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. Thanks to

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.