Eric Reed, Black, Brown, and Blue Review
by Stamish Malcuss
Eric Reed celebrates the music of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Benny Golson, Horace Silver, Buddy Collette, Buster Williams, and jazz-conversant pop/R&B songwriters Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers on his album Black, Brown, and Blue. Reed uses a new trio with bassist Luca Alemanno and drummer Reggie Quinerly to explore the before mentioned composers through thirteen selections. Reed states, “Where I am now in my life, I’m only concerned about conveying the most personal and heartfelt ideas through my music. Black, Brown, and Blue is the culmination of my life thus far.”
“Peace” represents the mood of the album. Not in its mellow ballad mood but in the fact that Reed is relaxed and comfortable with who he is and his role as a musician with his playing and interacting within the trio. His self-confidence shines through his playing and ability to communicate with his new trio. The ballad tempo allows Reed to explore many rhythms and cross-rhythms as the steady team of Alemanno and Quinerly holds the pulse true and unchanging.
“Along Came Betty” is given a gentle Latin feel as the trio explores the well-known jazz tune at a slow-medium tempo. Reed certainly displays his fluid technique on the piano as he navigates the changes with adept melodic lines. The trio is comfortable performing the tune within the jazz linage and is not trying to push boundaries but be expressive within the bookmarks of the tradition colored by today’s modern jazz.
Black, Brown, and Blue offers a piano trio approach to a unique set of originals and well-chosen jazz and pop tunes. In addition, Calvin Rhone sings on “Lean On Me,” and David Daughtry adds his voice to “Pastime Paradise.”
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