158

Eric Reed: Here

J Hunter By

Sign in to view read count
Eric Reed: Here "Here. This moment. Right now. That's not just a message inside the jewel case for Here, Eric Reed's new CD; it's also a mission statement.

The opener, "Stablemates, reveals a team working together towards a common goal. Reed's trio takes the Benny Golson standard to a more intimate level, while still preserving the ebullient feel of the original. The former Wynton Marsalis sideman maintains a smooth, reasonable voice from beginning to end, rooting his piano solos in simple, elegant phrases that invite you to come closer. Drummer Willie Jones III provides power and punctuation to Reed's creative statements while adding his own solo sense to the mix. This dynamic runs throughout Here, allowing Reed to avoid using bombast in order to make points.

Jones' skills as a foil and a collaborator were developed with the gone-but-not-forgotten Black/Note, a much more mercurial unit than this one. Jones and Reed's call-and-answer moments on "Stablemates and the Reed-penned "I Got Nuthin' practically become cutting contests, as one drives the other to higher levels of excellence. For all the heat he throws, Jones' sense of nuance is just as prevalent on Here. His brushwork on "Wish (written for Reed's father) and "Why? is as effective as the fusillades he launches on the suite-like, borderline-chaotic closer "Ornate.

Although bassist Rodney Whitaker contributes some excellent solos (particularly on the swirling "Is That... ), his best role is as foundation-layer. He keeps the pieces steady so Reed and Jones can create in space; Reed shows his skills as a leader by giving his partners room to move. "Is That... is three people saying different things about the same subject at the same time. Rather than being a cacophony, Reed's trust in the other two players is rewarded with a complete musical picture, its complexity a delight.

Reed effortlessly breaks down Coltrane's fractal "26-2 without sacrificing its envelope-stretching muscle. "Wish dovetails perfectly with Reed's wistful take on Rodgers and Hart's "It's Easy To Remember, and Reed infuses the unique style of Herbie Nichols into the staggering blues "I C H.N. Reed's playing has a spirit and a soulfulness that raises his music to a heady level; the contemplative solo piece "Hymn could be a blueprint for an entire disc of spare, inspiring brilliance.

Here is a treatise on what the piano trio can be when three unique voices become one. Here's to Reed for loving his musical vision enough to share the spotlight equally.

Track Listing: Stablemates; Kokomo; I C H.N.; Hymn; Why?; 26-2; Wish; It

Personnel: Eric Reed: piano; Rodney Whitaker: bass; Willie Jones III: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: MAXJAZZ | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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 "City Colors" CD/LP/Track Review City Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "The Long Journey Home" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Journey Home
by James Nadal
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley" CD/LP/Track Review And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Floating City" CD/LP/Track Review Floating City
by James Nadal
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Nwayo" CD/LP/Track Review Nwayo
by James Nadal
Published: June 24, 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!