Home » Jazz Articles » Mike Reed's Loose Assembly: Last Year's Ghost

244
Album Review

Mike Reed's Loose Assembly: Last Year's Ghost

By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Reed's Loose Assembly: Last Year's Ghost
Drummer Mike Reed returns with a Last Year's Ghost, this time featuring his band, Loose Assembly. The quintet, in existence for three years, has made a mark on the Chicago jazz scene. This is not surprising knowing what Reed has done and what he is capable of. His recordings, The Treehouse Project (482 Music, 1999) and a series of improvised duets, In The Context Of (482 Music, 2006), testify to Reed's distinctive imagination and innovative styling.

Loose Assembly came together in 2003 with cellist Tomeka Reid, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz and Reed. Later, altoist Greg Ward and bassist Josh Abrams joined in and the five opened the doors to free improvisation. Reed worked on the music that came out of that presence and the results have made it on to this CD. Eight of the tracks are credited to Reed, the other three are collaborative efforts.

The album impresses with its blend of the improvised and the composed. The former shows the rapport within the band as they converge on a synthesis of ideas after moving along different paths. The latter, often rich with melody, is invested with enough changes to make the experience vivid and vital.

Flowers rises in the wisp of notes that flow from the sax, the deep throb of the bass being bowed and the filigree of the cymbals. Form floats in the air before it dons a recognizable form that is earthy and blooms through the strong melodic fount that floats from Ward's alto. "Afterthoughts is another beautiful composition. Once again the tune is primed on a melody that nestles in the mind. Ward gives the melody extra depth taking it out of the mould yet caressing the contours. This is the prime cast for Reid, her cello now a rich consonance of the composition.

Collective improvisation and the thought processes of the quintet combust on "1974. It is under two minutes, yet full of trenchant inspiration. Proof that Reed writes lovely melodies comes once more on "Simone's Crumbs. This time around, Abrams works the spell with some arco as Adasiewicz adds light splashes of color.

Track Listing

Flowers; Day of the Dead; Old Souls; Afterthoughts; 1974; The Entire State of Florida; Exorcism; Simone's Crumbs; Temporary States; Ghost Writer; Dreaming With Jill.

Personnel

Mike Reed: drums; Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Jason Adasiewicz: vibes; Tomeka Reid: cello; Josh Abrams: bass.

Album information

Title: Last Year's Ghost | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: 482 Music


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Spirituality
Courtney Pine
Speakers In The House
The Headhunters
Grow
Kaja Draksler, Susana Santos Silva
Live From the Heat Dome
Thomas Marriott

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.