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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 Hendricks' vocalese treatment of Thelonious Monk's "Monk's Dream."
Reed has a unique voice, not overtly powerful but nuanced and experienced. He navigates Hendricks' circuitous phrasing without unnecessary tonal alteration, singing with straight grace and confidence. Pianist Randy Porter and tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz turn in blazing solos, angular and curious in a hot sort of way. Reed reenters, cooling things off in the codathe complete professional. This is refined vocal jazz that only a lifetime can produce.
Personnel: Ed Reed: vocals; Randy Porter: piano; Robb Fisher: bass; Akira Tana:
drums; Anton Schwartz: tenor saxophone.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.