September Releases Part 1: Mike Reed (x2), Vince Mendoza on 9/9

Drummer/composer Mike Reed releases two new recordings on the same day.

Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly – The Speed of Change. Loose Assembly is Mike’s quintet with multi-reedist Greg Ward, bassist Josh Abrams, Tomeka Reid on cello, and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz. According to the press release, the group moves from pastoral sonic explorations to edgy post-bop and even to Chicago post rock. “In the end, I guess I’m still thinking about early AACM bands like [Henry Threadgill’s] Air, as templates for what is possible,” says Reed.
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Proliferation is the debut outing by Reed’s quartet People, Places & Things. Reed, with alto saxophonist Greg Ward, tenor man Tim Haldeman, and bassist Jason Roebke, set out to reinvestigate the under-recognized influence of Chicago’s Jazz scene from 1954-60. “We tried to re-invent the music we were covering,” says Reed. “In order for it to be as current as it was back then, we had to find ways to incorporate styles and influences of improvising that pertain to us.”
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Vince Mendoza – Blauklang. The composer/arranger, whom I know from his work with Yellowjackets and the Breckers, releases a “textural masterpiece” based on painting by German modern artist Ernst Wilhelm Nay. It features guitarist Nguyên Lê, trumpeter Markus Stockhausen, bassist Lars Danielsson, and drummer Peter Erskine, plus the WDR Big Band.
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Other Releases This Month (look for details on some of these in future posts):

  • Javon Jackson – Once Upon A Melody (9/16)
  • Patricia Barber – The Cole Porter Mix (9/16)
  • The Millenium Promise Jazz Project (with Kirk Whalum, 9/16)
  • Fourplay – Energy (9/23)
  • Spyro Gyra – A Night Before Christmas (9/23)
  • Kenny Garrett – Sketches Of MD: Live At The Iridium Featuring Pharoah Sanders (9/23)
  • Herbie Hancock – Then and Now: The Definitive Herbie Hancock (9/23)
  • Will Bernard – Blue Plate Special (9/30)
  • Take 6 – The Standard (9/30)
  • Jeff Lorber – Heard That (9/30)
  • Jason Miles – 2 Grover With Love (9/30)
  • Bela Fleck & the Flecktones – Jingle All the Way (9/30) – read my post on this

First Quarter Forecast

It’s looking like an excellent start to 2003 in progressive jazz. Slammin’ saxman Bill Evans lets loose Big Fun in the U.S. on February 4. Look for Christian McBride’s fusion release, Vertical Vision on February 11. Stefon Harris’ ambitious 13-piece suite for 12 musicians, Grand Unification Theory, also hits on February 11. Spyro Gyra returns on February 25 with Original Cinema. Kenny Garrett has a follow-up to his excellent Happy People CD in March. Three key Crusaders reunite for Rural Renewal on March 4. Verve has a new Wayne Shorter release listed for March 25. Charlie Hunter’s latest, Right Now Move also is available on March 25. Ethnomusicology Vol. 3 is due from Russell Gunn this first quarter as well. I’ll post more releases as I learn about them.