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Reed, Mike: About Us (482 Music)

Drummer Mike Reed's quartet with saxophonists Greg Ward & Tim Haldeman and bassist Jason Roebke, great improvised music from 4 of Chicago's most influential players.

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product information:

UPC: 650594106826

Label: 482 Music
Catalog ID: 1068
Squidco Product Code: 12353

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded at Strobe Recording, Chicago, IL, February 21-March 2, 2009 by James Wanger. Track 10 recorded at Shape Shop Studio by Griffin Rodriguez with Nick Broste.


Tim Haldeman-tenor saxophone

Mike Reed-drums

Jason Roebke-bass

Greg Ward-alto saxophone


Jeb Bishop-trombone

David Boykin-tenor saxophone

Jeff Parker-guitar

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track listing:

1. It's Enough 5:03

2. V.S. # 1 7:45

3. About Us 6:41

4. Big And Fine 10:59

5. The Next Time You Are Near 5:42

6. Big Stubby 7:13

7. Flat Companion 4:52

8. First Reading: Paul's Letter To The Ephesians 4:21

9. Under The Influence Of Lunar Objects 5:05

10. Days Fly By (With Ruby) 6:21
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Jeb Bishop
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The original focus of our quartet was to investigate and reinvent some of the under-recorded, under-recognized aspects of the vibrant Chicago jazz scene circa 1954-60. On Proliferation, we brought ideas and new approaches to music of another time. This second offering is primarily About Us. (A forthcoming third document will bring us full circle; inviting principal players of that past to share in the ideas of today.)

To borrow from both Muhal Richard Abrams and Sun Ra (two of the most significant musicians in the Chicago legacy), numerology isn't lost in the underlying concept here. On Proliferation we created three pieces dedicated to places and people in Chicago of the 50's. On this record About Us, we've invited three important and influential members of Chicago's improvised music community to join in.

I was fortunate enough to perform with David Boykin in his group The Expanse, as well as an improvising trio with bassist Karl Seigfried (later turned quartet with flutist Nicole Mitchell). David may be the most innovative composer walking the streets of Chicago. His boundless energy and tone speak directly to the great Chicago tenor legacy. I'm forever grateful for my musical growth due to being part of his sonic explorations.

Jeb Bishop has established himself as one of the most respected trombonists in the jazz/improvised world. As one of the most ubiquitous figures on the Chicago scene, his big, punchy tone and instinctive sense of melody sets a high standard for a future generation of improvisers.

Although Jeff Parker is one of the most highly regarded musicians in Chicago, his greatness is more than just his musical prowess (I know that seems impossible). When anyone speaks of Jeff they first refer to his unique sound, which can traverse any terrain and is never mistaken. However, Jeff's true gift is an idea: the idea that you can operate in any genre, place, or setting without being mistaken for anything other than your own "sound."

I hope that this second of three records takes us closer to the idea of our own "sound.""-from the liner notes

Artist Biographies:

"Greg Ward is a saxophonist and composer that was born in Peoria, IL. Currently based in Chicago, Ward has had the opportunity to perform and record with a varied group of artists like Prefuse 73, Lupe Fiasco, Tortoise, William Parker, Andrew D'Angelo, and Mike Reed.

In 2000, Ward began his studies at Northern Illinois University where he worked with Steve Duke, Fareed Haque, Ron Carter, and Joey Sellers. Already interested in composition, having the opportunity to compose for NIU's jazz combos deepened his understanding of the inner-workings of music. Also, working with composer and arranger, Joey Sellers, equipped Ward with some important tools to further explore this new love.

Around his sophomore year in college, Ward started spending many nights performing in the jazz clubs of Chicago. Soon, he would meet another one of his mentors, saxophonist, Fred Anderson, who would later select him to host a jam session at the Velvet Lounge for four years. During this time period, Ward experienced much growth as a performer and composer and developed a vibrant community of performers, artists, dancers, and listeners.

After graduating from NIU in 2004 with a degree in Jazz Studies/Saxophone Performance, Ward moved to Chicago and took advantage of every opportunity that was offered to him. Composing two pieces for the International Contemporary Ensemble, performing a quartet composition for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Chamber Music Series, composing Wings for the Peoria Ballet Company, and being commissioned by the Jazz Institute of Chicago for a new composition, which was performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2009, are just a few of the many experiences that shaped Ward during his years in Chicago.

In 2009, Ward decided to move to New York City. Almost immediately after he arrived in NYC, he began working with JazzReach, an NYC-based jazz education organization that shares multi-media programs throughout the US. In 2010, he would produce his first CD as a leader with his Chicago-based band, Fitted Shards. South Side Story received much critical acclaim, including "Recording of the Year" by the Chicago Tribune. Next, in 2011, Ward formed Phonic Juggernaut, which features Damion Reid on drums and Joe Sanders on bass. Together, they recorded and released a CD on Thirsty Ear Recordings that same year. Also, in 2011, Ward composed and performed a commission from the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra for a concerto for jazz quartet and string orchestra. In 2012, Ward was selected as one of the two New Music USA Van Lier Fellows. In 2014, he received a commission/residency from the Jazz Gallery and premiered Capturing Sunlight, which was an hour-long work for septet and included a short documentary by Diana Quinones Rivera. The Capturing Sunlight project was inspired by the life and work of Preston Jackson.

Recently, Ward has collaborated with another composer, sound designer, and performer, Caleb Willitz. First, they composed the film score for Beresford Bennett's film, Pinch, which was an official selection of the 2015 San Diego Black Film Festival. Second, Ward and Willitz will be releasing an electro-acoustic project, Gaps and Spaces: Synoptic Optiks."

-Greg Ward Website (

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"Jeb Bishop was born in Raleigh, North Carolina during the Cuban missile crisis. He began playing the trombone at the age of 10, under the tutelage of Cora Grasser. Other influential teachers during junior high and high school included Jeanne Nelson, Eric Carlson, Richard Fecteau, Greg Cox, and James Cozart.

He majored in classical trombone performance at Northwestern University from 1980-82, studying with Frank Crisafulli. Deciding he did not want to pursue a career as an orchestral musician, he returned to Raleigh in 1982 and took up engineering studies at NC State University. Raleigh's developing underground rock scene attracted him, and from 1982-84 he played bass guitar in rock bands in the Raleigh area.

At the same time, he developed an interest in philosophy, eventually majoring in the subject, and spent 1984-85 studying philosophy at the Higher Institute of Philosophy of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.

Returing to Raleigh in 1985, he spent the next few years working at menial jobs and playing guitar, bass, cheap keyboards, drums, etc., in rock bands including and/or, the Angels of Epistemology, Egg, and Metal Pitcher.

In 1989 he left Raleigh to pursue graduate studies in philosophy, first at the University of Arizona, then at Loyola University of Chicago (where he was awarded the Crown Fellowship in the Humanities). During 1991-92 he returned to Europe, spending the summer of 1991 studying German at the Goethe-Institut Iserlohn (now closed), and then pursuing independent studies in philosophy at the French-language division of the University of Louvain.

Returning to Chicago in 1992, he completed his M.A. at Loyola in 1993. By this time he had already begun to make connections with improvising musicians in Chicago, having joined the Flying Luttenbachers as bassist (later adding trombone) in late 1992, and playing guitar occasionally in a quartet with Weasel Walter, Ken Vandermark, and Kevin Drumm. Other bands during this period included the Unheard Music Quartet (with Vandermark, Mike Hagedorn on trombone, and Otto Huber on drums) and the Rev Trio (with Walter and saxophonist Joe Vajarsky). Bishop played electric bass in both these bands.

In late 1995, Bishop joined the Vandermark 5 as one of its founding members, and remained with the band through the end of 2004. During this period he also became associated with many other groups, including the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, School Days, Ken Vandermark's Territory Band, and his own Jeb Bishop Trio, and became a very frequent participant in ad hoc and free-improvised concerts in Chicago. Bishop performed in the inaugural concerts of two of the longest-running free-music concert series in Chicago: the Myopic Books weekly concerts (originally at Czar Bar; with Rev Trio) and the Empty Bottle Wednesday night concert series (with a quartet of Terri Kapsalis, Kevin Drumm, and Jim O'Rourke). He curated the monthly Chicago Improvisers Group concerts at the Green Mill from 1999-2002, and co-curated the weekly Eight Million Heroes concert series at Sylvie's in 2005-6.

Bishop has made dozens of recordings with many different groups, has toured North America and Europe many times, and maintains a busy performing schedule."

-Jeb Bishop Website (

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"David Boykin began studying music on the clarinet at the age of 21 in 1991 and first performed professionally in 1997. He has released 16 recordings as a leader; appeared as a featured guest on other prominent musician's recordings, such as Nicole Mitchell, Chad Taylor, Josh Abrams, and Mike Reed; performed at major international jazz festivals and smaller jazz venues locally and globally; and founded Sonic Healing Ministries, which is an organization dedicated to the spiritual evolution of humanity through music."

Awards and Grants: Individual Artist Program, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, City of Chicago, 2015; Midwest Nexus Touring Exchange, Links Hall, Chicago 2015; Artist in Residence University of Chicago Department of Arts and Public Life 2013/2014; Galaxy Award, Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, 2011; Illinois Arts Council Fellowship For Music Composition, 2005; CAAP Grant, Chicago Department Of Cultural Affairs, 2005; Arts International Fund For US Artists Performing Abroad, 2002;CAAP Grant, Chicago Department Of Cultural Affairs, 2000"

-David Boykin Website (

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"Jeff Parker (born April 4, 1967) is an American jazz and rock guitarist based in Los Angeles. Parker is best known as an experimental musician, working with avant-garde electronic, rock, and improvisational groups.

Parker currently plays guitar in the post-rock group Tortoise and also was a founding member of the ensembles Isotope 217 and the Chicago Underground Trio in the 1990s and early 2000s. He is also a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, as well as working with musicians George Lewis, Ernest Dawkins, Brian Blade, Joshua Redman, Fred Anderson (musician) and Jason Moran. He has released three solo albums: Like-Coping, The Relatives and Bright Light in Winter."

-Wikipedia (

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