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Reed, Mike People, Places & Things, : Clean on the Corner (482 Music)

Chicago drummer Mike Reed's 4th album with his quartet of saxophonists Tim Haldeman and Greg Ward and bassist Jason Roebke, here with guests Craig Taborn on piano and Josh Berman on cornet, irrepressible modern jazz.

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product information:

UPC: 650594108127

Label: 482 Music
Catalog ID: 482-1081
Squidco Product Code: 16391

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2012
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded by Todd Carter at Electrical Audio in October 2010. Recorded by Nick Broste at Strobe Recording in September 2010.


Mike Reed-drums, percussion

Greg Ward-alto saxophone

Jason Roebke-bass

Craig Taborn-piano

Josh Berman-cornet

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track listing:

1. The Lady Has a Bomb 6:27

2. Old 5:39

3. December? 3:40

4. Where the Story Ends 6:27

5. Sharon 7:44

6. House of Three Smiles 6:44

7. The Ephemeral Words of Ruth 6:42

8. Warming Down 2:05
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
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Quintet Recordings
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Having completed their acclaimed trilogy exploring undersung repertoire from Chicago's jazz, blues and improvised music scene between 1954 and 1960, drummer/composer Mike Reed's People, Places & Things quartet embarks on a new chapter with their fourth release, Clean on the Corner.

While the new album breaks with the overarching concept of its predecessors, the rewards of Reed's extensive delving into Windy City obscurities is evident throughout Clean on the Corner. Like the composers who he initially set out to honor, Reed's own compositions embrace broad swaths of jazz history with equal vigor, arriving at the avant-garde via the traditional, or taking arcane byways to gain unique perspectives on familiar destinations. PP&T also continue to dust off deserving material from their Chicago forefathers, here spinning corkscrew filigrees on Roscoe Mitchell's "Old" and a bracing run through "Sharon," written by little-known alto player John Jenkins.

With the band's initial three-album mission completed in a dizzying two years, complemented by a hectic touring schedule, Reed envisioned their next album benefiting from a much more leisurely pace. "I originally had taken to the idea of recording the fourth PP&T installment over the course of a year," Reed writes in the album's liner notes. "We would record in various locations with guests as it presented itself. I'd also come up with music not to complete an album project but just for the sake of writing or discovering a new tune! After a while we would have that brand new record and a new process of working on a project."

Time, however, is a commodity that few musicians can spare, much less one as in-demand as Reed. Beside PP&T, he remains an integral part of the Chicago music scene as both performer, in a staggering variety of contexts, and as presenter, working on the Umbrella and Pitchfork music festivals and co-programming (with cornetist Josh Berman) the Sunday Transmission Series at the Hungry Brain for the past eleven years.

But Reed insists that his busy schedule was not the prime factor in Clean on the Corner being recorded at a much more breakneck pace than originally planned, crafted in ten hours over three studio sessions. "The forces behind my sudden change in direction are varied," he writes, "but none are musical. Some people react to life by acting out or thrill seeking - I make things."

What he made turned out to be eight vital new tunes, six originals and the two aforementioned rediscoveries, with the stellar PP&T quartet - Reed, saxophonists Greg Ward and Tim Haldeman, and bassist Jason Roebke, along with special guests Berman and pianist Craig Taborn on two tracks apiece.

"I'm never disappointed with his boundless yet humanistic abilities," Reed says of Taborn, whose collaborators include Tim Berne, Chris Potter, and James Carter. "He's one of those great examples of a person who can fit anywhere." The pianist finds his place with PP&T's history-spanning approach immediately, adding dense clusters to the hard-charging "Sharon" and spinning a mesmerizing web through "The Ephemeral Words of Ruth."

Berman, meanwhile, adds an intimate, street-corner charm to "House of Three Smiles," a piece based on vibraphonist (and frequent Reed collaborator) Jason Adasiewicz's solo on his tune "I Hope She Is Awake," the original version of which also featured Berman and Roebke. The cornetist returns to draw the album to a close with the brief "Warming Down," which replicates the final moments of the pair's Sunday night performances at the Hungry Brain.

The remainder of the stylistically diverse album includes the swaggering swing of opener "The Lady Has a Bomb," the bleak, frosty "December?" whose question mark calls the "holly jolly" aspects of the season into doubt; and "Where the Story Ends," which brackets the quartet's free-form dialogue between lovely, hushed elegance.

No longer an archaeological dig into Chicago's musical treasures, People, Places & Things continue nonetheless to find inspiration in the city's rich jazz heritage. On Clean on the Corner, Reed shows that his band is more than ready to not just spotlight that legacy, but to create its own."-482 Music

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 (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Craig Marvin Taborn (/ˈteɪˌbɔːrn/; born February 20, 1970) is an American pianist, organist, keyboardist and composer. He works solo and in bands, mostly playing various forms of jazz. He started playing piano and Moog synthesizer as an adolescent and was influenced at an early stage by a wide range of music, including by the freedom expressed in recordings of free jazz and contemporary classical music.

While at university, Taborn toured and recorded with jazz saxophonist James Carter. Taborn went on to play with numerous other musicians in electronic and acoustic settings, while also building a reputation as a solo pianist. He has a range of styles, and often adapts his playing to the nature of the instrument and the sounds that he can make it produce. His improvising, particularly for solo piano, often adopts a modular approach, in which he begins with small units of melody and rhythm and then develops them into larger forms and structures.

In 2011, Down Beat magazine chose Taborn as winner of the electric keyboard category, as well as rising star in both the piano and organ categories. By May 2016, Taborn had released six albums under his own name and appeared on more than eighty as a sideman."

-Wikipedia (

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"For more than fifteen years, cornetist, improviser, composer, and music presenter Josh Berman has been an essential contributor to Chicago's active improvised music scene. His work encompasses both developing opportunities for presenting improvised music, and performing in a variety of highly collaborative formats. He's a co-founder of critically acclaimed Umbrella Music, and curator of the Sunday night music series at the Hungry Brain. He's performed as bandleader of his own groups, Josh Berman Trio, Josh Berman's Old Idea, and Josh Berman and His Gang, and as co-leader of Chicago Luzern Exchange.

In addition to his work as bandleader, Berman has performed and recorded with some of the most internationally respected musicians and composers in jazz and improvised music: Bill Dixon, Ab Baars, Keefe Jackson, Joe McPhee, Jason Adasiewicz, Mike Reed, Michael Moore, Ken Vandermark, Frank Rosaly, Rob Mazurek, Jason Stein, Jeb Bishop, Dave Rempis, Michael Zerang, Fred Lonberg-Holm, and Paul Lytton. He is also a frequent collaborator with dance artists; his collaboration with dancer Ayako Kato and musician Jason Roebke was awarded a CROSSCUT grant for New Collaborations in Sound/Movement from Experimental Sound Studio and Links Hall. Berman was named in the DownBeat critics' poll among Rising Stars, Trumpet. He has toured the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan.

In 2009, Berman and his group Old Idea released their first full length CD/LP, Old Idea, on Delmark. Josh Berman and His Gang's There Now, also on Delmark Records, came out in 2012. And 2015 saw the release of Josh Berman Trio's A Dance and A Hop on Delmark. The albums have garnered critical acclaim in publications including The New York Times, DownBeat, Jazz Times, the Chicago Reader, and the Chicago Tribune."

-Josh Berman Website (

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