Friday, May 14, 2010

Mike Reed's People, Places and Things - Stories and Negotiations (482 Music, 2010)

Drummer and composer Mike Reed has been a rising force in the jazz scene, not just in his home base of Chicago but around the jazz world. Leading a few bands on the 482 Music label, his People, Places and Things band pays tribute to the great history of jazz in Chicago, which stretches from swing to bop to the avant-garde. Looking to shed some light on musicians from the Windy City that have slipped under the radar, this live album recorded in 2008 features a multi-generational lineup: Jeb Bishop and Julian Priester on trombone, Tim Haldeman and Ira Sullivan on tenor saxophone, Art Hoyle on trumpet and flugehorn, Jason Roebke on bass, and Greg Ward on alto saxophone. Blustery, broad shouldered jazz is the order of the day here, the music is exciting and intricate. Combining the swing and bop history of the city's music with aspects of the the avant-garde scene that had developed over the last couple of decades gives the music a wide range of range and texture. The great composer and bandleader Sun Ra spent several years in the city and leads this group in their exciting cover of Ra's "El is the Sound of Joy" which builds to an exuberant and hard driving conclusion. "Door #1 (For Julian Priester)" takes a different tracks using smears of brass and long tones to create a unique soundscape. The music comes together quite nicely and surpasses the normal polite conversation that one might find on a tribute record and instead becomes a testament to the music that great city has produced, and to the musicians from different eras who come together under one banner to make this album. Stories and Negotiations - amazon.com

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