On April 24th, 482 Music will release Last Year's Ghost
(482-1055), the debut recording by Chicago-based drummer/composer Mike Reed's three-year old quintet, Loose Assembly. Called one of Chicago's most sublime Jazz outfits" by Time Out Chicago
, the group features alto saxophonist Greg Ward, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, cellist Tomeka Reid and bassist Josh Abrams. Last Year's Ghost
documents aural poems Reed created based on the compositional ideas and freeform playing of his band mates, linked by the common theme of what he calls the traces of people and places past."
In the fall of 2003," Reed remembers, Tomeka, Jason and I each took up residence in Chicago's South side neighborhood of Hyde Park, where the idea of Loose Assembly was born. Acting as a modern urban version of Big Pink, that location served as a laboratory for the group for the better part of a year. With the addition of Josh and Greg, our days included hours of free improvisation as well as working through each musician's compositional ideas. Taking the lessons of Ellington and Mingus, I fleshed out the compositions presented here by re-working the ideas presented in those freeform afternoon sessions. This recording also comments on the parts of us all that are bound in humanity, with each of us being an unavoidable product of past successes and failures."
Reed has been an active member of the Chicago jazz and improvised music community since 1997, working prolifically as both a performer and an organizer/presenter of live music. Known as a stunning and imaginative player" (Paul Olson, AllAboutJazz.com), he performs with bands such as The David Boykin Expanse, Rob Mazurek's Exploding Star Orchestra and the Josh Berman Quartet. His own projects have included work with the collective The Treehouse Project and 2006's In The Context Of (482-1047), a recording of improvised duets with keyboardist Jim Baker, flautist Nicole Mitchell and guitarist Jeff Parker. Reed is also the founder of the Emerging Artists Organization, a not- for-profit improvised music series, and an experienced festival organizer whose grassroots efforts led the Chicago Tribune to name him one of its Chicagoans of the Year in 2005.