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 To the Ephesians; Under The Influence of Lunar Objects; Days Fly By (with Ruby).

Personnel

Mike Reed: drums, melodica (8); Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Tim Haldeman: tenor saxophone; Jason Roebke: bass; David Boykin: tenor saxophone (4); Jeb Bishop: trombone (6); Jeff Parker: guitar (10).

Album information

Title: About Us | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: 482 Music

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

In Space
The Luvmenauts
Afrika Love
Alchemy Sound Project
Sunday At De Ruimte
Marta Warelis / Frank Rosaly / Aaron Lumley /...
Westward Bound!
Harold Land
Tread Lightly
Trøen Arnesen Quartet
MMBC Terma
Michael Bisio / MMBC

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.