All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

292

Ed Reed: The Song Is You

Elliott Simon By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Ed Reed: The Song Is You Ed Reed is a storyteller, one who pours both his heart and nearly 80 years of life experiences—which include vocal studies with Charles Mingus, time in the army and a drug addiction that landed Reed in prison on four separate occasions—into a phrase. On his recent first recording, Love Stories (2007), he debuted a lush tone that belied his age.

Here, the inclusion of violinist Russell George's superb jazz phrasing as a part of Peck Allmond's sextet, coupled with Reed's own expressiveness, takes this session from good to great. Reed and company serve as tour guides using tempo and timbre to present exceedingly fresh takes on a selection of songs that leans almost exclusively on the Great American Songbook. The wonderfully contrasting sounds of voice, violin, Jamie Fox' guitar and Allmond's tenor sax imbue new depth to these beautiful ballads. There is heavy representation from Duke Ellington; "It Shouldn't Happen to a Dream," "All Too Soon" and "I Didn't Know About You" all receive exquisite treatment. His "Don't You Know I Care" also benefits from a Latin lilt courtesy of Allmond's flute and drummer Willard Dyson's rhythm. These odes to love and love lost are Reed's forté and a beautiful guitar/vocal duet makes touchingly strong statements on "I'm Through with Love" and "Here's To Life."

While the ballads stand out, in the context of this larger and more varied group of musicians Reed also stretches out a bit with fine results. He swings on the title cut and on a version of "Lucky To Be Me" whose underpinnings are driven by pianist Gary Fisher. A rendering of the Rodgers-Hart chestnut "Where or When" has bassist Doug Weiss, Fox and George drawing on Reinhardt/Grappelli phrasing while Reed extends boundaries by improvising a new section. Those who, upon hearing Reed's first release, said "They don't make albums like this anymore" will again be pleasantly surprised.


Track Listing: The Song Is You; It Shouldn't Happen to a Dream; Where or When; I'm Through With Love; All Too Soon; I Get Along Without You Very Well; I Didn't Know About You; Don't You Know I Care; Lucky to Be Me; Don't Like Goodbyes; It Never Entered My Mind; Here's to Life; Black Is.

Personnel: Ed Reed: vocals; Peck Allmond: trumpet, tenor sax, flute, clarinet, cornet; Willard Dyson: drums; Gary Fisher: piano; Jamie Fox: guitar; Russell George: violin; Doug Weiss: bass.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Blue Shorts Records | Style: Vocal


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ed Reed - I'm A Shy Guy: A Tribute to the King Cole Trio & Their Music
Ed Reed - I'm A Shy...
Blue Shorts Records
2013
buy
Born to Be Blue
Born to Be Blue
Blue Shorts Records
2011
buy
Love Stories
Love Stories
Self Produced
2008
buy
The Song Is You
The Song Is You
Blue Shorts Records
2008
buy
Sony Holland Sony Holland
vocalist
Sachal Vasandani Sachal Vasandani
vocalist
Rachael Price Rachael Price
vocalist
Dee Daniels Dee Daniels
vocalist
Judy Wexler Judy Wexler
vocalist
Irene Atman Irene Atman
vocalist
Giacomo Gates Giacomo Gates
vocalist

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.