Mike Reed’s Flesh & Bone | Fullerton Hall, Art Institute of Chicago | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Mike Reed

Mike Reed

Jim Newberry

Mike Reed’s Flesh & Bone 

When: Fri., Nov. 20, 7 p.m. 2015
Price: $15, $10 members
Composer and drummer Mike Reed conceived A New Kind Of Dance (482 Music), the latest album by his band People, Places & Things, as an expression of his desire to get people to move “whether it’s in their head or reflected with their bodies.” And the record makes both happen. You can wonder just how PPT and guest pianist Matthew Shipp transform Mos Def’s skeletal rap “Fear Not of Man” into a roiling boil of second-line beats, bebop-steeped horn solos, and dissonant keyboard stabs, or ponder the title cut’s tension between Shipp’s McCoy Tyner-like flourishes and Reed’s martial drum patterns. Or you can jiggle your bones to a variety of dance grooves, including a stately waltz, a jubilant South African kwela tune, and a Bulgarian horo that starts slow but accelerates to a velocity guaranteed to make someone lose a shoe. Tonight’s concert is inspired by a day’s events in which PPT had to shake a leg just to save their lives. While touring Europe in 2009, dubious directions landed the racially integrated combo in the midst of a neo-Nazi rally that turned violent. While they escaped unharmed, the experience has been on their minds ever since, and Reed conceived of the multimedia work Flesh & Bone to give voice to their reactions. Bass clarinetist Jason Stein, cornetist Ben Lamar Gay, and vocalist Marvin Tate will join the core quartet of bassist Jason Roebke, tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman, and alto saxophonist Greg Ward. Together they’ll present a program of composed and improvised music interspersed with recorded interviews in which Pulitzer Prize-winning polymath Wadada Leo Smith and historian/musician George Lewis offer perspectives on race, justice, and art.
— Bill Meyer

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