The Jazzcat

Eric Reed at the Jazz Bakery to close out 2007

by on Jan.14, 2008, under News


 Slide Show

As 2007 came to a close I went to capture one more piece of

creativity before I laid it to rest. Eric Reed was in town and I don’t recall

seeing him play for many years to I wanted to see “What’s New” as they

say.  Every year represents so many

different things for all of us and for me, 2008 has much creativity in store.


As I walked in, Eric was working his usual charm on the

crowd. Hometown boy makes good music is the vibe and his performances are

always celebrated by those in anticipation of the beautifully God given talent

that he delivers. The first tune that I heard was a Stevie Wonder composition

that you all know so well called “Overjoyed”. The title of this tune seems to

be the plane that Eric lives and plays on every time. The bright brilliant

bounce that dances around as his fingers swing, stride and emphatically exude

Eric’s good nature through his music. Solo piano with some simple soothing

melodies and layered chords puts that peace all up in the music.


Music is a healer and Eric knows the power that musical

blessings can bestow upon those who open their hearts along with their ears and

partake in the richness of the spirit! Like many extraordinary players, Eric

was raised in the church and has always been in touch with divinity. When you

listen to the music, you are going to get the message either directly or

through musical osmosis and it is all based in love.


“I see dead people” is a popular phrase that people seem to

remember from the movies but will you remember “ICHN (I See Herbie Nichols).

“ICHN”, a tune written by Eric to honor the late great pianist and composer who

like many were over looked because his music at the time was to logically

complex for the simple minded music marketers of the day. But, just as the

youth of today must do, Eric reaches back to the past to put a shine on the



Eric’s stories are humorous and his analogies of life play

in the music as the history that lives between each note. He says that he did

not always like to play ballads but I find this hard to believe because he

brings such tenderness to each piece as he romanticizes “Dedicated to You”.


Eric approaches the piano with such ease it is like

breathing, no effort to produce such life. At times, the music is slightly stridish

with happy, big sounding climatic drama summing up the same in audience

response. Everyone owes the development of their musical being to someone and

tonight, a person that has been a mentor, advisor and inspiration for Eric’s

journey is with us, Mr. Gerald Wiggins!


Eric introduces the other cats in his trio Dan Lutz

and Kevin Cantor and as he starts to continue on someone way back in the rear

of the audience yells out his introduction, “ERIC REED”!


Eric said, “What I used to do all night now takes me all

night to do” but, don’t let that old man talk fool you. Eric is as young and

vivacious as ever and can deliver technical speed, strength, charm, personality

and never ending ability like there is no tomorrow because he is in the moment

and the moment is now!


LeRoy Downs

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