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Eric Reed

When you think of hard-driving swing, daring expression, sophistication and elegance in artistry, formidable technique and a thunderous sound, there are only a very small handful of contemporary pianists you think of and one of them is most assuredly ERIC REED. But don’t think of him as a just a pianist; Eric is one of his generation’s most advanced thinkers in music.

Born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia, PA. Eric grew up playing in his father’s storefront Baptist church, starting at the age of five: “My father was a minister but he also used to sing with a Gospel group in Philly called the Bay State Singers. He is my earliest musical influence. I also was hit heavily by the sound of Christian and secular music of the 1970s (most notably Edwin & Walter Hawkins, Andrae Crouch and James Cleveland). “ Soon after, young Reed was bitten by the Jazz bug after hearing recordings by Art Blakey, Ramsey Lewis and Dave Brubeck.

Blessed by God as a child prodigy, Eric started playing piano at age two, beginning formal instruction at age five, starting at Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School at age seven. However, he remained primarily self-taught, often confounding his instructors by not learning the written music, but listening to them play it first and memorizing musical pieces note-for-note: “I wasn’t interested in practicing Bach; I was too busy digging Horace Silver!”

By age eleven, his family moved to the greater Los Angeles area and he continued his formal instruction at the R.D. Colburn School of Arts where his theory teacher Jeff Lavner, finally realizing that Eric was destined for swinging, turned him onto recordings of great Jazz pianists: “My neighborhood library had all kinds of hip Jazz albums and I was in there every day checking them out. Everything was there: Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner — it was incredible! By the time I was thirteen, I didn’t realize it but, I had digested all of the standard Jazz recordings that working musicians were expected to know.”

At 18, Eric began touring the world with his own ensembles and recording both as a leader and sideman, making serious waves in the world of music. He garnered great notice with Wynton Marsalis’ Septet (1990-91; 1992-95) and spent two years with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (1996-98), making countless recordings and TV appearances with them. Reed also worked in the bands of Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson (1991-92).

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New York Beat

Eric Reed Quartet at Smoke

Read "Eric Reed Quartet at Smoke" reviewed by Nick Catalano


A garrulous Eric Reed traveled from his teaching gig at the University of Tennessee to lead a quartet at Smoke on March 9, 2023. Before the first set began Reed delivered lengthy commentary on Miles Davis, Benny Golson and the recently deceased Wayne Shorter, and included compositions by the latter two in the opening set. His sidemen included saxophonist Chris Lewis, bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Kendrick Scott. Compositions from Reed's 2023 Smoke Sessions album Black, Brown and Blue were ...

New York Beat

Eric Reed at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club

Read "Eric Reed at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club" reviewed by Nick Catalano


Hard Bop continues to find a home in NY's Smoke Jazz & Supper Club. For decades the room featured One for All -a group whose stalwart players Eric Alexander, Steve Davis, David Hazeltine, John Webber, Jim Rotondi, and Joe Farnsworth had critics comparing them to Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. These players often led smaller groups into Smoke with players such as Harold Mabern and other hard boppers. Last week (7-22) the club brought in Eric Reed and company ...

2
Multiple Reviews

Smoke Sessions

Read "Smoke Sessions" reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo


Questo gruppo di incisioni “live" è accomunato dall'adesione agli stilemi del modern mainstream. Emerge nei tre pianisti una sincera riflessione sul linguaggio moderno delle varie tradizioni jazzistiche, che vanno dall'eredità coltraniana al post-bop. Grazie anche alla calda atmosfera del jazz club Smoke, in cui sono stati registrati dal vivo, si impone una indiscutibile intensità emotiva che solo artisti di gran livello possono offrire. Eric Reed Groove Wise Valutazione: * * * ½ Smoke ...

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Bailey's Bundles

Smoke Sessions: Cyrus Chestnut, Orrin Evans and Eric Reed

Read "Smoke Sessions: Cyrus Chestnut, Orrin Evans and Eric Reed" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Cyrus Chestnut Midnight Melodies Smoke Sessions 2014 Elegance and economy characterize Cyrus Chestnut's art. Chestnut's career was the one Kenny Kirkland could have had had Kirkland's fate been different. Chestnut (and Evans and Reed) represent the generation given way to with the passings of Mulgrew Miller and Cedar Walton. Chestnut is a keeper of the flame, a lyrical and expressive pianist who likes to use notes in sculpting songs. Midnight Melodies was ...

108
Album Review

Eric Reed: Something Beautiful

Read "Something Beautiful" reviewed by Greg Simmons


Eric Reed's Something Beautiful is well-named: a collection of mostly standards, delivered with sensitive hands and unerring taste. The pianist shows a knack for choosing great material, mostly staying away from jazz's grossly overplayed warhorses in favor of lesser-known material that is, nonetheless, classic and elegant. The album offers a unified atmosphere of down- and mid-tempo melodies--sometimes melancholy, sometimes bouncy, and occasionally even uplifting. Jesse Tabish's “Black Tables" is almost hymn-like, with deep left-handed chords creating gravity under ...

358
Album Review

Eric Reed: The Dancing Monk

Read "The Dancing Monk" reviewed by Greg Simmons


Every jazz pianist stands somewhere in the shadow of Thelonious Monk (1917-1982), and Eric Reed has embraced that shadow, with The Dancing Monk. Interpreting the near-mythic pianist/composer's music--let alone making an entire album of his tunes--poses significant challenges to any modern musician, and especially for a pianist. First, Monk's compositions are, indeed, challenging, in and of themselves; full of odd meters, syncopations, and some of the most counter-intuitive melodies ever written. Second, Monk's flat-fingered keyboard work was completely ...

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Megaphone

Eric Reed: Sacred Jazz

Read "Eric Reed: Sacred Jazz" reviewed by Eric Reed


Generally, the idea of “sacred jazz" either brings to mind Duke Ellington's three sacred concerts or causes confusion in the minds of those who are not cognizant of what is “sacred" or “jazz." Is it John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, Mary Lou Williams' Black Christ of the Andes or Ahmad Jamal's After Fajr? In all these cases, yes. In the broad sense of what is “sacred," the common thread that exists among the aforementioned references pays respect to the devotion ...

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6

Performance / Tour

World-renowned Smoke Presents Leading Pianists Vijay Iyer And Eric Reed, Album Release Concert By Trombonist Steve Turre, And More During The Month Of June

World-renowned Smoke Presents Leading Pianists Vijay Iyer And Eric Reed, Album Release Concert By Trombonist Steve Turre, And More During The Month Of June

Source: AMT Public Relations

Entering its second quarter century as committed as ever to pure jazz (All About Jazz),” SMOKE Jazz Club continues its 25th anniversary season with another month of today’s leading artists in jazz. June begins with a fan favorite and longtime friend of the club’s: trumpeter Nicholas Payton (May 29-June 2). Returning to SMOKE is MacArthur Genius Vijay Iyer leading his Trio for five nights (June 5-9). Master trombonist Steve Turre celebrates the SMOKE Sessions release of his exciting new album, ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Eric Reed's birthday today!

When you think of hard-driving swing, daring expression, sophistication and elegance in artistry, formidable technique and a thunderous sound, there are only a very small handful of contemporary pianists you think of and one of them is most assuredly ERIC REED. But don’t think of him as a just a pianist; Eric is one of his generation’s most advanced thinkers in music. Born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia, PA. ...

3

Performance / Tour

World-Renowned Smoke Jazz Club Begins Spring With Four Of Today’s Leading Pianists, Album Releases By Bobby Watson And Eric Reed, And More Throughout March

World-Renowned Smoke Jazz Club Begins Spring With Four Of Today’s Leading Pianists, Album Releases By Bobby Watson And Eric Reed, And More Throughout March

Source: AMT Public Relations

Described as “the most genuine, congenial and best-run jazz club in the city (Huffington Post),” New York’s Smoke Jazz Club presents a stellar line-up of some of jazz’s greatest artists during March. Four leading pianists return to the SMOKE stage: Renee Rosnes (Mar 2-5),Eric Reed celebrating his SMOKE Sessions album release (Mar 9-12), Jacky Terrasson (Mar 16-19), and George Cables (Mar 30-Apr 2). The legendary tenor George Coleman celebrates his 88th birthday with a special one-night-only concert featuring special guest ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Eric Reed's birthday today!

When you think of hard-driving swing, daring expression, sophistication and elegance in artistry, formidable technique and a thunderous sound, there are only a very small handful of contemporary pianists you think of and one of them is most assuredly ERIC REED. But don’t think of him as a just a pianist; Eric is one of his generation’s most advanced thinkers in music. Born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia, PA. ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Eric Reed's birthday today!

When you think of hard-driving swing, daring expression, sophistication and elegance in artistry, formidable technique and a thunderous sound, there are only a very small handful of contemporary pianists you think of and one of them is most assuredly ERIC REED. But don’t think of him as a just a pianist; Eric is one of his generation’s most advanced thinkers in music. Born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia, PA. ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Eric Reed's birthday today!

When you think of hard-driving swing, daring expression, sophistication and elegance in artistry, formidable technique and a thunderous sound, there are only a very small handful of contemporary pianists you think of and one of them is most assuredly ERIC REED. But don’t think of him as a just a pianist; Eric is one of his generation’s most advanced thinkers in music. Born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia, PA. ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Eric Reed's birthday today!

When you think of hard-driving swing, daring expression, sophistication and elegance in artistry, formidable technique and a thunderous sound, there are only a very small handful of contemporary pianists you think of and one of them is most assuredly ERIC REED. But don’t think of him as a just a pianist; Eric is one of his generation’s most advanced thinkers in music. Born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia, PA... ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Eric Reed's birthday today!

When you think of hard-driving swing, daring expression, sophistication and elegance in artistry, formidable technique and a thunderous sound, there are only a very small handful of contemporary pianists you think of and one of them is most assuredly ERIC REED. But don’t think of him as a just a pianist; Eric is one of his generation’s most advanced thinkers in music. Born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia, PA... ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Eric Reed's birthday today!

When you think of hard-driving swing, daring expression, sophistication and elegance in artistry, formidable technique and a thunderous sound, there are only a very small handful of contemporary pianists you think of and one of them is most assuredly ERIC REED. But don’t think of him as a just a pianist; Eric is one of his generation’s most advanced thinkers in music. Born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia, PA... ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Jazz Musician of the Day: Eric Reed

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Eric Reed's birthday today!

When you think of hard-driving swing, daring expression, sophistication and elegance in artistry, formidable technique and a thunderous sound, there are only a very small handful of contemporary pianists you think of and one of them is most assuredly ERIC REED. But don’t think of him as a just a pianist; Eric is one of his generation’s most advanced thinkers in music. Born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia, PA... ...

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Black, Brown, and Blue

Smoke Sessions Records
2023

buy

Eyes of the Elders

Arkadia Records
2022

buy

Thank You, Joe! –...

Arkadia Records
2022

buy

Thank You, Duke!

Arkadia Records
2022

buy

Magic Moments

Arkadia Records
2022

buy

It​’​s About...

Arkadia Records
2022

buy

Peace

From: Black, Brown, and Blue
By Eric Reed

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