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 Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Nine Thoughts For One Word" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Thoughts For One Word
by John Ephland
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Slight Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Slight Freedom
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "High Noon" CD/LP/Track Review High Noon
by Anthony Shaw
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Parachute" CD/LP/Track Review Parachute
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Hotel Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Hotel Cinema
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 21, 2017

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!

Buy it!