Reed, Mike - Proliferation

SKU 482-1060
Tim Haldeman (tenor sax, percussion, piano), Mike Reed (drums, piano), Jason Roebke (bass, percussion, piano), Greg Ward (alto saxophone, percussion, piano).

This record is presented with thanks to the People, Places & Things that were the Chicago jazz, blues and improvised music scene from 1954-1960, especially the under-recorded and under-recognized folks that not only kept the music alive, but helped move it to new horizons. Assembled here are interpretations of tunes written by artists from or during their time in Chicago, as well as a few originals dedicated to the era. These are not literal interpretations, but rather adjusted to the feel of the modern city and its sound."

"In one of the most ingenious recordings to come out of the Chicago avant-garde this year, drummer-visionary Reed set himself a formidable challenge: to capture the spirit of the Chicago hard-bop scene of the mid- to late-1950s. Though Reed and his People, Places & Things band revisit classic tunes by Sun Ra, Wilbur Campbell and John Jenkins, the band brilliantly reinvents them." — Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

"Drummer Mike Reed formed this quartet last year to explore the rich but neglected trove of local postbop made between 1954 and 1960. When New York emerged as jazz's center in the late 40s it overshadowed most smaller scenes, but the tunes Reed tackles on the new Proliferation (482 Music) - associated with Sun Ra, John Jenkins, and Wilbur Campbell, among others - are as indelible as anything that was being cut at Rudy Van Gelder's place. Reed, reedists Greg Ward and Tim Haldeman, and bassist Jason Roebke don't try to make People, Places & Things a repertory band: though the buoyant rhythms and rippling melodies in these deeply soulful songs remain intact, that's not because they're played straight. The group pushes against the swing feel, and Ward and Haldeman, who steer clear of the traditional string-of-solos approach in favor of electric multilinear improvisations, abstract bits of the tunes - stretching and transforming them, stripping them down and reconstituting them - without sapping their vibrance. Proliferation proves not only how sturdy these songs are, but also how nimble, progressive, and hard-swinging Reed's quartet is. I don't know if I've enjoyed a jazz album more this year." — Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

"This driving session has an explicit agenda - to pay homage to specific jazz musicians from earlier eras that left their mark on Chicago. [The] tunes all get robustly complex, intricately harmonized, and brilliantly improvised treatments. The music boasts all the free-wheeling energy of post-bop, and the players have serious fun fashioning their thorny interplay of saxes, bass and drums... these remarkable sessions open fresh musical vistas and deliver the palpable thrill of liberation from preconceptions." — Derk Richardson, The Absolute Sound
  • Label482
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