to reach the next note, struggling and striving to go on the next run. On "It's Enough," it's Haldeman's rough-hewn tenor that does the heavy lifting. On "V.S. #1," the tune ebbs and flows with the momentum of Ward's alto. On "Flat Companion" and the title track, alto and tenor interlace and throw shadows that define the dynamism and excitement pervasive in these compositions.

Reed's concept goes one step further here through the inclusion of three of Chicago's leading improvisers: trombonist Jeb Bishop (former member of theVandermark 5), guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise) and tenor man David Boykin (Nicole Mitchell's Black Unstoppable). Each of these players contributes his own composition and brings his individual sound to the record. On Bishop's "Big Stubby," trombone and bass (Jason Roebke) duet before the band joins in, while Parker's "Days Fly By (with Ruby)" carries forward with sharp-edged syncopation. As for Boykin, his swaggering lead on "Big and Fine" links him directly to Chicago's brawny tenor legacy, the track building languorously then growing kinetic in the triple-threat interplay among the saxophones.

Boykin is criminally unknown and under-documented. His presence alone makes About Us a must-have. A third disc is planned in this series of Chicago-related music and Reed's People Places & Things is shaping up to be one of the top working bands around.


Track Listing: It's Enough; V.S.#1; About Us; Big and Fine; The Next Time You Are Near; Big Stubby; Flat Companion; First Reading: Paul's Letter; Under the Influence of Lunar Objects; Days Fly By (with Ruby).

Personnel: Tim Haldeman: tenor saxophone; Mike Reed: drums, melodica; Jason Roebke: bass; Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Jeb Bishop: trombone (track 6); David Boykin: tenor saxophone (Track 4); Jeff Parker: guitar (track 10).

Title: About Us | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: 482 Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Float Upstream CD/LP/Track Review Float Upstream
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Extremophile CD/LP/Track Review Extremophile
by John Sharpe
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Setembro CD/LP/Track Review Setembro
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 26, 2017
Read The Source CD/LP/Track Review The Source
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read "Hope Of Home" CD/LP/Track Review Hope Of Home
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Constant Change 1976-2016" CD/LP/Track Review Constant Change 1976-2016
by John Sharpe
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Luz de Luna" CD/LP/Track Review Luz de Luna
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Potsdamer Platz" CD/LP/Track Review Potsdamer Platz
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Music From An Imaginary Land" CD/LP/Track Review Music From An Imaginary Land
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 14, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.