Jeff Reed, Look for the Light Review
Jeff Reed is a Maryland based jazz bassist that has appeared on over fifty albums. He earned his Bachelor of Music from Towson University and a Master of Music from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he is now an adjunct faculty member. Now the hard-working sideman makes his leader debut with a new album titled, Look for the Light. The bassist is joined by Todd Marcus on bass clarinet, Sean Jones on trumpet, Jonathan Epley on guitar, and Eric Kennedy on drums
Bottom Line: Look for the Light is nine tracks that combine originals and arrangements. In 2019, Reed received a call the morning of the recording where he learned Kennedy’s mother passed. Instantly Reed wanted to postpone the recording, but Kennedy insisted he wanted to perform as a befitting tribute of gratitude to his mother. The date starts with a hip arrangement of Charlie Parker’s “Segment,” in which Reed displays his nimble abilities as a soloist. Jim Hall’s “Waltz New” is one of the many highlights, with Reed, Epley, Jones, and Marcus playing the melody to Kennedy’s steady drumming. Epley and Kennedy were interacting rhythmically to create a moving solo for Epley. Reed’s accompanying is supportive, and his harmonic ideas are clear, and that carries over to his soloing too. Reed’s original “Paragon” makes full use of the ensemble’s unique instrumental colors through a beautiful melody and chord progression. “Your Name Never Came Up” is another Reed original that features the bassist clear and melodic writing style. Overall, Look for the Light is a wonderful collection of tunes, playing, and interesting instrumentation. A real find on many levels, that’s the short of it!