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Mike Reed

"Reed can keep time, break down grooves, drive the bus, or paint pictures - sometimes
in the same piece - but his decisions are driven by what's best for the ensemble."
- Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

Jazz Artist, Rising Star - 2009 Downbeat Critics Poll

Mike Reed is a musician, composer and presenter based in Chicago.

As a drummer, Reed has been part of the vibrant Chicago jazz and improvised music community since 1997. He has performed regularly with local luminaries such as Fred Anderson, David Boykin, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, Josh Abrams, Jim Baker, and Rob Mazurek, as well as Chicago Jazz legends Ira Sullivan, Julian Priester and Art Hoyle. As a performer he tours extensively in Europe and South America. While performing in a variety of projects locally, nationally and internationally, Reed also leads two widely acclaimed groups, Loose Assembly and People, Places & Things. Reed was named Chicagoan of the Year for Jazz (2008) by the Chicago Tribune and in the 57th annual Downbeat critics poll was distinguished as "Rising Jazz Star". (People, Places & Things also named as "Rising Jazz Group".)

Over the course of a decade Reed has also established himself as a leading producer of musical performances and advocate for the performing arts. He is one of the main organizers for Umbrella Music, a five member team presenting weekly Jazz and Improvised music at various Chicago venues (approximating 280 sets of music per year as well as an accompanying festival). As a fresh addition to the historical collective known as the AACM, Reed was named Vice Chairman in the spring of 2009. In other areas Reed works with the City of Chicago as a member of the Chicago Jazz Festival planning committee, programing partner for the Downtown Sound series at Millennium Park. Most notably Reed is the Director of the internationally renown Pitchfork Music Festival, drawing over 50,000 attendees to Chicago over 3 days and featuring today's most cutting edge rock and pop artists.

Flesh & Bone
Flesh & Bone (2017)
Our first mistake was to trust a stranger...
"...shines its light through a fog of bewilderment and outrage - moving from Mingus-esque miniature arrangements to open-air improvisations to the occasional splash of spoken-word poetry." - The NY Times
Artifacts (2015)
Songs of the AACM for the 50th year
"A second-generation AACM dream team......packed with classic and little-heard gems from the AACM library." - The Free Jazz Collective
People Places and Things: A New Kind of Dance
People Places and Things: A New Kind of Dance (2015)
"...the earthy, driving intelligence... points back to Chicago jazz culture, which sees no contradiction in heady abstraction with a bodily groove." - NY Times
"You can always count on Mike Reed to jar your neural network on a per-album basis." - AAJ
In Pursuit of Magic
In Pursuit of Magic (2014)
Mike Reed and Roscoe Mitchell reunite for two masterful extended improv pieces, recorded live at Constellation Chicago.
" extraordinary duo... I do believe in magic and this is it" - DMG
"A definitive recommendation." -Jazz Alchemist
People Places and Things: Second Cities Volume 1
People Places and Things: Second Cities Volume 1 (2013)
PP&T is joined by some of the masters of the Dutch improvised music scene.
"...the group’s most diverse record to date." - Chicago Reader
""They have never sounded more ebullient... like a couple of Labradors charging around a muddy field..." - The Wire
People Places and Things: Clean on the Corner
People Places and Things: Clean on the Corner (2012)
The fourth release by Reed's acclaimed quartet.
"This Corner is at an intersection of Eric Dolphy, Mingus, Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Johnny Griffin - location, location, location!" - Icon
It Only Happens at Night
It Only Happens at Night (2011)
Trio improvisations and Sharon Van Etten
"...jagged, beautifully lyrical, and rich in texture.." - Chicago Reader
Loose Assembly: Empathetic Parts
Loose Assembly: Empathetic Parts (2010)
..with Roscoe Mitchell.
"A cross-generational summit meeting between one of the organization's key founders and its newest heir..." - AAJ
People Places and Things: Stories and Negotiations
People Places and Things: Stories and Negotiations (2010)
Live with Art Hoyle, Julian Priester and Ira Sullivan.
"Editors' Picks, March 1, 2010" - Downbeat
"Top 10 Jazz Albums, 2010" - NPR
"...this stuff is a blast." - Dusted
People Places and Things: About Us
People Places and Things: About Us (2009)
The second in a trilogy of explorations of Chicago jazz past and present.
" favorite group in town..." - Chicago Reader
" deliciously tuneful as free jazz gets..." - JazzTimes
Loose Assembly: Speed of Change
Loose Assembly: Speed of Change (2008)
The much-anticipated follow-up to Last Year's Ghost.
"A compelling album filled with myriad moods..." - All About Jazz
People Places and Things: Proliferation
People Places and Things: Proliferation (2008)
An exhilarating evocation of late-50s post-bop Chicago.
"I don't know if I've enjoyed a jazz album more this year." - Chicago Reader
Loose Assembly: Last Year's Ghost
Loose Assembly: Last Year's Ghost (2007)
with Greg Ward, Jason Adasiewicz, Tomeka Reid and Josh Abrams.
"A brilliant debut..." - All About Jazz
"...a well-designed collection of hook-filled tunes and atmospheric interludes..." - Point of Departure
In The Context Of
In The Context Of (2006)
Duets with Jeff Parker, Nicole Mitchell and Jim Baker.
"...a stunning and imaginative player" - All About Jazz
New Jazz and Improvisation
New Jazz and Improvisation (2003)
"...a refreshing and essential listen for anyone interested in a sound that could only come from one city." - All About Jazz
The Picture Show
The Picture Show (2002)
"Brilliant" (AMG)... a thoroughly unique blend of jazz ideology, indie rock attitude and roots music flavor

More Information

Chicago Reader profile

Mike Reed website

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