Reviews that mention Mike Reed

February 18, 2017

NPR’s 11th Annual

Jazz Critics Poll Ballot
2016

•Your name and primary affiliation(s)

Ken Waxman: Jazzword.com The New York City Jazz Record; Whole Note

•Your choices for this year’s 10 best New Releases listed in descending order

1. Alexander Hawkins Trio Alexander Hawkins Music AH 1001

2. Anna Webber’s Simple Trio Binary Skirl Records 033

3. Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus The Distance ECM 2484

4. Artifacts Reed-Reid-Mitchell 482 Music 482-1093

5. Umlaut Big Band Euro Swing Vol. 2 Umlaut UMFR-CD18 MORE

December 1, 2016

Hélary/Lonberg-Holm/Risser/Reed

The Sync
The Bridge Sessions TBS 02

Like Facebook, iPads and Uber, the Bridge sessions are a uniquely 21st Century conception. While recognizing the basic ephemeral nature of many ad-hoc musical groups, the Bridge builders aim for rapprochement among shifting ensembles of French and American players who record and tour for a while in both countries and then, like recruits serving tour of duty, return to their regional sectors. Case in point is this session, recorded in France following a short national tour. Representing the American side are cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and drummer Mike Reed, two Chicagoans known for their collaborations with a hotel register-like list of players on both sides of the Atlantic. Showing France’s tricolor flag are pianist Eve Risser and flutist Sylvaine Hélary, both Paris based. MORE

June 1, 2016

Festival Report

Doek ABC
By Ken Waxman

With many parts of the Netherlands reclaimed from the sea over the centuries, the Dutch have long been adroit recycling, reusing and repurposing. So it’s no surprise that except for the soft-seated Bimhuis, with its magnificent waterfront view, most venues for this year’s Doek ABC Improvisation Festival in Amsterdam, April 29 to May 4, had initially been built as schools, warehouses and even a dungeon. These locations were particularly pertinent for this year’s fest which united local improvisers (A) with visitors from Berlin (B) and Chicago (C). The festival also demonstrated how different musicians repurpose the jazz and improvised traditions. MORE

June 1, 2016

Artist Feature

Mike Reed
By Ken Waxman

Chicago drummer Mike Reed, 42, is a realist – and a visionary. More than a dozen years ago he experienced his own epiphany about the (jazz) music business and his place in it while working part time as a bartender. “I was thinking about my future and how I didn’t want to still be a bartender when I was 39 … or 49,” he recalls. Reed who at that point had been involved with different bands in Chicago’s music ferment since his mid-‘90s return to the city after completing a degree in English and Psychology at the University of Dayton Ohio, was with cornetist Josh Berman, already co-curating a series of Sunday sessions at the Hungry Brain club. Earlier, while working for a marketing agency he had helped organize city concerts encouraging people to vote in the presidential election. Promotion seemed to be the appropriate career choice and within a year, he had partnered with Pitchfork, a Chicago-based online music magazine, to create the annual summer Pitchfork Music Festival which is still going strong. MORE

March 22, 2016

Guelph Jazz Festival

Guelph, Ontario
September 16-20, 2015

By Ken Waxman

Story telling of the verbal and instrumental variety was an important feature of this year’s Guelph Jazz Festival. Trying out new venues such as Heritage Hall (HH), Guelph’s first black church; and the soft-seated Guelph Little Theatre (GLT), the festival added a feeling of intimacy to its innovative programming.

Front and centre with tales, tall and otherwise were two Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM) members, multi-reedist Douglas Ewart and alto saxophonist Matana Roberts. Confirming the old adage that actions can speak louder than words were musicians as cerebrally intricate as Evan Parker’s soprano saxophone forays or as raucous as guitarist Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog trio. MORE

December 16, 2015

Reed-Reid-Mitchell

Artifacts
482 Music 482-1093

By Ken Waxman

Deciding to honour earlier members of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM) during the organizations’ 50th anniversary year, flutist Nicole Mitchell, cellist Tomeka Reid and drummer Mike Reed – AACMers themselves – initiated this nonpareil program. Like musicians who miniaturize symphonic score for chamber music ensembles, the three dextrously re-imagine pieces composed for larger, usually saxophone-oriented bands, so that the vibrant swing of the pieces is expressed alongside their exploratory natures. MORE

September 11, 2015

Spotlight

482 Music
By Ken Waxman

Maxims like: “you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of a boy” posses more than a kernel of truth if you substitute Chicago for country and the 482 Music label for the boy. After more than a decade in New York, label-owner Mike, Lintner says ruefully that many people still consider 482 a Chicago enterprise, even though the majority of the 90-odd releases it has put out since 1997 aren’t by Chicago artists. “It was the Document Chicago Series, our close relationships with Chicago media, and, I guess to some extent [drummer] Mike Reed, that gave the label the Chicago identity,” explains Lintner, who lived in Chicago during the first six years 482 existed. “A record label can be run from most anywhere,” he insists, “and New York’s not a bad place to do it.” MORE

September 6, 2015

Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Room

From The Region
Delmark DE 5017

Fred Frith/Evan Parker

Hello, I Must Be Going

Victo cd 128

Mary Halvorson Trio

Ghost Loop

ForTune 0010/010

Ingrid Laubrock Anti House

Roulette of the Cradle

Intakt CD 252

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up

After All Is Said

482 Music 482-1089

Something In The Air: Many musical Interconnections at 2015’s Guelph Jazz Festival

By Ken Waxman

As the Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF) settles into maturity, dependable musical choices and the vagaries of touring means that a few of the performers at this year’s bash, September 16 to 20, are featured at more than one ensemble. The happy end result is that the audience gets to sample some musicians’ skills in more than one challenging setting. MORE

June 14, 2014

Something Else Musically in Steeltown

A New Music Festival
By Ken Waxman

With local jazz festivals becoming increasingly populist improvised music audiences and musicians yearn for programs oriented towards more experimental sounds. Unexpectedly the situation is being resolved 60 kilometres away in downtown Hamilton. From June 16 to 21 the first SOMETHING ELSE! festival of creative music, takes place at Hamilton Artists Inc. 155 James St. North, when local musicians share the stage with international improvisers.

“We moved to Hamilton two years ago, and while it’s fine to see music in Buffalo and Toronto, eventually there comes a time that you want good things to happen wherever you live,” explains Zula Presents’ festival curator Cem Zafir. Discovering that some of his favorite musicians would be in the area in June, Zafir decided to showcase them in Hamilton alongside deserving local artists. Suddenly the festival was born. MORE

May 9, 2014

Artist Feature

Greg Ward
By Ken Waxman

Back in the heyday of vaudeville, answering affirmatively the question “Will It Play in Peoria?” meant that if an act could impress the audience in that small Illinois town, it was good enough to work nationwide. Ironically enough alto saxophonist Greg Ward embodies that maxim. Before moving to NYC, after maturing his career in Chicago, Ward, 31, spent his teenage years playing every gig he could in his home town of Peoria.

“At that time between Peoria and Chicago there was lots of work for a young player, which was very important,” the saxophonist, explains. Today he’s still kept busy gigging in larger centres, but he doesn’t deny his roots or early associations. On May 16 and 17 at the Jazz Gallery, a septet will premiere his series of composition honoring the 70th birthday of one of his long-time mentors, Preston Jackson. Jackson who is professor emeritus of sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago’s school, as well as a semi-professional guitarist, first played with Ward when the latter was 14. That was three years after Ward had made up his mind to become a musician, despite family pressure to become a doctor. That too was ironic, since both his father and uncle were professional gospel musicians and Ward had been singing gospel music as a three-year-old and studying violin from the age of nine. By the fifth grade he began playing alto saxophone using his father's old Conn. MORE

May 8, 2013

Mike Reed’s People Places & Things

Clean on the Corner
482 Music 482-1081

By Ken Waxman

One of Chicago drummer Mike Reed’s many identities is as a passionate booster of his home town’s music – present, past and future. This fourth CD with the People Places & Things combo is a milestone in that regard. He establishes the long-time sophistication of Second City jazz by blending original lines with ‘50s and ‘60s classics by saxophonists John Jenkins and Roscoe Mitchell. The band consists of some of Chicago’s top-rated players: alto saxophonist Greg Ward, tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman and bassist Jason Roebke; with cornetist Josh Berman and pianist Craig Taborn each added on two different tracks. MORE

March 15, 2013

Mike Reed’s People Places & Things

Clean on the Corner
482 Music 482-1081

Living By Lanterns

New Myth/Old Science

Cuneiform Records Rune 345

Drummer/bandleader Mike Reed has established himself as, among things, a deft interpreter of Chicago’s progressive music history. Nothing like a neo-con however, rather than imitation or emulation he and his People Places & Things create new variations of the city’s rich 1950s and 1960s Jazz heritage. On these exceptional sessions, he, and sidekicks, alto saxophonist Greg Ward – on both discs– and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz – on New Myth/Old Science – have taken the next step: integrated their own compositions with earlier ones. MORE

March 15, 2013

Living By Lanterns

New Myth/Old Science
Cuneiform Records Rune 345

Mike Reed’s People Places & Things

Clean on the Corner

482 Music 482-1081

Drummer/bandleader Mike Reed has established himself as, among things, a deft interpreter of Chicago’s progressive music history. Nothing like a neo-con however, rather than imitation or emulation he and his People Places & Things create new variations of the city’s rich 1950s and 1960s Jazz heritage. On these exceptional sessions, he, and sidekicks, alto saxophonist Greg Ward – on both discs– and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz – on New Myth/Old Science – have taken the next step: integrated their own compositions with earlier ones. MORE

June 15, 2012

Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms

Spacer
Delmark DE 2012

During its history as an instrument for improvisation the vibraphone has been utilized two ways. Either the player approaches it like a tuned drum or he or she lets the mallets, bars and motor-drive become the equivalent of a metal piano. Extroverts such as Lionel Hampton and Terry Gibbs and any number of R&B percussion colorists excelled at the first method, while more cerebral stylists such as Walt Dickinson, Milt Jackson and most of the Northern European vibes players concentrated on the second. MORE

February 12, 2011

Exploding Star Orchestra

Stars Have Shapes
Delmark DE 595

Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly

Empathetic Parts (with Roscoe Mitchell)

482 Music 482-1074

By Ken Waxman

One of the standout players among Chicago’s recent burgeoning crop of improvised musicians, alto saxophonist Greg Ward is versatile enough to gig with groups ranging from the chamber-oriented International Contemporary Ensemble to those lead by saxophonist Ernest Dawkins and other members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM). These CDs confirm his skills, although his role is more prominent in drummer Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly then as part of cornetist Rob Mazurek’s 14-piece Exploding Star Orchestra. His contributions to Reed’s Empathetic Parts are even more impressive, since he shares reed duties with saxophonist/flautist Roscoe Mitchell, more than 40 years his senior and an AACM founder. For his part, Mitchell is spontaneous enough to assimilate a performance strategy already tested with the existing five-piece band. MORE

February 12, 2011

Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly

Empathetic Parts (with Roscoe Mitchell)
482 Music 482-1074

Exploding Star Orchestra

Stars Have Shapes

Delmark DE 595

By Ken Waxman

One of the standout players among Chicago’s recent burgeoning crop of improvised musicians, alto saxophonist Greg Ward is versatile enough to gig with groups ranging from the chamber-oriented International Contemporary Ensemble to those lead by saxophonist Ernest Dawkins and other members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM). These CDs confirm his skills, although his role is more prominent in drummer Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly then as part of cornetist Rob Mazurek’s 14-piece Exploding Star Orchestra. His contributions to Reed’s Empathetic Parts are even more impressive, since he shares reed duties with saxophonist/flautist Roscoe Mitchell, more than 40 years his senior and an AACM founder. For his part, Mitchell is spontaneous enough to assimilate a performance strategy already tested with the existing five-piece band. MORE

October 1, 2010

Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things

Stories and Negotiations
482 Music 482-1070

Peeping Tom

File Under: Bebop

Umlaut [lc-umcd01]

Respect for the Jazz tradition runs in cycles. In the early 1970s when Jazz-Rock Fusion claimed popular attention, it seemed that the only young musicians interested in tradition were so-called avant-gardists such as reedist Anthony Braxton and the Air trio. During the next decade when the musical Reganites appeared, Jazz standards had to be recreated in a certain style and were part of their protected turf. Now that many of the neo-cons have adopted hip-hop moves or concentrate on mainstream styled originals, the tradition has been jettisoned along with fade haircuts. Who is left to keep the tradition going then? Surprise, it’s the experimental musicians again. MORE

January 11, 2010

Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things

About Us
482 Music 482-1068

Viktor Tóth

Tartim

Budapest Music Center Records BMC CD 150

Adding special guests to an already existing ensemble can often be a shortcut to confusion. Either the news players don’t mesh with the others or the group loses its individuality and become the backing band to the guests. Leaders of the ensembles on these CDs avoid both drawbacks, yet each does so in a fashion that’s as different as their respective backgrounds.

Chicago drummer Mike Reed, who gigs with everyone from cornetist Rob Mazurek to flautist Nicole Mitchell, also produces contemporary improv concerts in the city and is vice-chairman of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Yet his band People, Places & Things – filled out by alto saxophonist Greg Ward, tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman and bassist Jason Roebke – is organized to play original material honoring advanced Chicago sounds from 1954-1960. That’s homage not fealty; there’s no overt imitation here. In addition, the guests – trombonist Jeb Bishop, tenor saxophonist David Boykins and guitarist Jeff Parker – play on one track each to further orient the music towards contemporary improv. MORE

January 11, 2010

Viktor Tóth

Tartim
Budapest Music Center Records BMC CD 150

Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things

About Us

482 Music 482-1068

Adding special guests to an already existing ensemble can often be a shortcut to confusion. Either the news players don’t mesh with the others or the group loses its individuality and become the backing band to the guests. Leaders of the ensembles on these CDs avoid both drawbacks, yet each does so in a fashion that’s as different as their respective backgrounds.

Chicago drummer Mike Reed, who gigs with everyone from cornetist Rob Mazurek to flautist Nicole Mitchell, also produces contemporary improv concerts in the city and is vice-chairman of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Yet his band People, Places & Things – filled out by alto saxophonist Greg Ward, tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman and bassist Jason Roebke – is organized to play original material honoring advanced Chicago sounds from 1954-1960. That’s homage not fealty; there’s no overt imitation here. In addition, the guests – trombonist Jeb Bishop, tenor saxophonist David Boykins and guitarist Jeff Parker – play on one track each to further orient the music towards contemporary improv. MORE

December 8, 2008

Bill Dixon

17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur
AUM Fidelity AUM 046

Bill Dixon

With Exploding Star Orchestra

Thrill Jockey Thrill 192

More than an elderly lion in winter, 83-year-old trumpeter Bill Dixon seems to have reasserted his place in the jazz firmament during the dozen years since he retired from academe after nearly three decades of teaching at Vermont’s Bennington College.

Both of these big band CDs resulted from a purple patch of creativity in the summer of 2007, when Dixon was able to lead different orchestras in New York and Chicago through some of his extended compositions. Both the 56½-minute “Darfur” suite in New York and the two 18-minute versions of “Entrances” in the mid-West are shaped around a combination of composed work and spontaneously cued solos. The tonal colors emphasized on both are orchestral rather than standard big band arrangements, with woodwinds, strings and miscellaneous percussion prominent. MORE

December 8, 2008

Bill Dixon

With Exploding Star Orchestra
Thrill Jockey Thrill 192

Bill Dixon

17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur

AUM Fidelity AUM 046

More than an elderly lion in winter, 83-year-old trumpeter Bill Dixon seems to have reasserted his place in the jazz firmament during the dozen years since he retired from academe after nearly three decades of teaching at Vermont’s Bennington College.

Both of these big band CDs resulted from a purple patch of creativity in the summer of 2007, when Dixon was able to lead different orchestras in New York and Chicago through some of his extended compositions. Both the 56½-minute “Darfur” suite in New York and the two 18-minute versions of “Entrances” in the mid-West are shaped around a combination of composed work and spontaneously cued solos. The tonal colors emphasized on both are orchestral rather than standard big band arrangements, with woodwinds, strings and miscellaneous percussion prominent. MORE

June 15, 2002

THE TREEHOUSE PROJECT

The Picture Show
482 Music 482-1008/482-1009/482-1010

Usually when people talk about jazz-fusion, the music being defined is attached to showy instrumental rock. Other familiar fusions involve yoking a jazz sensibility to Latin American timbres or to so-called classical music. But on this three-CD set the five plus members of The Treehouse Project have created their own fusion.

It’s a double fusion in fact. First of all, these Chicago-area players have added a jazz sensibility to roots music, coming up with the sort of sounds that may have resulted if anyone had a record of the legendary episode Charlie Parker was supposed to have sat in with a hillbilly band. Secondly, each of the three CDs treats the songs in different ways. The third -- and frankly least interesting -- disc finds the band doing nightclub style instrumental versions of folk, pop and rock hits initially recorded by folks like Cream, Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles and Ron Sexsmith. The second CD -- and centrepiece of the project -- contains 13 compositions written by drummer Michael Reed, reflecting the messages and ideas he gleaned from a number of home snapshots. The first session takes this idea even further, with all band members shown another random group of photos, usually taken in suburban settings, and asked to create musical stories that reflect them all. Imagine the results as what would transpire if John Cage’s ideas about chance were adapted by the Partridge Family band. MORE