All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

244

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

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
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.

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

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Shades CD/LP/Track Review
Shades
by Doug Collette
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World CD/LP/Track Review
Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Pattern Recognition CD/LP/Track Review
Pattern Recognition
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Just This CD/LP/Track Review
Just This
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Live at Sowieso CD/LP/Track Review
Live at Sowieso
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 20, 2018
Read Displaced Diaspora CD/LP/Track Review
Displaced Diaspora
by Chris May
Published: October 19, 2018
Read "The Subject Tonight Is Love" CD/LP/Track Review The Subject Tonight Is Love
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 31, 2018
Read "Vol.2" CD/LP/Track Review Vol.2
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 28, 2018
Read "London Live" CD/LP/Track Review London Live
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 2, 2018
Read "Fukushima" CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 1, 2017
Read "Descansado - Songs For Films" CD/LP/Track Review Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Vestigium" CD/LP/Track Review Vestigium
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: September 15, 2018