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Look for the Light, Jeff Reed

Jeff Reed is an acoustic bassist, electric bassist, composer, and educator, currently residing in Baltimore, MD. One of the most in demand sidemen in the area, Jeff has performed extensively throughout the United States and throughout the world. As a sideman, Reed has recently been working with bass clarinetist Todd Marcus, Vibraphonist (and multi-instrumentalist) Warren Wolf, and trumpeter Sean Jones. Jeff has also performed with a slew of musicians over the years including Gary Thomas, Miguel Zenon, David Sanchez, Dave Kikoski, Dave Liebmann, Jeff Coffin, Bennie Maupin, and Tom Morello to name a few. Reed has also been recorded on over fifty full length albums.

Reed earned a Bachelors of Music from Towson University and a Master of Music from the University of Maryland, College Park. In addition to performing as a sideman, Reed leads his own group and is an adjunct faculty member at Towson University.

Stricker Street Records

Look for the Light, Jeff Reed

ook For the Light marks the first release for bassist Jeff Reed as a leader. The music is a collection of jazz standards and original material. The theme for the album was inspired by the birth of Reed’s son Fox in 2011. Reed explains, “In the days after my son was born, I was reflecting on the power of the moment of his birth. It was a moment of great change in my life and also meant I had a new partner to share my journey with. One who I had only just met but felt as though I’d known him my whole life.”

The title track “Look for the Light” is based in a simple 8 bar melody that had an equally simple harmony line played below. The theme as untitled and no further harmony at that time. Eight years past before Reed considered finishing the song. Reed ruminates, “When I finally decided to produce an album of my own, I stumbled across this melody. Finally, I was able to complete the song, and it’s presented as the title track of this collection of music.”

On the morning of November 24th, 2019, as Reed was preparing for the recording of this music, he got a call from one of my best friends and the drummer on this recording, Eric Kennedy. He informed Reed that his mother, Dorothy, had passed away early that morning. His heart sank as the sadness of his loss washed over Reed. The idea that he should come and work with Reed for a full day was absurd, Reed quickly offered him the opportunity to stay home and simply mourn the loss of his beloved mother. He declined and insisted that he would come and play for her, certain that this is what she would have wanted him to do. Look For the Light is an expression of life, beauty, and light in a moment of birth. It was performed as an expression of life, beauty, and light in a moment of death. This alignment of events for Reed, without question, was confirmation that something worthwhile had just been completed. A cycle of events that was an opportunity for five musicians to express something unique and beautiful, and a reminder to Look For the Light.

Sean Jones: Trumpet
Todd Marcus: Bass clarinet
Jonathan Epley: Guitar
Eric Kennedy: Drums
Jeff Reed: Bass

Episode #239

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