|Mike Reed: People Places and Things: Second Cities Volume 1|
Mike Reed: People Places and Things: Second Cities Volume 1
¤→ "Reed can keep time, break down grooves, drive the bus, or paint pictures — sometimes in the same piece — but his decisions are driven by what's best for the ensemble." — Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
¤→ PP&T is joined by some of the masters of the Dutch improvised music scene.
¤→ "...the group’s most diverse record to date." — Chicago Reader
Jazz Artist, Rising Star — 2009 Downbeat Critics Poll
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Album release: November 19, 2013
Record Label: 482 Music
01. One Bar 7:52
02. Guus z'n Vakantie m 2:14
03. Basil Outside 5:45
04. Een voor Von 1:51
05. Shotgun Wedding 5:28
06. What Happened at Conway Hall 1938 6:04
07. Marshall’s Birthday 4:53
08. Gammer 4:41
09. Various Croci / Bed Time 8:29
10. Train Ride 5:57
11. Beach Balls 6:48
℗ 2013 482 Music and Mike Reed
¤→ Greg Ward (alto saxophone)
¤→ Tim Haldeman (tenor saxophone)
¤→ Jason Roebke (bass)
¤→ Mike Reed (drums)
Ab Baars (tenor and clarinet)
Eric Boeren (cornet)
Joost Buis (trombone)
Guus Janssen (piano)
Oscar Jan Hoogland (piano)
Michael Moore (alto and clarinet)
Felicity Provan (trumpet)
¤→ Drummer Mike Reed started People, Places & Things as a vehicle to explore undersung repertoire from Chicago’s jazz, blues and improvised music scene between 1954 and 1960. In short order, they produced a highly acclaimed trilogy, each with a different take on the concept, and eventually sharing the spotlight with players from that original scene. They have continued forward from there.
¤→ On Second Cities: Volume 1, their fifth release, they move to a new place, with some new people. The second city is Amsterdam, where the album was recorded, and the roster includes members of that city’s celebrated improvised-music community.
Reed has family in the Netherlands, “and I was lucky enough to spend a great deal of my youth there,” he writes in the liner notes.
¤→ “As my musical tastes began to mature I was quite drawn to the sounds of improvisers based in Amsterdam; of course Misha, Han, ICP, Willem Breuker, Sean Bergin’s MOB and on and on. I remember especially having my concepts of improvising, composing and swing completely changed after seeing an Available Jelly show.
“Then: Over the years of organizing concerts in Chicago I was able to present many of these amazing musicians who would soon turn into friends and colleagues, especially as my travels took me to back to Amsterdam as a musician.”
¤→ While sorting through sheet music from these various shows, it occurred to Reed to have PP&T cover some of these tunes at an upcoming gig in Chicago. “It turned out to be so much fun that I furthered the idea to the prospect of recording these compositions with the composers, and basically having PP&T be the ‘house band’.”
¤→ “It’s the group’s most diverse record to date,” writes Bill Meyer, in the Chicago Reader, “reaching beyond muscular bop and pensive, bluesy balladry into totally free improvisation — and it also includes a pair of joyous South African kwela-style romps by the late Sean Bergin.”
¤→ "Following Reed’s trilogy of albums working the music of Chicago’s jazz and blues improv past, he’s now moved on to another city… Amsterdam. More free in nature than past recordings, but still with a sound that traces roots to the past… an album that has more kick, loads up more on left hooks. Joining Reed are Greg Ward on alto sax, Tim Haldeman on tenor sax, Jason Roebke on bass, Ab Baars on tenor sax & clarinet, Eric Boeren on cornet, Joost Buis on trombone, Guus Janssen on piano, Oscar Jan Hoogland on piano, Michael Moore on alto sax & clarinet, and Felicity Provan on trumpet. Recommended." — Dave Sumner, eMusic
¤→ "It is not so easy to get me up and dancing in my kitchen where my computer is but these songs certainly did the trick.." — Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
¤→ Mike Reed is a musician, composer and presenter based in Chicago.
¤→ As a drummer, Reed has been part of the vibrant Chicago jazz and improvised music community since 1997. He has performed regularly with local luminaries such as Fred Anderson, David Boykin, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, Josh Abrams, Jim Baker, and Rob Mazurek, as well as Chicago Jazz legends Ira Sullivan, Julian Priester and Art Hoyle. As a performer he tours extensively in Europe and South America. While performing in a variety of projects locally, nationally and internationally, Reed also leads two widely acclaimed groups, Loose Assembly and People, Places & Things. Reed was named Chicagoan of the Year for Jazz (2008) by the Chicago Tribune and in the 57th annual Downbeat critics poll was distinguished as "Rising Jazz Star". (People, Places & Things also named as "Rising Jazz Group".)
¤→ Over the course of a decade Reed has also established himself as a leading producer of musical performances and advocate for the performing arts. He is one of the main organizers for Umbrella Music, a five member team presenting weekly Jazz and Improvised music at various Chicago venues (approximating 280 sets of music per year as well as an accompanying festival). As a fresh addition to the historical collective known as the AACM, Reed was named Vice Chairmen in the spring of 2009. In other areas Reed works with the City of Chicago as a member of the Chicago Jazz Festival planning committee, programing partner for the Downtown Sound series at Millennium Park. Most notably Reed is the Director of the internationally renown Pitchfork Music Festival, drawing over 50,000 attendees to Chicago over 3 days and featuring today's most cutting edge rock and pop artists. REVIEW
By Derek Taylor
¤→ Percussionist Mike Reed’s latest project for his People, Places & Things ensemble picks up where the last one left off. Second in a planned trilogy of releases celebrating Chicago’s jazz lineage, About Us turns the page to band originals that celebrate regional tradition without feeling rote or played out. From the opening head-solos relay chase of “It’s Enough” it’s evident that the band members share Reed’s reservoir of history. Altoist Greg Ward and tenorist Tim Haldeman work the frontline with a keen sense of harmonic confluence and melodic interdependence. Reed’s springy, switchback-riddled compositions elicit the best in both players by building in plenty of latitude for free expression amidst the tight ensemble sections. Three of the 10 pieces enlist the input of colleagues outside the core quartet. Reedist David Boykin, trombonist Jeb Bishob and guitarist Jeff Parker, all names familiar to followers of new millennial Windy City jazz, each has the opportunity to run down his own tune.
¤→ Reed’s relationship with his kit is similarly magnanimous. His sticks and mallets supply shading, color and supple momentum from a position of support, and he regularly resists the temptation to muscle in with mighty press rolls or cymbal cascades. ¤→ That unflagging attention to nuance and space immediately echoes elder drummers like Paul Motian and Vernel Fournier. Further proof of deference to his colleagues, he holds off until, “Under the Influence of Lunar Objects,” the set’s second to last track, to indulge in a solo. It’s well worth the wait and a fine measure of percussive precision and restraint. Bassist Jason Roebke works from a comparable position of controlled agency, laying down punchy bass lines and ostinatos that enhance Reed’s fluid beats and embolden the horn soloists.
¤→ Boykins’ “Big and Fine” veers from a saucy bump-and-grind shuffle to some heated horn polyphony, but winds up sounding a bit overcooked by the end. His boisterous tenor holler collides with the equally raucous Ward and Haldeman, tipping over into knowing parody through an accelerating coda that brings to mind the Dutch antics of the Willem Breuker Kollektief minus some of the meticulousness. Bishop’s “Big Stubby” opens unaccompanied; Roebke’s scuttling bass joining the composer’s tailgate smears in a close debate before Reed’s drums seize on a swinging “crime jazz” groove. Parker’s “Days Fly By (with Ruby)” winds the program out on another brow-furrowing vamp forward on his fatly-amplified strings. It makes for a curiously piebald blend with Ward’s airy alto entrance and improvisation that somehow clicks. Reed’s notes preview the project’s forthcoming final volume, another promising conclave inviting certain influential members of Chicago jazz royalty to the party. Primed by the beauty and vitality that characterizes the first two outings, it’s easy to harbor high hopes for the third.
|Mike Reed: People Places and Things: Second Cities Volume 1|