General Info About the Man like Mr. Reed

Welcome to the Mike Reed UK Fan Page.

As lovers of arts we want to make some noise about Mike Reed, a fabulous man on the scene as once described by The Times. Not only is he highly skilled, but in his work with and in the genre he is extremely innovative, and very inspiring. You can tell that Mike Reed cares not only for his work, but for the people, and for the community. Taking on new methods and projects as well as keeping the old school alive. He is the driving force behind many big projects and groups to keep informing and educating us on the every so infinite land.

downloadMike Reed grew up in Evanston, and after that he went away to school at the University of Dayton. For him the schooling was a waste of time. When describing his experience when coming to from a little town like Dayton, he says that you never really realise how unprepared you are until you find yourself in that situation. After arriving he worked with a wide range of jobs in order to support himself. Part time office manager, painting houses, building maintenance jobs, working as a janitor, helping people move, even babysitting. Anything you could imagine, this guy has done as a job. With time he also started bar tending, and be able to free up the time he needed to practice, experiment and work on his music.

Richie, a supporter of the site from locksmiths Bristol choir has been playing for over 15 years now and has been a keen lover of constructing his own work. ” Yes, you know, I like all genres of but my real favorites are the real sounds. If I could name one of my best artists or producers I would be here for a long time because I think there are some many to choose from. There are many ways to get good on the bass but the most important thing is lots and lots of practise. I have spent years trying to improve and I have to say that Reed’s influence on the genre is a great help and he has really made a fantastic contribution. If you don’t know his stuff then you should really have a good listen to see what you ca learn and begin to appreciate some great talent”

Mike Reed does describe how he felt that everyone was trying to be what he wants to be, but he also saw the realisation in many others that they can’t really find themselves in it. But this is something that is equally arguable for life itself, almost nobody can really fit into it. What then happens when you find friends, musicians and people, who don’t actually fit into it. They have their own ideas, their own will, and their own way to live.

“Since I was learning to play the drums I have always followed Mike’s work and he has been a wonderful inspiration for every aspect of my work as a semi-professional drummer. ” Richard Everett, Drummer, Liverpool.

Mike Reed; In the spotlight of the Reader

mike reed chicagoreader-logoWe thought it would be a good thing to mention the online locksmith article which the reader made for the People Places & Things and Mike Reed at the end of 2013. The reason we want to bring this up, is simply due to the fact that it is not something that is easily achievable. The reader site has a high number of users and not any event will be written about here.

The event which was the object of their article was on one of Mike Reed’s most commercially successful ventures in the project he did called People, Places & Things.
The article gives information on a specific event in, but the interesting part is that the article includes much interesting information about the project.

In the article we can see that one of Mikes Reed’s comments on this project was calling it a means to engage with what Mike sees as a nearly forgotten episode in the vast history of Jazz. It covers how the project became more successful with time, and over the course of creating and recording several records filled with material by local legends such as John Neely and Sun Ra, as well as many other big, and unusual and uncommon things. Thanks to our January website supporter: Locksmiths Leeds 5 Rossefield Drive Leeds LS133RP Tel: 0113 4401013. This also lead to a big concert at Millennium Park where the group performed, only to carry on to Amsterdam where much recording also took place. This too was not a closed project as such and suggestions, changes and new influences and directions were kept open, and local legends to Amsterdam and the improvisation and contemporary music scene there were involved in this process.

The music and language comparison

music is languageThere are many today which are discussing music and language in the same context, after all it is part of the human condition and music is something which is communal to all people across the globe. Music itself has no one origin, but has though human history just been found where people are. Some say that people and music are inseparable. Something which also makes sense from the Darwinian perspective. Where sounds is a way of very efficient communication. Those who are trying to learn an instrument, or those who are trying to learn a new language often say that they see and feel the similarities in the two fields. Singing and speaking are not all that different, and the meaning it is loaded with is similar. Beautiful music moves us just as emotional speech moves us. Natural to people is the structure of language, just as the structure of music. We can simply tell when something sounds bad, or wrong or out of tune. What makes sense is the narrative, the context of what is surrounded.

Not so much what you said, even if that also carries meaning, but more about how you say it. The team here are of course crazy about music and jazz, and if you compare it with other genres, you will see why many of the team describe it as a chatty something. Much like the voice in many ways, you may even have seen jazz performances where a lot of voice is also used in the performances. We hope you found this interesting and if you have any questions or suggestions for the team here, feel free to get in touch at any time.

Learn by listening

The best method of learningOne of the most underrated things to practice when embarking on a journey to to master a specific element involved with music, it can be playing an instrument, it can be learning how to compose a masterpiece, or it can just be to accompany dancers or singers or other musicians who know what they are doing. Or at least believe themselves to. If you are a student of any area of music, one of the most vital points, seen as from the point of view that the crew here has. Then likelihood is that you are forgetting to, as we do ourselves, and often. Listening, that’s of course the things on subject here, if you are struggling with moving forward, progressing to the heights of your own capabilities, then listening is the way, the human mind is still a mystery and a miracle, and when engaged with music even more so. Recent studies have shown, in brain scans how the electric activity in the mind spurs and goes haywire when we are engaged with musical activity, even listening. Listening will lead you to insights you could never imagine, suppose they are called realisations, and they can be also revelations.

It can start the revolution of your endeavour and with it it will change how you engage yourself. Learning to play music or to write it, is something which will only add to the pleasure of listening to music, and listening is something that should never be forgotten in the daily practice of any heavily immersed type. Your ears are amazing machines, and your mind can discern as keenly as your eyes, all it needs is practice, attentive practice. Although the mass, how much you do it is important, if you do it without listening we would be tempted to call it useless and a waste of time.

The united sound

making sounds, with body, with mindAs you may well know the sense of sound is transmitted from our finely tuned eardrum to our mind, much like our vision is projected upside down into our heads sparking the neural connections needed for interpretation. We are not asking what the structure of sound is physically, as we know it comes in waves of different frequency, however the structure of music, now that is a much different topic.

You are perhaps aware just how sensitive our ears are, and the ability for the human ear to pick up a large range of sound, simultaneously is immense, as is the capability of the mind to build an overall image. When listening to a symphony orchestra there may be as many as 30 musicians playing at the same time, and in this we no longer hear the individual instruments, other than in solo passages, but an overall mood or feeling of the sound. A sort of colour, a united image, one which has the power to move us.

Specific music types and specific notes, or melodies have similar effect for people of the same culture, and minor key signatures of example are generally interpreted as more sad and melancholy. But of course there are always exceptions, but when speaking in general, this unison of an impression that a multitude of sound leave us with, is what makes us love music the way we do.

Music on the streets

the great music of the streetsThere are many people with different opinions on what is generally known as busking. It refers to a musician or a group of musicians playing music on the street with a collection of donations for any by passing audience who enjoys the tunes.
Some see this as begging, others see this as free entertainment. Here we see it as just another thing people do, and whether you have a great appreciation for the music, might depend much on the specific musician you hear. The reason we want to speak about this is simply because the team here feels that the industry of music is changing, and with it so must also the musician. Part of it is to grow presence online and part of it is local promotion that can happen on the streets of the location of the musician, and as you might now, today large companies are monopolising on any individual’s success if the individual is not careful.

It’s important to forget the situation, and just listen for a while, being free of judgement when listening to music is an ideal, and perhaps easier to do when there is no strong lyrical message in it. If you would like to know more about the team’s take on the music industry and on the music that we find on the streets today please get in touch via the page of contact. And if there is something that you would like to add, we would be more than happy to hear from you.

Ear training and the incredibly detailed machinery that is our hearing

music and ear trainingMusic is one of the mysteries in human culture and human history, as far back as we can find traces of our own existence we find traces of music as part of our daily lives. Instruments and sound makers have always been part of human culture, no matter where around the globe you put your magnifying glass. It’s not hard to understand then just how great the mechanism of our hearing is. Fine in detail, so much so that some are even born with what is known as perfect pitch. In this case the individual hear each pitch in a comparable way to the way that you and I see colours. No two distinct sound are the same, that doesn’t mean that being able to name them and recognise them from memory comes without training and practice. In either case, although what is known as perfect pitch is handy, it’s still seen as only an extra, and sometimes even a hindrance in the life of a musician.

Relative pitch is more important in modern music, and terms like psycho acoustic have become more generally used in the daily vocabulary of those who produce music today. Ear training is something, if you wish to do, you can engage with in many ways, scales on an instrument, or using your voice is one great idea to do it, and if you are looking at intervals, the first step to take is the octave. Which is the most easy to recognise. Ear training can be a frustrating ordeal, but it’s also something that you will find the benefit of should you choose to invest time and energy in such a thing. Just remember along the way, that it does work, all you need to do is keep doing it, keep practising with your fullest and best attention, and let time show your effort in the rewards of the task you are doing. Keep strong, keep on it, keep with the oldest of human mysteries, and get in touch with the team here if there are any questions in your mind with regards to the content you find here.

Rhythms cyclical nature

circles and rhythmsWhen you think about a rhythm, a beat, what do you think it actually is. Sure there is something which indicates it, usually a sound. But what are the properties of it. Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s all cyclical, it’s a repetition. Something which occurs over and over and over again. And by thinking about rhythms as a circle, say a clock for instance if your imagination is struggling.

It may be easier to understand how it works. If you think about the twelve being the beginning, and each quarter of the clock being a subsequent beat you have the regular 4/4 rhythm, which you hear in the western music of today. If you are not well wandered in the world of music, that may be the majority of what you have encountered, but of course there are many other rhythms, and you can divide your clock into whatever type of parts or units of time you would like to, as long as the circle remains complete and it’s a repetitive loop, there you have a rhythm. The team here hopes that this type of thought will help you in your own musical understanding and if you would like to know more you can always get in touch at any time.

On the contact page you can find how to do that, and if you do make contact, we endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible. We are always happy when people show an interest in music, and hope that you are one of the many who are interested. It functions both as something fun for the individual, as well as something from the community and some even believe that music can be used to heal the world, if you are in agreement to that it is broken at the present.

The great experience of learning an instrument

The great experience of learning an instrumentAs part of the bucket list for many is the mastering of an instrument, now although mastery might be a common word used, true master takes full dedication and a lifetime of practice, not to forget to mention the incredible amount of luck needed to be born into a rich and culturally developed family which emphasise the importance of culture and music in their child’s upbringing. Even if master is not something that will be reached by the very vast majority, becoming skilled enough to play a few tunes and sound ok to most people is highly possible with hard work. And that is the main point of learning an instrument. It teaches you what is required for the human mind to learn, it shows you the mechanics of your own cognition, and it teaches you that patience is a must, and work is a hundred times more difficult than you would have ever imagined and often without any reward.

So resilience is another thing which learning an instrument teaches you, if you quit, then you failed, if you carry on then you are still trying, and to carry on, even when life is hard, is extremely hard, and although you might not get anything for your fighting and suffering in the end other than the experience of doing it, you will have to live in the hope that it will one day be worth it. Learning an instrument is incredibly valuable to any individual, it shows you how hard life is, how small the rewards are, and how capable you are of doing, and practising, regardless of how you feel. It teaches you how to get things done, even when there is no reason for it at all, and it teaches you that you will never reach the ideal, but you have no choice but to try. A true life lesson, if you survive it.

Drums as a basis for all musical instruments

a great intrument practice backgroundNo matter what instrument or music you are interested in creating or playing, there is always a great base in drums, as a large part of what is natural to people is rhythm, and all music contain this to some extent, even in classical music where the pace of the music can swell and diminish, there is a need to keep the rhythm. So if you are unsure of what to pick when choosing what instrument you want to play, why not follow our favourite musicians path and go for the wide range and huge utility of learning drums. Not only does it challenge you monotonically and teach you the most fundamental part of music today, it’s also fun like you’ve never had before. The team here are of course enthusiastic about the music of Reed our hero, but drums play a large role in most any kind of music which exists in the popular mainstream today. Like any instrument it will of course be challenging at first, but if you keep strong and stick with it there is no doubt that you will find what you seek from it. And as mentioned, that applies also if you are moving on to something different afterwards. If the expense of a drum kit is what is stopping you from starting with the drums, the team here would like to suggest the second hand market, there are many decent kits to be had at a fraction of the new price, meaning that you can get started without too much trouble. Of course the other obstacle is the noise that a drum kit makes, and if you are in a situation where noise is a problem, that is an issue you will have to resolve. But it will happen automatically once you start, as the resolution to this issue comes as the love for drumming and music grows.

Melody instruments and rhythm

melody line
Instruments which sing the melody line of any given piece of music or improvisation are much governed by the same set of framework as any instrument that keeps the rhythm, however, that doesn’t mean that there is no reason for the melody instrument player not to practice this vital part of music. Although when playing with people there are often other instrumentalists who will keep the groove, making it easier, but if you are new to the field of playing with people please bare in mind that it’s something, if you are not used to it, which will take up the majority of your attention. If you are playing a melodic instrument, things to watch out for is the tendency to speed up with excitement, although it happens often, the skill lies in catching it as soon as possible and making a correction before the audience even notice it and interpret it as an expressive way of play rather than a mistake.

A great tip, which each serious instrumentalist must abide by is to ensure that there is a large enough chunk of metronome practice. Though using something to help you set the rhythm in your body you will become more automatic in the tempo, and that is without thought, the only thing that you have to do is practice it. Practice what the motion that you are doing to play your instrument, the full motion, first slowly then faster, but never faster than you can manage to play with a good sound. Instrumental practice can be very difficult, especially with melody instruments and especially with fret-less instruments where intonation is a whole different ballgame. If you are playing or learning an instrument now, the team wishes you the best of luck and encourage you to keep with it and never give up.

All music is singing

all music is singingToday we would like to give you who have taken on the learning an instrument some very valuable advice. We are sure you are currently overwhelmed by all the parts of your body involved and all the senses which require your attention to make things sound as they should. Firstly congratulation on making the decision in the first place, and if you are sticking with it, you like the many who have gone before you will have learned the importance of practice when it comes to music. Practice the motor skill, the ear and perhaps the mind if you are learning to read music or delving into the realm of music theory. The tip of today is: All music is singing.

This is working with our imagination, and if you can imagine it, when you reach a stage of mastering your instrument, you will be able to create and put into the world what you are able to imagine. So practice singing, even the instrument of our favourite jazz hero is one which benefits greatly from the practice of singing what you are trying to play in your head. There are plenty of good ways in which you can do this, sing along to your favourite tunes, and you don’t have to sing the melody or rhythm of the instrument you are practising always either, going outside of your comfort zone helps plenty as well, or improvising some little melody on top of what you are hearing. You may have heard the saying ‘do you know the road to the concert hall? Yes, practice, practice, practice’.

A statement which reveals itself true in a number of ways, and if you keep your practice in mind, not always in body, you will no doubt improve at a greater rate. Stay tuned for more great tips and information from the team here, and if you have questions ping us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can manage.

What does learning a musical instrument and relationships have in common?

learning to play a musical instrumentA silly question you might add. However, if you think about it, it’s not a silly question at all. Falling in love with an instrument is much like falling in love with a person, and remaining in love, or letting that love mature, is much like the love of a person. The reason why many relationships break after a year or two is much the same as someone would quit playing an instrument after initially taking it up. There are special difficulties which only grow with time, and allowing the relationship to change is a must. And as anyone who ever learned, and are still learning to play an instrument will tell you, same as anyone who has been in a long term relationship will tell you. It’s not only good times and fun, there are struggles to overcome, not only of the dramatic and passionate kind. But times of boredom, times of seeing nothing but the pointlessness of it, and times of not having any fun at all are inevitable, and the perseverance is needed in both cases.

As anyone who has done either will tell you though, it’s always worth it, there are few lasting relationships where there is regret at the end, the sticking to it usually always pays off, there is an inevitable maturity which comes from it, both with music and with people. Of course falling in love with a person and an instrument are two completely different things, and the analogy shan’t be taken too far, however, it can be good to remember this in times of trouble, and although it may be hard, trust in the fact that there are few who regret what they have invested, after all it’s love of one kind or another.

Jazz explained in simple terms

loving jazzThere are many who take a specific view on jazz making it less accessible to the general public by covering it in jargon and fancy terms, however this is not something that the team here agrees with. After all music is for everyone, and not for an elite population who had the right background, education and conditions to be included. This is why we would like to speak a little about this specific genre today.

In more traditional ways of playing jazz there is a core structure which is followed, in which a specific and iconic jazz groove is kept, on top of it the different instruments will improvise at their dedicated time. There is an order to how it’s played and each patiently await their turn in the spotlight. Trying to classify jazz in a more general way, with all its sub genres today is a near impossible task, and it would be like trying to classify a broad general term, like music as a whole or for example science as a whole. There is no one way in which you can cover the full spectrum, and people have a taste within jazz just as they tend to gravitate towards a specific preference in music.

What we are sad to see is that many are stopped from exploring jazz due to the general perception of what it is, after all, it’s just music like any, and the human mind is hardwired to discern it. What the team here would recommend for anyone who has had the experience of averting from jazz exploration, is to treat it simply as you treat any music. This advice adheres to anyone who likes music, and by allowing yourself to have a quick peak at a few different things may significantly open your eyes, or your ears as it may be to a something new and wonderful.

The current opportunities to share greatness

a tribute to those who share their great giftAlthough the team here agrees that there is nothing like a life performance, you have to be present to be able to feel the moment though your senses, it doesn’t deny the fact that the wonderful world of sharing things online has hit this generation. If you have ever been to a great gig with your favourite band or artist you know just how important the setting is, and the factor of live performance is. With this in mind it’s also important to remember just how great all humans are at imagining things. So if you see a similar gig on a video online you will be able to project yourself into the situation, if you give the moment that type of attention and not only will you be able to form a good idea of what that experience was like or what you would think of it.

Of course such a video may also spawn memories, and motivation for you to seek a similar experience again. These are all wonderful tools to be used in the work of making music available and accessible to all. As all things of course this instance comes with both good and bad, and with the mass flood of media online it can be difficult to weed out your favourites in a world where everyone has the potential to be the creator, the performer and the artist.

One approach to take is to ensure that you enter good online communities which share content of attractive nature to you. And if you have any suggestions of great videos which you think should be added to our library of favourites here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your ideas!

Engaging the youth with Jazz

engaging young jazz musiciansSomething that we would hope all jazz fanatics are burning to do, as is clear our favourite Mr Reed is also heavily involved with, is ensuring that the new generations to come have the opportunity for jazz music to be a part of their life. For us here part of the work is done by bringing some, what we see as great points of the style into focus, and in this light of course we would also like to bring forth the great talents and efforts of our the genius drummer that this website is dedicated to. Mike Reed, having once been a struggling artist and musician himself is clearly understanding of the difficulties one faces if one is to pursue such a career. With great involvement and continuous work he is also highly adept in ensuring the target audience includes those of younger years.

In a world which is currently exploding in music and creativity, it’s important that also the styles which have historical value as well as a timeless way of communicating with the soul, are brought into the path of those searching the music world today. Being able to reach younger audiences and ensure that although there is entertainment, there is also something else, which is mysteriously engaging for anyone who listens present. This is something that we would say Mike Reed does in fabulous ways. Always with what is trending, and always keeping a red line of the essential artistic quality of jazz. There are few who can manage such a feat in the events they are involved with an organise. So a great thank you to Mike Reed for his hard and continuous work, constantly evolving and with the times, as well as to you for taking the time to come here and read this article.

The amazing feats of drumming

drum kit black and whiteIt doesn’t take a genius to figure out just how difficult it is to co-ordinate the body to keep different rhythms in all the limbs at the same time, not even to mention keeping the tempo. The life of a drummer is no doubt a difficult one filled with practice, listening and exploration. At the same time, drumming is something natural to us as humans, keeping a basic beat is something that most can do without any further practice. In no way is it an easy path that our favourite musician has chosen, but though the work and dedication put in, the genius has come out. All one needs to do is catch him playing and there will be no further explanation required.
Should you ever find yourself exploring the Chicago jazz scene, it is simply a must to look up this most wonderful of a musician and colourful of characters. Full with dedication not only to the music and expression, but also holding the skills to mediate with people, and ensure that the organisation parts which need to happen for any event to happen occurs. We have a lot to be grateful for in this magnificent person.
Bringing you news and little snippets of our minds are what the team here works for, and with a lot of soul at the bottom, we hope to also open the eyes of our readers to the wonderful world of jazz music and particularly the works of our idol Mr Reed. We hope to be an inspiration to you as he is to us. All the best! And until next time!

Everything is rhythm

rhythm though lifeAs drumming fans and rhythm fans we can’t help but see the world of music as the world itself. The thing about sound is that as a human being you cannot turn your ears off, meaning that you always hear, even when are speaking to some extent.

Our mind seems to always be homing in on the repetitive sounds around us, and that is what a rhythm is, something which occurs, and reoccurs over and over again. If you stop on the street, or even in your home, or anywhere of your own choice and preference, you can take a time out to listen. What do you hear? The team here are sure that you will be able to hear at least a few things which sounds like music, rhythm, repetition. Music is natural to people, and it’s the thing which you find throughout history within all human cultures.

When prophets speak of music as an entity which unites us, the team here sees much sense in what they are saying, something so close to us, something so physical, tangible yet eternal, there accessible to anyone who still have their ability to hear, and even if you’ve lost it, if you once did you still have the faculty of imagination, and the mind is mighty good at using that faculty. One which you no doubt practice if you play a musical instrument, listen to music or engage with it in any way or form. Of course here we love music and rhythm, and if you have questions for us, on or off topic don’t hesitate to ping us a message with them.

Some of the most popular jazz instruments

Saxophone 1If you are new to the scene of jazz, perhaps you are wondering about what type of instruments are commonly used by musicians. Of course it is easy to stereotype, and often when one thinks about the music images of jazz bands, saxophones, brass, double bases and so on pop into the thought stream. For the team here of course an instrument is not the definition of jazz, however what we see as some of the most iconic instruments, are the ones which follows in this list.
When it comes to rhythm, of course we have to mention and keep drums in mind, as this is the choice of our favourite rhythm man to whom which this site is dedicated. Second on the rhythm list comes of course some form of bass, double or contra bass is the favourite of many, and the same goes for the team here. After the everlasting possibilities of drums, there is the base which is required.
After the rhythm section we need to move on to an instrument which is often forgotten despite its size. The piano, one of the string instruments we here appreciate the most, and an iconic jazz instrument.
Of course afters strings there are some horns required, and even if saxophone is often the first to spring to mind, one of our favourites here is the trumpet. An instrument which has been involved with some of the most innovative creative advancements within the genre. Worth a mention on this section is also the trombone, simply as it is intensely common and the sound is particular, unique and simply wonderful. If you haven’t given thought to instruments in the jazz scene and would like to, perhaps imagining what you would like to play would be a good idea.

Chicago jazz heroes

Today we would like to bring your attention to a couple of jazz heroes which we don’t only see as performer with great presence and influence, but also as great inspirations, not only in the sense of music, but in the sense of what they represent and stand for. Our favourite drummer is of course only one of the vast number of people in the Chicago jazz scene who are active and pushing for the right things, both within music and as a way of life for people today.

Mike is for the team here a source of great inspiration, so much so that we have dedicated this web page to him, but today we would like to also mention, with honour the couple of pianist Bradley Parker-Sparrow and singer Joanie Pallatto. With great influence, great soul and great music all around this couple have been happily married for over 3 decades, and at that they have separate, yet at times joint careers within music. For us, here is an example of two strongly passionate individuals, who are a living example that the stereo type image of the musicians marriage to music where all things deteriorate other than the musical skill and knowledge.

For the team here, they are living proof to that happy active and independent lives as full time dedicated musicians as well as a successful relationship filled with love and passion is possible. There is nothing to say that one cannot be both a great musician and live a happy and wholesome life. This is the major reason to why we choose to mention them today, as we believe in positive role models rather than negative stereo type. If you have not yet heard any of their tunes, please enjoy one of our all time favourites here, and if there is any feedback you have for us about the webpage, please don’t hesitate to send it to us via the contact page! Enjoy!

Some things about jazz and the genre which you may or may not have known of

The word jazz itself doesn’t really have a very interesting background at all. In its own meaning to jazz, mean to fornicate. So you see why we say that the word is of little importance somehow, since the music is of much greater value then the history of the actual word.

mike reed clip art jazzWhen it comes to mixing, there is nothing like the jazz genre at all, the winner by far in having the most forms of different hybrids. It can contain most things, if not everything which you can actually think of. There is another unique aspect of the jazz, and that is the dance. Deeply intertwined with the history of the music is the different dance styles which have developed into equal amount of hybrid genres in contemporary forms. There is not only the dance styles, but also the specific dance moves that have emerged in the popular culture such as Charleston and Black bottom, The Lambeth Walk and many others.

Another things which we would like to inform about, even if the home of our own musical hearts is in with Mike Reed, is Louisiana as a venue for exploration in the jazz music scene. As this in Louisiana you can find one of the highest concentrated jazz musicians in the world. And should you ever decide to go there you can always taste some of their craw fish, something which they have also grown very reputable over. The only negative thing that we have to say about the place perhaps, is that the politics seem to play a very big role in how people there live their lives. The general public seems to be more effected by the politics there than in other places we’ve read or heard about. Of course in this too we speak only of what we have found in research of what people say, as we have not been there ourselves.

Louis Armstrong’s famous quote

As jazz advocates here of course we want to make sure that the definition of jazz is clear, which is why today we bring up the famous quote of legend Louis Armstrong. If you enjoy jazz music of any kind, which we of course hope you do since you are here at our own favourite jazz drummers fan page, Mike Reed. These famous words is something that you just must know.
When asked the question of what the definition of jazz is, Louis Armstrong stated “If you’ve got to ask, then you’ll never know”.

Music means a multitude of benefits

music is stimulating for the mindFor us here, of course music has played a vast role in each of our lives. And of course it is easy for anyone who holds a great love of music to sing its praise. However, with development, technology and science racing forward at light speed in today’s word many conclusions have been made. When it comes the experience of music, it’s an intimate, close and completely personal experience, often not communicable easily to others. The facts which have come to our awareness is that music has a stimulating effect on the brain, and you do for one, get smarter during the time you listen to music. And it doesn’t need to be music of a particular type, previously it was said it needed to be classical music, however that has now been disputed.
On top of that, the practice of a musical instrument is something which engages the motor functions and helps cognitive development, also in adults. So if you are one of the many who have given thought about learning to play an instrument, but see it as no use due to your age. Think again, no matter when you decide to take such an endeavour on, there are both physical and psychological benefits to not shying away from what may seem a daunting challenge at first. Music has existed from ancient times, and is, as it always has been, a natural part of human culture. Expression, celebration and communication, with each other, with unknown entities and for the experience. So hold no apprehension, get practicing today, and most of all. Remember that learning music is an experience to be enjoyed, not one filled with expectations and demand.

Music, flow and the zone

musical flowMany famous musicians have stated similar things when it comes to performance, some call it “getting in the zone”, or “getting into a flow” or “finding the rhythm”. It doesn’t matter what name you give it, this type of flowing that is experienced by many musicians and artists alike, especially during performance and improvisation are instances where the conscious mind is perfectly in sync with the present moment. Where as a creative creature events unfold in a focused way, yet we are more like an observer. In the case of many musicians are reported such states where they feel as a direct link to something, without the interference of rationalising thoughts. This is perhaps the reason to why music and sound is also linked to many spiritual practices.

Reaching such a state is most common for those who have spent many years mastering a technique, an instrument or an art form, but possible for us ordinary lay men to access in briefer moments of time if we are awake enough to recognise them when thy occur.

It’s no secret, that we great musicians gather and find this mystical flow, great things happen, and of course if it is in a performance scenario there is also a communication, or a conversation between the listener and the person playing. Getting into a flow of listening, active part taking, and allowing whatever response happens to you due to the sound is a form of engagement, and in many of our idol’s performances if you pay close attention to the drums, and let the repetitive, changing and innovative creative rhythms take you, well you will form you own experience of it. So lastly, we would like to once again recommend that you go to a Mr Reed concert if you ever have the chance, it’s a decision we are sure you will not regret.

Jazz and music, a part of culture

the jazz music cultureThinking, speaking about and listening to music is something which is, and has been a natural part of human history. And for a few lucky souls, of course playing an instrument, or creating music. Our favourite drummer Mike is of that sort, and here is an example of someone with both brilliance and dedication. Someone who cares for the art from yet understands that music is something that I suppose to be for anyone and everyone. So no matter if you are a player, composer, jammer, listener or part taker in any other way, with the beats of our favourite jazz drummer you will no doubt find yourself inspired beyond your current capabilities.
Bringing the life in to living, is one description of his musical involvement which has been uttered by a fan, and this is closely accurate, as far as describing sounds in words can go. But of course in reality, you must of course experience to be able to get the full idea. This is why we encourage you, if you ever have the opportunity to catch a live performance, to jump on the chance.
It’s no secret that music is an integral part of human culture, and looking back at history you can see that we were singing, drumming, making all forms of music as early as we started to communicate with sounds. It’s ancient and intuitive, which may be part of the reason to why we enjoy it so greatly.
Of course the sounds and music that come from the different continents of the world has developed differently, but just like in language and human expression there are some things which are common across all.

The home of Jazz

mike reed jazz and chicagoWe would like to write a little about the current jazz scene in, one that our favourite drummer and master musician is very much a part of. Finding your way around the night life and the scener is not something one does in one night, it’s a big town, and the Jazz is so present that you feel it in the air. Finding what is good, and what is right for you is most definitely something which is easier done if you have a little bit of help along the way. Here we want to drop in some names of some good clubs to visit should you ever have the great pleasure and opportunity to land in such a place.

Ensuring that you land in places which have earned their reputation, The Green Mill is a legendary cocktail and jazz lounge where many of the great names have been filling and making the atmosphere for decades. Having become a great part of the jazz scene with several floors and great garden to enjoy. ” I visited and loved it”. Dave a Manchester Locksmith.

Another name to remember, and easily so is the hungry brain, this name of course makes sense especially when you add the element of jazz music into the mix. Here on of Mike Reeds biggest ventures also had great involvement, as Umbrella Music here presented the Transmission series. This series is one completely immersed, and without commercial aims, only for the love and dedication to real authentic jazz music.
Of course if you are in the jazz scene is something which has to be explored, this is the home of for us the best all round drummer currently, and if you are lucky you may also be able to catch him in performance there.

A little bit about Buddy Rich

buddy richSomeone we are sure our own hero Mike Reed looks up to, and of course someone which we, together with many see as the one of the greatest jazz musicians that ever lived. Namely Buddy Rich and his legendary skills on the drums. For those of you who don’t know this name, we’ll tell you a little bit about him.

It’s quite a famous and popular story that he had his first stage appearance at just eighteen moths of age where he performed with his parents. After this he grew up in the performer way being a child star, he continued on with many projects, and lead many of his own bands, as well as partook in the music projects and the bands which other people had formed. He was famous not only for the feeling he brought to the music, but also his incredible technique and amazingly clean sound regardless of speed and volume. Should you be interested in looking up a bit more about Buddy Rich we recommend our favourite releases; Big Swing Face and Mercy.

Learn an instrument – Because it’s fun!

learn an instrument because it's funIf you are like some of us here and thinking about picking up an instrument, but get put off by the giant mountain of time, effort and pressure to learn it, then there is little to do but to hear the advice you already know to be true. Don’t do it because of all that, learn an instrument because it’s fun. Music is something which generally speaking is close to the human heart and soul. Something which we can connect with, use in creative expression, and above all, do because it’s fun and stimulating.

There are only good reasons to learn an instrument, and being put off by the fact that it will take some time is not the right way to go about things. Little by little is a phrase commonly used, and very suiting to this situation, and with music there are so many angles and approaches in which you can start learning, that it would almost seem foolish not to.

Like with trying to learn anything there is an initial period of investment which needs to be gotten over, once that first seemingly distant, but nearer than you might think, hurdle is passed, you will have a base upon which you can play an enjoy music by yourself or with others.
And it’s no secret that no matter where you go in the world you will find music of some sort, traditional, classical, contemporary, you name it. And the team here sees this as a testament to just how natural it comes to us. Being part of virtually all known cultures around the world, music is a universal and global human expression.

Free Jazz

free jazz a specific flavour mike reed fan pageAs one of the known sub genres of jazz, there is that which today is called free jazz. A specific taste and a very strong philosophy and way of playing the music. For every genre which has developed though the history of music, jazz is no different in that before the multitude of styles which exists today, there is now something that would be called classic jazz. One end of the spectrum of the history of this type of music you will find the classical version, and on the opposite and other end today, you might find that which is labelled s free.

A style which has human expression as the main purpose and finding liberty from historical constraints which seek to stylise and press all into a box. In essence, there is a need for really letting go if you are walking this road as a musician, and of course our social, psychological and musical constraints run deep, meaning that the liberation sought after can also be a lifetime of exploration work. Many would call this way of improvisation music for the soul as well as for the mind, a continuous exploration of creativity, always aiming to break free. As with many jazz styles it may take a while to get used to and our favourite jazz practitioner Mr Reed has surely meddled in the style at some point.

If you feel yourself a seasoned wanderer in the world of jazz, taking the side road into this type and way of playing is most definitely something that you will not regret. We encourage you, as you will never know what lies ahead until you’ve walked down the road. And hope that you get stuck, just as we did, in this wonderful from of musical spectacular.

Why we see Mike Reed and Jazz as the only way forward for music

mike reed and jazz music throughout allThe world of music is a wide and ever expanding sea, however, in the vast developments which are taking place across the planet, even as we speak now, the team here sees that there is really only one way forward when it comes to music. The reasons to why Jazz music, and our favourite player, composer, organiser, producer, show man and general jazz legend Mike Reed, carries on to flourish. Is simply due to that human factor. In the vast genres of music there is also a lowering of standards compared to the older days. With the expansion of the internet, and social media and sharing sites of course the market changed vastly, and in perhaps hard words, but never the less true ones; anyone can now publish their music, regardless of the standard.
The reason why jazz is such a strong genre, is as it demands attention to the music, you cannot create or play jazz without feeling, and feeling is that human factor that may be lost in the vast 4/4 pop tunes and mathematically repetitive electronic basement home compositions today. Of course there are many benefits to the internet as well, and many musicians of the greatest calibre would not have been discovered without it, however for us here, jazz and the music of Mike Reed is forever, it says with us and speaks without the need for calculations, a highway bridge straight to the soul. Something which is missing the vast majority of popular music today, commercial music pushed into a mould in order to catch someone’s attention briefly is not the same as the eternal sound which hits someone who is listening to for instance Mike Reed.

The amazing feats of drumming


Exploring a world of music

mike reed a world of musicIf you are someone who is interested in music, ensure that the flavour of jazz does not go past you. If you are new to the world of investigating and listening to music it’s of course important that you always follow your hearts direction, however as our taste buds change with age, our experience in listening to much also makes our ears grow.

Of course metaphorically speaking, but with listening to different things with interest and attention, exploring, searching and enjoying our understanding of music expands. This is why the team here always would suggest that you don’t forget about the jazz genre. Here you will find a succulent flavour with feeling engraved with pure musicality. The skill required for jazz, which of course can also be found in our favourite practitioner Mike Reed, is of the highest standard, and if you, like many have once heard some form of jazz in your young age, not liking it much.

Keep in mind that with your music ear developing with your interest, your taste may not be the same now. So in terms of second chances, jazz music is definitely something worth it, and if you happen to pick up something from this excellent drummer, you will no doubt be in awe of the magic he has managed to catch and record. Something said often is that jazz is for a particular type of person, but we don’t agree with that here, the only thing which is a must to be able to listen to, appreciate and love the genre, is simply interest in music. So if you have not heard any jazz for a long time, why not pick up the record of our favourite in the Chicago jazz music scene, Mr Mike Reed and let yourself be amazed.

The eternal language of jazz

For us, and the rest of humanity, we think it’s safe to say that we can all agree that life without good music would be pretty poor. This is why we pay tribute to those who dedicate their lives and their energy to this universal language understood by all. Weather you are a fanatic, musician or happy just living your day to day life. Of course music is the language which goes beyond words, and no matter what type of music is your flavour, the more you listen, the deeper your non verbal understanding will grow. Like a sphere expanding, your knowledge of music grows, and if you’ve not listened to any jazz in a long time, or even ever. Now may be the time.

So we pay our greatest respect to Mike Reed and the life he lived, as we owe a great deal to our favourite. This is the way that we can enjoy and share the deepest understanding of life, though the eternal musical language of jazz.

jazz always magic
The biggest difference to a language of logic, which we use for communication of the practical day to day and problem solving things, and a musical language is just that factor of non-description. Regardless of who you are, what language you speak, music is something which can deeply touch us and bring us the greatest of joy. Of course the techniques, the mathematics and logic behind it exists, and is required to be able to create. However, the music of Mike Reed needs no words. So we can but give great thanks, and recommend that if you have the chance, listen to and enjoy the wordless fruits of his original and eternal creativity.

Tips on drumming

mike reed a drum setHere at the Mike Reed fan page, of course we hare big fans of drumming, drummers and drums. So we thought we’d share some tips from our side, and hope that they will be at least a little bit useful or interesting to you.

Firstly if you are a drummer, and you need to get the dust of the hard to reach places simply to small to clean with your hands it’s a very good tip to get a can of compressed air. So if you have some dust in a place you simply cannot reach, just grab for the can, aim and let the shiny surface reemerge. Secondly, if you are a drummer we don’t need to tell you this, but if you are learning it’s a very good idea to get some input from styles which you are not used to. There are many different rhythms in the world, and practicing different things, or even listening to different things will be very educational and hopefully interesting and fun as well.

Jazz to the core

Jazz music black and white pianist
For any of Mike Reed’s fans, and of course inclusive of us here, it’s safe to say that we feel that jazz music, especially that of our favourite Chicago drummer, is at the heart of us, and at the heart of the city within which it lives. For many persons who has ever delved into the deep depth of music, their journey has continued down though the genre of this ever new and richly flavoured style. The reason to that many cannot go backwards, and listen to something simpler, or less developed after years of exploring this type of music, is simply to say that it has a tendency to become a little boring. In many of the more commercial genres, or the specific styles of music outside the scope of Mike Reed and his jazz music, there are solid brackets, music can easy become linear, extremely predictable and hence not something that thrills the senses.

As with each passion, jazz music is one which can be described as a bottomless pit, a black hole of infinite possibilities, which also gives rise to the strong variety within the genre. Each branch as a fractal enveloping before the musical explorer. If you are one of those explorers, and in case the landscape before you is baring too wide, causing you confusion. Please take our advice and have a closer peak at the Chicago scene, and of course as Mike Reed enthusiasts, we urge to you to have check throughout his career, like with many great classical works, the classical works of jazz and the development all includes music of everlasting quality. And should you have the great opportunity of visiting this city of wonders, ensure that you also pay visit to the many jazz music club’s which has become known though the great music they put on.

The Puck’s Cafe gigs for People Places and Things

pucks cafe chicago pizzaAs we’ve mentioned before, the ever acclaimed People Places and Things group which Mike Reed was involved with organizing and performing with had a good little row of shows and sessions at a place called Puck’s Cafe. It was a free jazz concert, which was running every Tuesday all the way from the third of June this year, and didn’t finish until the ninth of September. The reason we want to mention this is that these little projects give so much to the community and the culture scene, that it’s worth a mention here at the Mike Reed fan page. The news of what is going on and happening in easily drowns out all the little details like this amazing event, however, for those who look there is always something of very high quality in music happening.

So for next time, be sure not to miss these little shows, we will do our best here at the fan page to keep you up to date with what is happening. However, since we are not situated in the US, we do apologise if some events may slip the net.

A little bit more about the home of Mike Reed

mike reed chicagoAs one of the biggest cities in the United States with 2.7 million inhabitants, and that alone will make it a very interesting place. As with great mass of people, comes great mass of influences and ideas in every genre. Not the least speaking about music to of course. In 1837 it was incorporated as a city, and the following century it would experience a very high level of growth.

Today, in its current size, it has become a home of finance, commerce, a place of industry and technology, a hub for music and much more. With monumental architecture in many places, and countless little places and subcultures to explore it’s truly a diverse place. This diversity is incorporated in the music scene, which is most famous for its blues, jazz, soul and the contemporary scene for these. If you are a sports fan, it might be interesting to know as well that it has a sports team in every major professional league today as well.

On the making of People, Places and Things

The album which has been critically acclaimed, and said to have risen out from themike reed people places and things jazz and improvisation scene. When speaking about this album Mike Reed himself made comments on time being an issue. There are in the current days few musicians who have time to spare for side projects. Himself at the time of making this video was also working on the Umbrella music and the Pitchfork music festival, meaning of course that Mike too was a busy bee at this period of time.

However there was no lack in dedication, and the album got done without any negative influence of the busy lives of all those who were involved.

Mike Reed also stated with this album that he was never disappointed with the boundless, yet humanistic abilities of Taborn, who was also part of this collaboration. Other names involved were Tim Berne, James Carter, and Chris Potter. All of which are highly talented and interesting musicians. Of course Mike is our favorite here, and for us. Mike Reed is the driving force behind many innovative, cultural and rewarding projects in the jazz music scene.

Mike Reed and the Brilliant Corners Of Popular Amusements festival

mike reed brilliant cornersWith a will to create an arts and culture experience different to the mainstream, the Brilliant Corners Of Poplar Amusements Festival project took off. At this stage Mike Reed was already directing the Pitchfork Music Festival, and he was in the loop of action. Mike himself describes the Brilliant Corners Of Popular Amusements Festival as a variety show of some sort. A festival, or maybe rather a carnival like scenery which includes not only music, but performances of different kinds like circus acts, arts, crafting fairs, food culture and even a farmer’s market. He describes it as a family friendly and relaxed type of fairground festival.

The initial idea was the idea of bringing something different to the table. Creating something different from the common regular shows, where people can remember a specific feeling and experience which can bring them value for years to come. Something they can see and experience with their families, their friends or their lovers.
And although a lover of music, there are many creative things, like the circus acts, the performances and the crafting fairs, which are also highly interesting and something which Mike is a big advocate for including in such an experience.

The great challenge and the long practice required by a drummer

mike reed fan page on drumming black and whiteHere we don’t portend to know the difficulty of learning something as complex as jazz drumming, of course there are a great few listeners amongst us, and some have even practiced and played music. However, we would like to once again pay tribute to our favourite Mike Reed, not only due to this great accomplishments within the famous and well reputed jazz scene, but also for the inspiration he brings to those wanting to take the dive into music.
Drums may be one of the most difficult things to learn when it comes to music, of course this can be argued for any instrument which one endeavour to learn, however finding an own language with drums is not only challenging, but can take a life time to achieve. Many liken drumming to high end difficulty in performing motoric tasks, which are highly unusual for the mind to manage. It takes the highest level of dedication to be able to learn how to keep several different rhythms in your body, and at the same time remain attentive, listening and flexible. Which is a must for any jazz musician.
If you are a drummer just out of the crib, and learning the ways in which to hold the reins of the complex creature which the drum set is, you will know exactly what we mean. It’s important that there are figures, idols and inspirations such as Mike Reed around in the world, and for his being we give thanks. Not only in the way he inspires young musicians into the world of music, but though his continuous dedicated work to keep the music true and genuine. Helping also others to bring their own musical language out as he has managed to do for himself.

Suggestions from Mike Reed

chicago jazz festivalIf you are sitting online and looking for something nice to watch or listen to, it would perhaps be a nice idea to take some of Mike Reed predicted recommendations for the the 2014 jazz festival. His recommendations were made before the festival had taken place as thing as things to look out for and try to catch himself. Luckily now with the information technology we can no try and catch them though someone’s video recording in retrospect.

Mike Reed pointed out that his suggestions were for people just getting into jazz, or people who are after some fresh suggestions.

Firstly recommended there is George Freeman/Mike Allemana quartet performance on the Friday of the festival, and Mike Reed points out George as a legend. Secondly there was Cecile McLornin Salvant on performance on the Sunday, Mike Reed’s recommendation for her was accompanied with comments stating Cecile as the hottest new singer to emerge in the past decade. So feel free to have a look around the internet and see if you can catch any of these wonderful performances and see what you think.

Mike Reed’s involvement in the Pitchfork Music Festival

pitchfork music festival mike reedFor those of you who did not know, Mike Reed is heavily involved in the organisation of this massive festival, which is head in every year. The festival started in 2006, and in its last run this year, it hosted a rough estimate of 50 000 people, from 26 different countries and different states in the US. It’s a big 3 day gathering which presents over 40 bands.

This festival is, as Mike Reed, known for its cradling of new artists, and new emerging music. Mike Reed is involved with organising permits, contracts, solicit bands and all the rest which is needed to put together an event of this magnitude. Although the festival has grown since it first started, it’s still for a specific audience, and it keeps the music and the feeling right, and the union though music in its most optimal way. So look out for the 2015 if this is something that sounds interesting to you.

Mike Reed, In pursuit of Magic

Mike Reed In pursuit of magicThe title of this album is also a bit of expression of what we see in our idol Mike Reed. When seen from the outside, it’s hard to argue with it, should the album name be seen as a statement. If anyone is pursuing that magic, it’s most definitely Mike Reed. We can see this not only in his music, and his work as a creative artist, but in his enthusiasm in building a community and always searching for new ventures and possibilities.

In pursuit of Magic, is an album released with Roscoe Mitchell in this year. The album is a live recording of Roscoe Mitchell and Mike Reed, when performing at the Constellation on the 19th of April last year, 2013. The album was mastered at All City Mastering, and with only two songs, or sound landscape, it’s a perfect hour of a musical journey made with two legends. This album of course comes with our highest recommendations for anyone!

An attempt to describe Mike Reed music in words

mike reed musicIt is an almost impossible challenge to put describing words on music, or any art for that matter. However since we are fans of Mike Reed, who doesn’t shy away from a challenge, neither must we.

When you listen to Mike Reed, and most of the music he produces within the free jazz, and more old school cult genres you find that it’s a very intelligent type of music. In the atmosphere there is always a sense of intimate and sophisticated sounds, giving rise to both thought and feeling. With unrelenting precision complex and intense music scopes are formed, and although at times there is a sense of narrative for the most it’s more a timeless sense of uncompromising and organic development of the current moment.

Of course everyone has their own experiences when it comes to listening to music, but hopefully the above paragraph has given you some idea of what to expect if you’ve never heard any music of this highly intellectual and talented man.

In the Context of…. Mike Reed

mike reed in the context ofSo just wanted to give a little bit of time to mention this album by Mike Reed which was released almost a decade ago, well the album itself was released in 2006, however as we understand it was recorded in 2004. The album is a modern free jazz style, and a very good listen at home as well as in the car. Listening to the album, it feels very much like a journey of sound, and your own thoughts and mood follow along in this journey. We here at the fan club would describe it as quite an intimate album, for the majority of it it’s a very organic sound, which is relaxing to follow, but it can be quite intense, especially if you don’t listen to much free jazz normally.

However it’s a wonderful listen if haven’t yet, go out and get yourself a copy of Mike Reed’s “In the context of” from 2006, sit yourself down on the sofa, and take this journey of sound, we highly recommend it!

Mike Reed and Umbrella Music

mike reed umbrella musicFor those of you who don’t know, Mike Reed is heavily involved with the Umbrella Music and the Umbrella Music Festival. When describing what they are all about Mike Reed says that it’s a collective of musicians and other creative individuals of different talents. Such as presenters, who put on shows in a big variety of different places and venues across the night life and music scene. It spawned from a couple of people getting together discussing ideas, creative approaches and much more that these individuals were actively doing, just not doing together in collaboration. From the musicians point of view, as Mike puts it, there was much inspiration to be taken, and diversity and variety was a major factor. You can not only play in one place, especially not if you want to make a living as a musician.

So the Umbrella music formed, and later to follow came the Umbrella music Festival which Mike Reed still is heavily involved with, not only as a musician, but in organising, creative direction and input of his own new ideas.

Mike Reed’s New Quartet Workshop!!

mike reed workshopI think all our hearts jumped a little in excitement over this new project of Mike’s. The outlines of this project, called SOUND OF CITY workshop, who contains 4 highly talented musicians: Cameron Pfiffner, Nick Mazzarella, Joshua Abrams & Mike Reed, is as follows:

This new quartet have taken on the challenge of performing music created over the last 15 years. In making the workshop there will be online material, and the project aims to start archiving the current music in the improvisational and jazz genre.

The workshop is open to experienced musicians and are inviting improvisational performers and creative practitioners of jazz and improvisational music. So if you fit the profile, hurry as it takes place first on Wednesday the 10th September.
And the last thing, another one of the reasons to us being such great fans of Mike Reed, this workshop is free for all participants, just make sure you check it up and that you are there on time!

A bit more about The Tree house Project and The Picture Show!

the picture showAs mentioned earlier, Mike Reed was involved with a group of musicians known as The Tree house project, and the album they produced is called The Picture Show. This project is somewhat evidential to that there is a new jazz era spreading in the 21st century.

This concept album is very unique, and listening to it, just for the experience even if it’s not completely in line with your own type of music style, is definitely something that we here at the Mike Reed fan page recommends to anyone. Of course if possible, this experience is best with the attached pictures of this cross contemporary and collaborative project.

Seeing Mike Reed involved with something like this also more shows his willingness to collaborate, and work with different styles and different methods. This too is something we respect in Mike Reed, and something that we want to share and show to his other fans. So if you haven’t yet, see if you can get a hold of this interesting piece consisting of this interaction between sound and imagery, we highly recommend it!

Following Mike Reed online

mike reed digital jazzSo when it comes to our biggest favorite musician Mike Reed, we’d just like to let you know that there are many different online channels which are active and gets updated with the latest. We are happy to recommend and suggest some good ones to you, that we make regular use of.

Starting with one of the bigger social media platforms out there, of course finding Mike on facebook will give you the latest stuff, and you can find out exactly what Mike is up to, what project he is involved in and what is upcoming, in terms of gigs and live music. You can also find Mike on various other social media sites like linked in, twitter etc. But the facebook page for People places and things is the one which is most up to date, and always active.
If you are interested in following the wider jazz news, we can also recommend you go to the jazz calendar, which will summarise all big, and many small more intimate jazz performances.

When did Jazz music start?

When it comes to trying to place the where jazz music began, it’s not an easy task, and there are many different views and opinions out there. But if you bring it to the more general scope of things, the culture, and the music started taking shape at the very start of the 20th century. Although the oldest jazz recording you can find were not made until almost 2 decades later.

If one is to believe the claims of those who were listening at the time, then jazz music started at the turn of the century, however what is has been recorded and stated from the ear witnesses is often vague, and vary widely from person to person, so the origin of jazz remains somewhat of a mystery, at least in the time when it really started. There is one early jazz band, fairly famous, called Buddy Bolden’s band, however they have no recorded sounds, and again, it’s hard to find tangible proof. But believing it happened during the time entering a new century, is somewhat romantic and something which we are happy to leave a bit open in interpretation.

mike reed - boden band

Jazz harmony

mike reed jazz harmonyWe want to give you a little information on the theory of jazz, as we here believe that you can never know too much. And the more you know the better you will become, not only as a musician, but as a listener as well. So jazz harmony refers to the theory and practice of how jazz music is built up. When it comes to jazz, more often than not the music tends to favor progression and use scales of the ninth, eleventh and thirtieth chords.

The arrangement is often vertical between the major and minor scales. This may be Greek to you, however if you sometime catch yourself drawing upon this, you may find that you recognize it in listening. But of course this is only a guideline, and each individual musician has their own way of building their jazz music. And as with any genre of music, there are infinite possibilities, and every song, sound and theory is of course also different!

Crowd funding idea for Mike Reed!

mike reed crowdfundingWhen it comes to funding any type of artistic project, especially in the area of music, which is a flooded market. A market where the value of music and the work put in by the musicians does not reflect the wage of the artist at hand.

It can be difficult to get things rolling.This is why we offer the idea of crowd funding to the public, not only for the benefit of Mike Reed, and us, as his fans, but to the benefit of musicians all over the world. So in raising awareness of this idea, meaning basically that the artist would propose the project at hand, and those who are interested in the project donate for the benefit of the project. Say for instance the recording of a new album, where a musician for instance may need time in a studio to record, funds for marketing and PR etc. This way of funding artistic and musical projects is something we support, and we urge our followers to keep an eye out for any projects which our favourite Mike Reed would need some financial assistance with.

Exploring the jazz genres

jazz genresAs you may or may not know, the jazz genre is a vast and widely spread one where countless of different styles of jazz has derived. We thought we would dedicate a few words to a couple of genres you might be interested in if you are a fan of Mike Reed.

The bebop blues is a commonly loved genre which we would recommend to anyone who likes the music of Mike Reed, then there is also the blues funk, which to some may be known as Funk Jazz which is one of our favourites here. Lastly we would like to offer our recommendations towards boogie woogie, maybe not as close in style, so it’s different, but still amazingly good. So please have a look around and enjoy your time exploring the genres of jazz, hopefully we’ll be giving some more recommendations shortly as sharing music is always something we do with pleasure, for pleasure.

Mike Reed’s Tree house Project and The Picture Show

mike reed tree houseWe would like to give you some information on the Tree house Project, as it was called, which Mike Reed was involved with in 2002. This is partially an interdisciplinary projects, and the tunes are collected on a 3 CD set, which shows that music and art is something that can blend seamlessly together.

The Tree house Project is a turn on The Picture show, which has one specific picture attached to each tune on the album. This shows a story, from which The Tree house project takes off. In other words the music reflects the picture, and in this project, of course the music goes on in improvisation, however in this improvisation the theme of the picture also extends and it leads into an interesting concept. And this is something which brings a different set of associations to mind than most usual. It’s a very interesting project, and something that we will speak more about at a different time, just thought it was worth a mention as something outside of the ordinary which Mike Reed has been involved with. Thanks to  Plumbers Bristol Nigel for supporting the website.

Performing with the legends

mike reed profileAnother testament to the skill, dedication and the love for jazz that it’s clear that Mike Reed holds, are the many legendary musicians he has performed with. Having been active and involved in the musical jazz scene for soon 2 decades he has had many regular performances with both local legends and artists from other parts of the world. If you are familiar with the jazz scene then you must know of names like Fred Anderson, Nicole Mitchell, Josh Abrams, Rob Mazurek, David Boykin, Jeff Parker and many more. All of which Mike has shared a stage with.

And this is before even mentioning the acclaimed groups which are under the direction of Mike Reed himself, Loose Assembly and People, Places & Things. However you know as well as we do, that if you are looking to find the stature of a musician, all you need to do is listen, and catch a performance if you have the opportunity.

Challenges of Jazz

jazz color artMany say that jazz is the hardest style of music to play. And we decided to discuss this question if this is true whilst listening to a Mike Reed tune, the one we went for was the live performance at the Jazz festival in 2010, performed on the 4th of September. The rhythm of course very complex, and we were as impressed as ever by the performance of Mike Reed and the Myth Science Assembly. Working with difficult mixed scales, creating a great sound from the interaction between the musicians. With regards to if it’s the hardest style to play, we believe it might be a matter of definition, as for instance it’s often not fast to the ear. And for instance in other fast genres like metal music, the drumming and rhythm is extremely complex and extremely fast, requiring speed and precision, but when it comes to jazz, you also require the feeling. Something that Mike Reed definitely brings every time. So it may not be the technically hardest due to the speed, but it is by far the most intricate interplay between people, sound and musicality.

” I’ve heard all of his work and I can only say that when I’m out working in the van that it’s all I listen to!” MG, working as a locksmith Sheffield.

Living by Lanterns, by Mike Reed

living-by-lanterns mike reedIn a project was set up by Mike reed, in which he invited several musicians from different places to work on this project with. The project is called living by lanterns features Jason Adasiewicz as well as Mike Reed. They are working with material based on rare Sun Ra sounds and tunes, not so commonly met with in public. In this they make their own arrangements and put their own twist on the sound. Making it sound fresh, and very much with the times. Mike reed is seemingly always involved with some sort of project, and he is invaluable when it comes to getting people together and working for the same passion. A man by the name of John Corbett, as the story goes, uncovered a bunch of tapes, writings and artwork from at the Sun Ra school. This as it was going to be discarded as rubbish. The recordings that were made are like rehearsal tapes, and they have never before been published or seen. So a thank you to Mike Reed, for bringing us more interesting and unrevealed treasures.

Why we love the Jazz and Mike Reed

love jazzWe would like to take a moment to let you know what we find enjoyable and interesting about jazz, which seems to be in line with what many lovers of this green of music would agree on.
First and foremost jazz is one of the best and foremost interesting genes of music in our view. The reason being that the variety and the instantaneous creativity and skill of the musicians creates something which is perceived in the moment of creation. It’s a wonderful feeling which will always be transported and shared amongst us jazz lovers. The rhythm, which our dear Mike Reed always keeps interesting and changing, just as the melodies and rhythm of the melodies. This unset and unpredictable musical piece brings a feeling of creativity and impulsiveness. We also see this as a form of freedom, a freedom of expression.
By many jazz is called music for thinkers. It’s often very complex, and rich. Jazz music for us is engulfed in soul and full of life. We see jazz, and Mike reed very inspiring, and the sounds created are highly stimulating for the body and soul.

If you ever go to the Place

mike reed chigagoIf you should ever decide to go, make sure to do so when Mike Reed has a gig scheduled of course, however as you may already know. The jazz scene is a rich one, and you will be able to find many different styles and types of jazz, some of which you may like, and some not so much. If you do ever find yourself going there, one of the places that’s been raved and ranted about much in the past is The Green Mill. So if there is time and space in your journey, make sure to pay a visit to this venue when there is something going on.
The Green Mill: A legendary jazz cocktail lounge which is sure to provide a versatile night. With a rumba room upstairs, a dance floor downstairs and a very memorable windmill on the roof there is not much more you can ask for. And they when there is a night on, they are always keeping it running until the early hours of the morning.

Another venue which deserves a quick mention here is The Elastic Arts Foundation. This venue is under the umbrella music series, and prides itself in being a non commercial venue, for non commercial jazz music. Keeping it close to the music, and close to the heart, is something which they put in practice perfectly here.

Lastly, we would also like to mention The Hungry Brain. Also involved with Umbrella music you are sure to be able to catch Mike Reed himself here at times. This venue is famous for being consistent and always showcasing high quality music. This is also where the Transmission series is organised, with which as stated before, Mike Reed is involved with as a festival producer.

When the time comes, these are some good recommendations for finding excellent music, but it’s just a pinch of sand on a beach in the vast and versatile music scene that it is. So pack your bag up, bring your ears, get ready, and make sure you give yourself enough time to explore this gem of a city.

Loving the Rhythm, respect to the makers

rhythm mike reedThere are of course many reasons why we like, and respect Mike Reed as a musician. But there is also what he does, which is play music, create rhythm and feeling for people. Rhythms are enjoyable no matter what age you are, and no matter what type of rhythm it may be. Simple or complex, it’s something that awakens something within every person. It’s still a mystery today what happens in the brain when we listen to music, but it is a stimulation of some sort, and both you and I know, like the rest, that music makes us feel something. Mike Reed is a man which we hold in high regards, and someone who deserves respect for the his dedication, but also for his talent. His musical talent, although built though many years of practice, experience and love, he also has that little extra which you simply can’t learn. You just have to born with. So hat’s off to you Mr Reed, and thank you for providing us with such pleasurable musical experiences.

New Release?!

mike reed drumOur sources inform us that Mike Reed, will later this year be releasing a duo album with legend saxist Roscoe Mitchell. This album will be called In Pursuit of Magic, of course the prospect of this release is something that excites us here at the fan community. We will be sure to keep our eyes open for this one. Apparently this album will be recorded at Constellation.

Apparently Mike and Roscoe started to play together a couple of years after the musicians co-op was founded, of which Mike was an officer. Mike also played a big role in founding this co-op in the 60’s sometime. When we hear Mike play, we always think it’s magic, but to quote the words of Roscoe; “There is always magic in the air when we are together. I am looking forward to playing with him again.” The release of this album is definitely something to look forward to, and we’ll be doing what we can to give you the latest news on what is going on here, so if you’re a fan, keep an eye on our site as well!

Great feedback for all Mike Reed gigs

We’ve never met with a bad review of anything that Mike Reed has been involved with. If he is acting as a programmer, organiser or as a musician, or all at the same time, it doesn’t matter. He is always on his best performance, and his testament to innovation you can find in the success of the events and gigs he present. His music knowledge runs deep enough, and he can create that thing, which so many of us really likes to enjoy and listen to.

Among the reviews that has crossed my path lately, it’s been described with enormous praise. For instance Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things got described as a class above even the highest skilled jazz bands out there today. Some bands are very tight, but then there’s Mike Reed and this band. We’ve also ran into descriptions like amazing flow, intuitive synchronicity and great feeling, for the live shows. So if the chance to see Mike Reed with any of his projects pops up, we urge you to take it. It’s sure to be better than expected. So treat yourself to something special, and unforgettable.

The Gear

Every musician have their own relationship with their instrument which they play. Mike Reed refers to his friend Han Bennink who when asked if he gets frustrated when playing other peoples drums responded with a simple “No man, I always take my drums with me, they’re in my head”. With this Mike also lives as someone who is one with the music, and the creativity is not bound to any specific object. Mike Reed is a humble person, who will play on what he has, he tends to use objects which he finds, a pot or a pan. He’s even found some old cracked cymbals in his days which he has used.

slideshow_feature_mike-reedFor those who really want to know a bit more, and maybe if you are interested in drumming or drums yourself, we’ll give you a little bit of insider information about the kit that this cultural icon uses. In order to provide you with a good breakdown, we have to specify that this is just based on what he has stated as his standard set up. So here is a breakdown of the things Mike Reed would bring with him for his own setup for a gig. Starting with the drums, there would be a Gretsch Custom, an 18 inch bass drum, a twelve inch mounted tom, a 14 inch floor tom and a 14 inch x 5 1/2 snare. The cymbals which he likes are a 22 inch Spizzachino medium ride, or possibly a 22 inch Zildjian Constantinople Medium Light. Then a 20 inch Istanbul thin ride, a 14 inch Bosphorus Stanton Moore hi hats and lastly, assorted un-identified crash cymbals.

“I’ve been a real Mike Reed fan for years and love everything that he does. I’m hoping one day that he’ll visit me at work so I can meet him in person.” Sarah Thomson therapist and part-time artist.

Just to make sure we give you all the info you need here at the fan page, for the hardware he would use a DW 5000 turbo kick pedal, a DQ 6710 flush base straight stands, and lastly a DW 6500 hi hat stand.

Why we like Mike Reed’s as a musician

A definite community man, someone who helps to inspire both locally and around the world amongst other things. Many people would have an abundance of good things to say about, or for him, as do we. But when placed in front of a drum kit and with a good collection of other musicians there is no parallel to be seen. Mike Reed brings that feeling into the music, which if you know about his music, and have ever seen him live, will know about. Of course there are many years of practice and experience in that body, but the music comes from the soul.

It’s always a pleasure to see good musicians at their best possible environment. Of course Mike Reed is no different. If you like the recorded albums, it’s definitely worth a look into going to a concert of his. He is still touring, so keep an eye out, and make sure to catch him live if you ever get the chance. We highly recommend it and don’t think you will regret it. It’s the experience of a life time, which will remain in your memories always.

That time of year again

The acclaimed musician is starting his 5th decade in life. So for all those who are fans of Mike Reed, it’s time to listen up. The big four-o has been and gone with a special birthday celebration at the Constellation venue in the north-west. According to Mike himself, he’s not celebrated a birthday since he was the age of 12 and what better way to start up again with after having lived the jazz scene for so long, thank to have a big birthday party and gig. So this was something special indeed. Of course the living icon himself played with his assembles People, Places and Things. There were also some special guests attending such as DJ Damon Locks & Wayne Montana, and others.
There is no reason to worry if you missed this cosmic event, Mike Reed will be out touring the whole season, all the way to the end of August this year. The tour which is already on the way, is currently going though Canada, and if you check his website you can see the exact dates and locations. Later on the tour, closer to the end there will be a row of shows in and around with the People, Places and Things crew showing what their long project work has amounted to. The fusion of old and new, in their own way will be presented in a fresh scenario and sound. Be sure not to miss this one.

About some of his Projects

We just want to tell you a bit more about this wonderful musician Mike Reed. Having been part of the vibrant and ever evolving jazz scene for over soon 3 decades his talents are well known and renowned. Starting in 1997 Mike Reed has played, produced and brought so much to the music within the jazz and improvisation genre. Not only is he a fabulous drummer, but a wonderful performer, with an abundance of energy.

Throughout his career he has performed locally with names like Fred Anderson and Nichole Mitchell amongst others. He has also worked with several well known Jazz legends out of the scene such as Ira Sullivan and Art Hoyle. On a side not as well, by the 57th annual Downbeat critics he received distinction being called “rising jazz star” and was named in 2008 for Jazz.

imagesCurrently Mike Reed leads 3 well known jazz bands. The first one is Loose Assembly, with whom he recorded Empathetic Parts. This is a rare and special recording featuring the legendary Roscoe Mitchell. Just for reference, Roscoe is a founding member of both the Art Ensemble and the AACM. In performance with Roscoe they used a method which Mike Reed calls collective arranging. A method in which the band are improvising, and the music is created as a whole, spontaneously by all the musicians. Together with Mike Reed on the drums in Loose Assembly, there is Greg Ward, their amazing saxophonist, Tomeka Reid as the cellist, Jason Adasiewicz as the vibraphonist and bassist Josha Abrams. Loose Assembly was called one of the foremost and sublime jazz ensembles by Time Out.

The second one is People, Places & Things. Which is a quartet who focus on trying to show and present things from the jazz scene in 1954-1960, things which did not get recognised at the time due to the major boom in the scene. Here we also have Greg Ward on the saxophone (alto), as well as Tim Haldeman (tenor). On the double bass you find Jason Roebke and of course on the drums you find Mike Reed himself. Combining music from this classical era with new compositions means that influences, style and mood in the music shines though whilst using the vast music language available today. It’s a brilliant band, and a great feeling to their music.

The third band is Living by Lanterns, in this project Mike Reed set out to create a performance based on 700 hours of material, which the sun ra/el saturn audio collection contains. This is of course no easy feat, and Mike in this worked with Jason Adasiewicz to take the possibilities of the unrefined material. Allow for exploration and for new composition to form, testing ideas and approaches to the material. In order to best open up the possibilities Mike Reed involved five young musicians to the Loose Assembly group resulting in the mixture of the scene and the New York scene. The music from this band is original to say the least, and the mixture of input is clear, and you can hear the variety and creativity in their wonderful sound. Other than the priory mentioned band members of Loose Assembly, you here also have Taylor Ho Bytnun on cornet, Ingrid Laubrock as a tenor saxophonist, Mary Halvorson on guitar and second drummer Tomas Fujiwara.

More about People, Places & Things

peopleplacesthings_wide-892a9df1a656f4ffa4506e24527bc6d323d682f1-s6-c30As mentioned before, one of the projects that Mike Reed leads is the group People, Places & Things. This group devoted themselves to exploring the jazz legacy which had not come to light in more popular culture. Mike Reed himself says that the reason they choose this era, the 50s, is that there was a piece of the puzzle missing in the cultural history of jazz here. A gap that needed to be filled, partially created by the fact that some of the bigger names at the time like Clifford Jordan and Wilbur Ware moved to New York, which dampened the scene at this time, not only for but for Philadelphia and Detroit as well. Of course the jazz culture at the time rebuilt itself, and improvised music was up to speed again in the 60’s.

Now the reason why the music from this area is only used as inspiration or refreshed in some way is simply due to the fact that it was fresh when it first came out, when it was first made. Mike Reed said himself that it will be obvious to anyone who is listening to the music that there will be spirit missing if one does not make it fresh today. It needs to be as fresh today as it was in the moment of its first creation.
The band was never meant to be a cover band, or a repertory band. The music is not originally made, but it is originally recomposed. A metaphor Mike Reed used to describe it is that it’s their tunes, like wearing someone else’s suit, but letting it in or out so it perfectly fits you. Our guy over in Manchester is all too familiar with the sound of music as a Plumber Manchester in the thick of it, and part-time keyboard player, with the clanging and banging of pipes and drains. Loving every bit of the sound. “If Mike’s in town then I’m there”.

If you ever get opportunity to see these guys play, we much recommend it. It’s a fully original sound which brings you back to that which was, but sounds new and fresh.
Mike Reed said that although the cultural part and the history of this music is very important, it’s not the most important. The audience does not have to know where it came from and why to be able to like it and enjoy it. The band is very good at what it does, and it comes from this specific are, but for the audience, as long as they like it, that’s all that matters.

Some Background

According to Mike Reed, it’s difficult to say if there is a distinctive style, mood or flavour to Jazz. The main reason being that there is so much jazz music, that it’s near impossible to listen to it all, and even more difficult would it be to examine and try to find some sort of distinctive features. Of course it is all part of a bigger cycle, and everything has roots somewhere, and is inspired from something. But as far as the specific taste of jazz, it’s not really something one can say. Due to the wide variety of styles and tastes this city can cater for.

The biggest advantage to the scene, Mike Reed states as the opportunity. The opportunity to be able to do it yourself is something quite rare and beautiful within the scenery. The community here makes it possible for anyone to do what they feel, how they feel, and how they think. There is possibility to explore own ideas and sounds, methods and approaches. There is no commercial jazz industry here. The music are not produced by producers, but by musicians, you gain reputation though your music not though a publicist. And the small record labels that are here are also there for the music, not for the money mechanism. In short, there is no machine there to support you though the struggles, but at the same time there is no machine to place you in a framework box, meaning that you have freedom in expression and creativity here.

6931d7b0eb8aafaeabecc6aa51aab33dThere is less pressure to conform in an artistic way here. Mike Reed describes it more like walking into a room, just to discover that the rest who are there are just a bunch of people just like you. The area which you share, that which you have in common is that you walk your own way. You do the things you want to do in your own way, and use your own head and your own ideas. In saying that however, in this metaphorical room with people just like you, in a sense you are conforming, but not in the more common way of seeing it.

Mike Reed sees much in the future of Jazz as well. Mainly due to this freedom of creativity and due to that there is no industry there. There is not one big shot, or waiting around to be called to play with someone who is already a star. Everyone here are too busy trying to get their own gigs, create their own music, and find their own audience. Of course there is competition, but so far that it goes beyond the music and becomes about something else.


Rather than promoting music, he presents it. Working with events like:
Pitchfork Music Festival which is a 3 day summer festival in Union Park. It’s a highly acclaimed international music festival with over 40 attending bands. Showcasing many new and upcoming artists in the industry and presenting the best there is. This is an independently run festival, promoting local economy and only the best music.
Umbrella Music Festival which is a festival that is organised by a jazz and improvisational music collective. It’s one of the best for cutting edge improvised music. This organisations core revolves around weekly shows done, of which Mike Reed curates the Sundays at, the transmission series, which is located at the hungry brain. The festival is a 4-5 day presentation from this collective.

About this Fan Site

This website has been built to provide a space for fans of Mike Reed and his work. It will also be  a platform to share your appreciation for other aspects of jazz and musicians.

Please hold with us while we get the website going and hopefully in the coming weeks there will be lots of great stuff here.

Maybe you’re a musician or maybe you just love music! Either way we want you to be involved so there will be a place for you to share your thoughts and appreciation for all things jazzy…

Get involved, get musical, get thinking. What are your thoughts and what are your comments? We want to know, we want to hear it. Here’s the place, now’s the time.