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by C. Michael Bailey
San Francisco vocalist Ed Reed is a bona fide contemporary of West Coast jazz luminaries: Art Pepper, Frank Morgan, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray and Hampton Hawes. Unlike that august group, Reed remains to tell his story, and by proxy, theirs' in the bargain. Like this same group, drugs (and in the case of Gray, murder) suspended Reed's musical career. Unlike Pepper and Morgan, who staged much heralded late-career comebacks, Reed did not first record until 2007 at age 78. Neither ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
Ed Reed joins fellow West Coasters Art Pepper and Frank Morgan in returning to a critically acclaimed career previously derailed by substance abuse. After 40 years of scuffling, Reed cleaned up, became a chemical dependency treatment professional and began recording in earnest. Reed has released two recordings, Love Stories (Self Produced, 2007) and The Song is You (Blue Shorts Records, 2008), each well-received and now followed up by Born To Be Blue, featuring a youthful and upbeat take on Jon ...read more
by Elliott Simon
Ed Reed is a storyteller, one who pours both his heart and nearly 80 years of life experiences--which include vocal studies with Charles Mingus, time in the army and a drug addiction that landed Reed in prison on four separate occasions--into a phrase. On his recent first recording, Love Stories (2007), he debuted a lush tone that belied his age. Here, the inclusion of violinist Russell George's superb jazz phrasing as a part of Peck Allmond's sextet, ...read more
by Michael P. Gladstone
On the occasion of his first album, singer Ed Reed has quite a story to tell. Originally from Cleveland, but raised in Watts, Reed went to high school with Little Esther Phillips and Bobby Nunn of The Robins ("Smokey Joe's Cafe"). The group shortly became known as The Coasters. The fellow who watched his sister's kids was Charles Mingus.
A heroin addiction cost Reed a good portion of his adult life. He served four prison terms in San ...read more