Drummer Mike Reed started People, Places & Things as a vehicle to explore undersung repertoire from Chicago’s jazz, blues and improvised music scene between 1954 and 1960. In short order, they produced a highly acclaimed trilogy, each with a different take on the concept, and eventually sharing the spotlight with players from that original scene. They have continued forward from there.
On Second Cities: Volume 1, their fifth release, they move to a new place, with some new people. The second city is Amsterdam, where the album was recorded, and the roster includes members of that city’s celebrated improvised-music community.
Reed has family in the Netherlands, “and I was lucky enough to spend a great deal of my youth there,” he writes in the liner notes.
“As my musical tastes began to mature I was quite drawn to the sounds of improvisers based in Amsterdam; of course Misha, Han, ICP, Willem Breuker, Sean Bergin’s MOB and on and on. I remember especially having my concepts of improvising, composing and swing completely changed after seeing an Available Jelly show.
“Then: Over the years of organizing concerts in Chicago I was able to present many of these amazing musicians who would soon turn into friends and colleagues, especially as my travels took me to back to Amsterdam as a musician.”
While sorting through sheet music from these various shows, it occurred to Reed to have PP&T cover some of these tunes at an upcoming gig in Chicago. “It turned out to be so much fun that I furthered the idea to the prospect of recording these compositions with the composers, and basically having PP&T be the ‘house band’.”
“It’s the group’s most diverse record to date,” writes Bill Meyer, in the Chicago Reader, “reaching beyond muscular bop and pensive, bluesy balladry into totally free improvisation -and it also includes a pair of joyous South African kwela-style romps by the late Sean Bergin.”
released August 2, 2013
Greg Ward (alto saxophone), Tim Haldeman (tenor saxophone), Jason Roebke (bass), Mike Reed (drums) with Ab Baars (tenor and clarinet tracks 4 & 8), Eric Boeren (cornet tracks 6 & 9), Joost Buis (trombone tracks 3 & 7), Guus Janssen (piano tracks 1 & 2), Oscar Jan Hoogland (piano track 11), Michael Moore (alto and clarinet tracks 5 & 10), Felicity Provan (trumpet track 11)
Mike Reed is a musician, composer, bandleader and arts presenter based in Chicago. Over the last two decades he has emerged
as a dominant force within Chicago’s diverse artistic community, both through the music he makes and the live events he produces....more