290

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

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Reed's Loose Assembly: Last Year's Ghost Drummer Mike Reed's previous album, In the Context Of (482 Music, 2006), showcased his gifts as an improviser in a series of spontaneous duets with his fellow Chicagoans. Last Year's Ghost provides more evidence of his talents, demonstrating his arranging and composing skills as well as his continuing development as a brilliant percussionist on the rise.

The debut recording of Loose Assembly, his three-year-old quintet, incorporates free-wheeling sonic explorations with nuanced harmonic structures. By reconfiguring group improvisations developed during practice sessions into traditional frameworks, Reed arrives at a perfect balance between unfettered creativity and formal aesthetics.

Colored by Jason Adasiewicz's shimmering vibes and Tomeka Reid's sinuous cello, the session exudes a dulcet, evocative mood that occasionally drifts into darker, introspective territory. Newcomer, alto saxophonist Greg Ward brings both poignant restraint and agitated exuberance to the front line, weaving abstruse lines around Reid's resonant tones and Adasiewicz's cinematic flourishes.

Supported by the leader's tasteful rhythms and Josh Abrams full-bodied bass, the quintet navigates the malleable compositions with verve and grace. Reed, perfectly attuned to the moment, veers from buoyant, swinging ride rhythms and intricate polyrhythms to pulsating backbeats or scintillating, atmospheric accents, as the mood dictates.

Knitting together diverse approaches, the quintet extrapolates a lilting melody into a roiling tempest on the unfolding drama of "Day of the Dead" while soaring with carefree jubilance on the swinging "The Entire State of Florida." From the tender, bluesy mid-tempo sway of "Afterthoughts" and the chaotic, kaleidoscopic blast of "1974" to the somber tone poem "Simone's Crumbs," Loose Assembly draws from a broad range of styles and influences.

A brilliant debut, Last Year's Ghost merges the austere reverence of chamber music with the scalding intensity of Chicago's historically ebullient free jazz, making a case for the re-evaluation of commonly held geographic prejudices. Although conventional wisdom dictates New York as the center of the jazz world, documents like this beg to differ.


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

More Articles

Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Resonance CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Black Focus CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift" CD/LP/Track Review Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Dreaming Big" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming Big
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "You & I" CD/LP/Track Review You & I
by James Nadal
Published: June 4, 2017
Read "In Times Like These" CD/LP/Track Review In Times Like These
by James Nadal
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Music of Weather Report" CD/LP/Track Review Music of Weather Report
by John Ephland
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "El Viaje" CD/LP/Track Review El Viaje
by James Nadal
Published: September 14, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!