253

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

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Reed's People, Places & Things: About Us The saying might go something like, "Those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it." For composer/bandleader Mike Reed, his knowledge of jazz history allows him the freedom to cherish and exalt the past.

Reed's prior disc, Proliferation (482 Music, 2008), revitalized Chicago jazz music from 1954-1960, covering tracks by under-appreciated artist Wilbur Campbell, Frank Strozier, Sun Ra, and John Jenkins. This first of three recordings heralded the past; a future recording will find principal players from the past playing today's music. With About Us Reed invited three contemporary Chicago musicians to supplement his quartet, People, Places & Things.

While About Us is looking more forward, the sound is firmly planted in Chicago's post-bop largess. Guests Jeb Bishop, David Boykin, and Jeff Parker each contribute a composition and their sound to individual tracks. Their music supplements a very strong quartet which includes tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman, bassist Jason Roebke, and alto saxophonist Greg Ward.

Reed's music is marked by his immense capacity for swing and propulsion. People, Places & Things features Haldeman and Ward, two ardent saxophonists that play in unison on "V.S. #1," then answer each other with compelling lines in coordinated patterns. Adding the guests to this sound makes Reed's band magnificent. Saxophonist David Boykin begins his bluesy "Big And Fine," like Reed, somewhere in the 1950s. As the song progresses the horns interlock, playing some three-hankie messiness—Chicago jazz arriving by riverboat from New Orleans. Likewise, trombonist Jeb Bishop's "Big Stubby" charts a groove from Chicago's hard bop past, playing on broad horn orchestrations before players spin off solos then come together in an a cappella mix. Finally, there's the quintessential modernist Jeff Parker, whose distinct guitar lines can sound simultaneously pacific and expansive. He creates a calm, even-handed and graceful ending to the session.

Mike Reed's mastery of the Chicago sound is both old school and thoroughly modern. About Us leaves the impression that his vision of a future's past is quite alive and flourishing.

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).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: 482 Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Holiday On Fire CD/LP/Track Review Holiday On Fire
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Calvins Toboggan CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Silent Light CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read PausaLive CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 9, 2016
Read "Expanding Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Expanding Heart
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "In Praise of Shadows" CD/LP/Track Review In Praise of Shadows
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Habana Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Habana Dreams
by James Nadal
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Shock Axis" CD/LP/Track Review Shock Axis
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!