Look For The Light
Stricker Street, 2020
An acoustic and electric bassist and also an educator, Jeff Reed is a very highly sought after sideman, having traveled the world with his talents. Here, Reed is aligned with Sean Jones, Todd Marcus, Jonathan Epley and Eric Kennedy for his first album as leader, where his vast skill glows across standards and originals.
“Segment”, a Charlie Parker tune, starts the listen with lively trumpets interacting playfully with Reed’s bass as light percussion adds much to the jazz setting, and “Waltz New”, a Jim Hall original, continues the rich atmosphere with attentive melodies and warm guitar playing.
Elsewhere, “Paragon” brings acrobatic drumming alongside slow brass and proficient bass clarinet for 8 minutes of unpredictable song craft, while “Conversion” puts Reed’s bass front and center amid flowing, breezy instrumentation that recruits hard bop influences.
Deeper cuts bring us the spellbinding clarinet of the busy “A Look Inside”, and “Your Name Never Came Up” finishes the affair with a swift pace of dynamic musicianship where be-bop and free jazz are displayed superbly.
Reed has played on an astonishing 50 albums so far, including working alongside David Sanchez, Dave Liebmann and Tom Morello, among others, though this bright spot in his catalog might be his most luminous as he guides the band through timeless song craft that allows each of their respective instruments to shine just as bright as his deft bass work.