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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 ...

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Eric Reed: Stand!

Read "Stand!" reviewed by Andrew Velez

This eighteenth release by pianist Eric Reed is a spiritual melding of gospel and jazz idioms. Though not yet 40, Reed has accumulated considerable mileage. He was with Gerald Wilson at a mere 16, enjoyed a long association with Wynton Marsalis, and displayed a marked flair for the American Songbook. This outing offers a rich outpouring of Reed as composer and orchestrator. The opening title track is a hard driving and muscular piece with an African-tinged reference ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Eric Reed: Here

Read "Here" reviewed by J Hunter

"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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Eric Reed: Here

Read "Here" reviewed by Ken Dryden

Throughout this studio session, Eric Reed shows why many critics consider him to be one of the top pianists of his generation. Well-accompanied by bassist Rodney Whitaker and drummer Willie Jones III, Reed kicks off with a lively interpretation of Benny Golson's jazz standard “Stablemates, on which the shadings and pulse of the rhythm section complement the leader's flights on the keyboard.

John Coltrane's “26-2 is not one of the late saxophonist's better known works, but Reed's elaborate one-handed run ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Eric Reed: Here

Read "Here" reviewed by Robert R. Calder

Eric Reed's gifts have never been in doubt, whether playing Scott Joplin's “Maple Leaf Rag" on a Wynton Marsalis educational video--or very original swing piano, deliberately jazzless gospel or conteporary jazz in duet with the neglected Johnny O'Neal on the ad lib concert released as Rockin' the Spirit (Chesky, 2005). He was a standout on Joe Chambers' Urban Grooves (441 Records, 2003), as when playing Jelly Roll Morton and other music with Marsalis. Reed can play amazingly ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Eric Reed: Here

Read "Here" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Pianist Eric Reed is one of the most articulate and intelligent ambassadors of jazz performing today. His 21st Century recordings Happiness, From My Heart, Mercy and Grace, E-Bop, and Merry Magic show Reed fully formed and creatively fluid. Add to these thoughts bassist Rodney Whitaker and drummer Willie Jones III, and the jazz listenership receives the grace of perfectly conceived and delivered jazz piano trio music.

Tasteful, thoughtful and cognizant, Eric Reed is a complete musical package with ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Eric Reed: Merry Magic

Read "Merry Magic" reviewed by Celeste Sunderland

The best kinds of holiday albums are the ones that offer a diverse selection of songs while holding true to the theme. Pianist Eric Reed's new Christmas disc Merry Magic combines hard-swinging bebop with slow, graceful ballads, a little Latin spice, and evangelical organ. It culls up all the emotions of the season, from childlike anticipation to family-time nostalgia. Play this disc at your holiday party if you're going for the martini and mistletoe deal you see ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Eric Reed: E-Bop

Read "E-Bop" reviewed by Joel Roberts

Eric Reed, who spent a week at the Village Vanguard in October with his septet, says the compositions on his new album are a reflection not just of his musical tastes but of what's currently going on in his life. If that's the case, the Philadelphia-born pianist must be living a very good life indeed. The songs and playing on E-Bop exude a relaxed, upbeat air of optimism that suggest a man who's comfortable in his own skin and an ...


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