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The Song Is You

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Album Review

At age 79, San Francisco based vocalist Ed Reed presents only his second recording as a leader and his follow-up to his 2007 debut CD Ed Reed Sings Love Stories. A softie at heart, preferring ballads and midtempo swingers and standards, Reed's pipes come close to the velvety croon of Nat King Cole, with a slight swagger reminiscent of fellow West Coaster Ernie Andrews, and staggered phrasings similar to Carmen McRae. The multi-instrumentalist Peck Allmond leads the backup band with notables as guitarist Jamie Fox and especially pianist Gary Fisher, who acts as a co-music director on these studio dates. Reed is an effortless, pleasurable, in many ways perfect vocalist who neither challenges the written lyric nor embellishes upon it, but adds big-time soul flavoring and a heart to match. A troubadour, romantic, and heartstrings puller to his core, Reed shines on such slower numbers as the lesser known Duke Ellington/Johnny Hodges song "It Shouldn't Happen to a Dream" with violin lead from Russell George, the more bluesy Ellington number "All Too Soon" or the nicely rendered "It Never Entered My Mind." You hear the entire ensemble of Allmond only rarely, but they shine on the energetic "The Song Is You" with Allmond's flute and George's violin most prevalent. Reed is naturally downhearted on "I'm Through with Love," traipses in a light Latin mood with Allmond's flute for yet another Ellington evergreen "Don't You Know I Care," and sidles up to Fox for a typical "Here's to Life." On Harold Arlen and Truman Capote's "Don't Like Goodbyes," Allmond plays trumpet — perhaps his best instrument — as you really hear the over pronounced and effective phrasings that made McRae's singing so endearing. Not that he's effeminate by any means, as Reed stands up on the swinger "Lucky to Be Me." A really good effort, long overdue and comparable to any male singer on the current scene, this CD is easily recommended for those who want to hear someone who has lived life, and can tell you its many stories. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 02 February 1929 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active:

Jazz vocalist and life survivor Ed Reed spent his childhood growing up in Watts, CA in the 1930s and '40s where he picked up a few singing tricks from jazz great Charles Mingus who occasionally minded his sister's children in the house across the street from where Reed lived. Reed left high school without graduating and enlisted in the U.S. Army. While serving, he developed a serious heroin addiction, which in turn led to four stints in San Quentin and Folsom prisons (during one incarceration he...
Full bio
The Song Is You, Ed Reed
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Pop
  • Released: 04 June 2008

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