Monday, July 09, 2012

Mike Reed's People, Places and Things - Clear on the Corner (482 Music, 2012)

People Places and Things is a group (one of several) led by Chicago drummer Mike Reed. The group is made up of Tim Haldeman on tenor saxophone, Greg Ward on alto saxophone, Jason Roebke on bass, Mike Reed on drums and with Craig Taborn on piano and Josh Berman on cornet sitting in on a few tracks. The group was originally formed to honor some of the unsung musicians of the Chicago jazz scene of the late 1950’s, but with this album they switch to predominantly original compositions. They open with an uptempo piece of hard-bop interestingly titled “The Lady Has a Bomb.” This is tough modern hard-bop that builds intensity by steps before one of the saxophones takes off backed by elastic bass and drums. The second horn engages briefly at a boiling tempo developing a swaggering swing. “Old” develops a more suspended feel with a medium tempo tenor saxophone probing and weaving. Tenor and alto shade each other and harmonize, deep in thought and conjunction before making way for a spacious bass solo. “Sharon” Also develops a fast pace adding Taborn on piano, covering a composition by John Jenkins with a fast-paced collective improvisation. Taborn keeps the music swinging hard along with strong bass and drums. Galloping saxophones trade phrases with Reed’s brisk drumming. It is interesting to hear how this group has developed over the course of their work together. What began as an homage to the bast has emerged into a full fledged band developing their own unique take on the modern jazz experience. Clean on the Corner -

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