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Jazz - Released November 27, 2020 | Smoke Sessions

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Jazz - Released April 12, 2019 | Smoke Sessions

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Bebop - Released February 26, 2002 | Savant

Pianist Eric Reed's touch has always been a sensitive one, but From My Heart marks the first time Reed has really consummated this side of his playing, going out of his way to bring a mostly unheard side of him to emotional ballads from popular and classical music as well as jazz. On From My Heart, Reed has chosen the minimalist accompaniment of Cecil Brooks III on drums and Dwayne Burno on bass, giving the pianist ample room to stretch out with each song. On the first piece, Lennon and McCartney's famed "Yesterday," Reed does a tasteful take of the melody, gradually easing into the solo with a selection of minor modes and cooled, climbing crescendos while Brooks and Burno back the proceedings with an interesting Latin-style backbeat. Reed gives a more subdued treatment to G. Jenkins' classic "Goodbye," while the Cahn/Stordahl/Weston tune "I Should Care" is more upbeat, with Brooks laying down a smooth carpet of brush strokes over which Reed takes off on a long bout of piano acrobatics. Reed is an expert at building tension (his formative years with Wynton Marsalis taught him well), and here he works some amazing technical runs up to a delicious release. An intriguing version of Chopin's "Prelude in E Minor" follows, with Reed gently easing Chopin's melody into a rich, increasingly dense solo. Reed gets back to basics with Duke Ellington's 1941 masterpiece "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)," taking several playful choruses in the upper registers -- even hinting at Donaldson and Kahn's "Makin' Whoopee" at one point. Burno comes in for a nice melodic solo to take the tune out. Reed's take on the Irving Berlin classic "How Deep Is the Ocean" is equally playful, finding the pianist taking his time with the opening melody, using every little bit of space available for embellishment. Reed follows with a moving version of Cahn and Brodszky's "I'll Never Stop Loving You." From My Heart ends with odes to Miles Davis and Monk, with Reed covering Davis' "Flamenco Sketches" and Monk's "'Round Midnight" with equal luster. Of particular note is how Reed takes full advantage of the modal basis of "Flamenco Sketches," building lush chord structures, trills, and tremolo effects on top of each other for a heavy six and a half minutes. Reed does a stretching, gorgeous interpretation of "'Round Midnight," combining his own blazing technical prowess with an ode to Monk's quirky style. Brooks and Burno even go into a bossa nova on one of the last choruses. Reed finishes the album with a gentle, intimate version of Cahn and Styne's "I Fall in Love Too Easily," gracefully and subtly easing the melody in and out of his solo, until finally breaking into several more fine, melodic runs and upper structures to take the song out. From My Heart works as both an ode to several great composers and a fabulous exposition of Reed's ability to make even the most demanding ballads his own. While From My Heart may not have the usual Reed lineup of blazing horn players and original songs (Reed is a fine composer by any standard), it gives this talented pianist a chance to show that he is finally coming into his own as a stylist. © Alex Arcone /TiVo
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Christmas Music - Released January 25, 2016 | MAXJAZZ

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Bebop - Released February 22, 2011 | Savant

"Reed honors Monk's compositions without resorting to straight repertory....It's a respectful yet inventive method, and his disc represents the finest possible tribute to a genius and innovator." © TiVo
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Bebop - Released July 8, 2003 | Savant

Since arriving on the jazz scene in the early '90s, Eric Reed has grown into one of the more impressive pianists and composers of his generation. Working with several Young Lions during this 2000 studio recording, including trumpeter Marcus Printup, tenor saxophonist Walter Blanding, Jr., bassist Rodney Whitaker, and drummer Rodney Green, Reed devotes most of the recording to his potent originals, highlighted by the soulful "Ain't Nothing Wrong with That," two lively hard bop vehicles ("E-Bop" and the well-named "Roller Coaster"), and the graceful ballad "Little Girls." Reed is featured with the rhythm section in a jagged interpretation of Elmo Hope's "La Berthe," while he is unaccompanied for his playful romp through a medley of Thelonious Monk's "Evidence" and "Think of One," showing off a bit of stride and some wild improvising. Highly recommended. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Bebop - Released March 25, 2014 | Savant

The third in pianist Eric Reed's ongoing exploration of the music of pianist Thelonious Monk, 2014's The Adventurous Monk is a highly engaging, deeply swinging celebration of the bebop innovator's sound. The album follows up Reed's previous Monk-themed albums, 2011's The Dancing Monk and 2012's The Baddest Monk. Backing Reed here is his adept rhythm section of bassist Ben Williams and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. Also joining Reed is tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, who appeared on The Baddest Monk, and vocalist Charenée Wade, who lends her urbane, soulful style to Monk's classic "Ruby, My Dear." More than just making a covers album or homage, Reed never fails to seize the opportunity to truly explore the complexities and nuances of Monk's music, endeavoring to find his own voice in the compositions. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 1994 | Motown

"...the performances are vibrant, gritty and flexible at whatever tempo and mood..." © TiVo
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Bebop - Released November 27, 2015 | Smoke Sessions

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Impulse!

Pure Imagination finds pianist Eric Reed offering fresh arrangements of traditional pop songs from classic Broadway and Hollywood productions. Supported by bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, Reed offers tasteful, inventive versions of such songs as "Maria," "Hello, Young Lovers," "42nd Street," "Send in the Clowns," "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and "I Got Rhythm." It's a clever, engaging record that only confirms that Reed is a singular pianist. © Leo Stanley /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | GRP

On this basic piano trio CD, Eric Reed is quite assertive on many different levels. His piano playing is maturing, growing stronger and deeper, stripping himself of clichés and past influences. He's chosen to take established songs and standards and modify them to his liking. A fine rhythm section of bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Gregory Hutchinson moves the music forward, and, as you might expect, the songs are based on his New York, New York experience. You'd be hard pressed, upon hearing his take of the old Harpers Bizarre Merseybeat Top 40 hit "59th St. Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" to recognize it from the original. Reed has re-harmonized it beautifully into a modern jazz vehicle for his own melodic trappings. The title track has some McCoy Tyner-like strength, but it's coming from the sinewy fingers of Reed, and he tosses in some stride piano during his take on Thelonious Monk's "Five Spot Blues," a neat idea. His "NYC Blues" is elegant, soulful and swinging. He changes up "Puttin' on the Ritz" in an Afro-Cuban mode, helped by percussionist Renato Thomas, and goes tender and serene on "Englishman in New York." For "A Letter to Betty Carter" the trio is joined by vocalist Dianne Reeves. There are two medleys; one "Harlemania" has a more modernistic Duke Ellington flavor, while "NYC Medley" includes a witty 5/4 run through of "Autumn in New York," a pensive "Skating in Central Park" and a meditative "Central Park West." Reed's playing is quite attractive. He knows no bounds and touches on all of the aspects of the tradition on this, perhaps his best of the several CDs he's released. If you like quality and quantity in your jazz piano players, Eric Reed is your man these days. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Candid Productions

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Wj3 Records

Eric Reed is one of a number of African-American jazz pianists who has strong roots in church music; this trio outing with bassist Willie Jones III and bassist Rodney Whitaker consists of 11 originals that are inspired in part by his gospel roots while incorporating his broad jazz background. "Stand" is a rollicking opener that will invite comparisons to McCoy Tyner's thunderous style of playing, though Reed is very much his own man at the keyboard. The gorgeous, reflective "Prayer" reflects the pianist's innate lyricism, starting alone and picking things up just a bit as the rhythm section is added. His meditative "New Morning" and the whispering "A Love Divine" also merit strong praise. This is another potent session by Eric Reed, one of the top pianists of his generation. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 4, 2019 | Smoke Sessions

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Bebop - Released April 24, 2012 | Savant

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Bebop - Released March 23, 2010 | Savant

Piano duo recordings can be a tricky thing: finding a balance that allows each musician to shine while simultaneously keeping in mind that it is a collaborative affair can result either in a seamless piece of cooperative music-making, or a battle of egos that benefits no one. Fortunately, this falls into the former category. With accompaniment by bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Willie Jones III, Reed and Chestnut are sympathetic players who know when to step forward, when to hold back, and when to meet in the middle. Although seven years apart in age (Chestnut being the older), Reed and Chestnut share somewhat similar backgrounds: both are from large East Coast cities, both began their musical instruction at a very young age via their fathers, and both have gospel training in their backgrounds. That common ground gives them not so much similar styles as an understanding of where the other is rooted, and as they burrow deeper into each of the pieces here -- drawn from a trio of live gigs at New York's Dizzy's club -- there are many times when it's near impossible to tell that two pianists are playing, let alone who's doing what -- although the mix separates Reed and Chestnut by placing one in the left channel and the other in the right, one would have to be extremely fine-tuned to the nuances of each musician's playing to pick them out had the engineer not made it easier. The set consists of standards (a spry "I'll Remember April" opens it), a couple of jazz classics (a rousing version of Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing"), and a couple of gospel-themed tunes played solo -- the classic "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," featuring only Chestnut, and Reed's "Prayer." That the pianistry is exemplary throughout goes without saying, but these two fine musicians and their accompanists elevate their meeting into something greater. © Jeff Tamarkin /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 25, 2016 | MAXJAZZ

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Jazz - Released September 20, 2004 | Nagel heyer records

This septet date features Eric Reed playing original material with a band that includes trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, trumpeter Marcus Printup, and alto saxophonist Wessell Anderson, among others. "Happiness" is a charming waltz that serves as a tasty opener, while the mini-suite "Three Dances: Island Grind/Latin Bump/Boogie Down" and the three part "Suite Sisters" best give the listener an idea of his wide ranging talent as a writer and arranger. A lengthy duo interpretation of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo" is initially played with reverence, with sensitive solos by both the leader and Gordon, before Reed shows off his tremendous stride technique. The emphasis is often on the fine ensemble work of the horns and reeds, rather than focusing exclusively on the leader or other individual solos. This is yet another very satisfying outing by Eric Reed. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 30, 2013 | Wj3 Records

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Jazz - Released September 20, 2004 | Nagel heyer records

"...A delightful, gospel-tinged, stride-filled expression of Reed's deep religiosity..." © TiVo