Eddie Reed Big Band and Swing Quintet
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  Eddie Reed's Big Band Biography

In the 1990s, when someone refers to "traditional big band swing," there is always an implication of the Lawrence Welk variety:  music played by old people for old people with slowed tempos, overplayed melodies, stock arrangements, trite solos, and a serious shortage of genuine enthusiasm.  The term "swing" has been diluted through the years and has come to mean a variety of things including rhythm and blues, jump blues, be bop, etc.  With so much confusion, I suggest you attend Professor Eddie Reed's class in swing.  An Eddie Reed Big band performance is a lesson in authenticity, correcting any misconceptions you may have.

With the profusion of lounge, rockabilly, and jump bands, The Eddie Reed Big Band represents a true link to the swing era proper.  Having played with Artie Shaw, Anita O'Day, Helen Forrest, Abe Most, and The Inkspots, Reed's devotion to authenticity and to the recreation of the true swing bands of the 1930s and 1940s pervades every aspect of his performance.  According to Reed, "1939 was the year when jazz was really at its best.  Before that, the sound was too tight; after, it was too deep.  It was important to me when I started the band to have this sound.  I don't mind admitting that I modeled my band after my heroes and use a lot of their music."

Originally from Shady Grove Texas, and transplanted to SoCal, Eddie Reed was weaned on musical and performance arts.  His father, Clayton Ivey, was a renowned operatic chanteur, and his mother, a dancer.  Reed pursued formal study in jazz song and piano and has been singing professionally since he was nine years old.  In addition to bandleader duties, Reed is a skilled guitarist, pianist, and clarinetist.

Reed, like so many others, was a product of the rockabilly revival.  In addition to sharing the stage with such notables as The Blasters, The Paladins, The Red Devils, James Harman, and The Mighty Flyers, he formed his own rockabilly outfit, known as Eddie Reed & The Bluehearts.  With the disbanding of the Bluehearts in 1990, Reed served a two-year apprenticeship with the Beverly Hills-based West Side Society Dance Band.  He learned the ropes, networked with musicians, and met living legends Artie Shaw and Al La Tour, both of whom took a personal interest in his band from the start and even lent him rare arrangements for their personal libraries.

It is undisputed that Reed has assembled a roster of great players for his sixteen-piece outfit.  Bass player Barry Cogert has performed with Louis Belson, Bobby McFerrin, Ron Eschete, and Gerald Wiggins; drummer Paul Lines played with blues great Roy "Guitar" Gaines and bop legend Teddy Edwards and recorded with Tupelo Chain Six; and trumpeter Kye Palmer sat in Woody Herman's horn section, as well as with Bob Hope, Johnny Mathis, and The Temptations.  Other members have played with The Tonight Show orchestra, The Arsenio Hall Show, and various Disneyland big bands.

In addition to top-notch instrumentalists, vocalist Lisa Clark joined the band four years ago and has proven to be a star attraction.  She carries on the tradition of teenage female band vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald and Doris Day, who are also her influences.  Paying tribute to Helen Forrest, Clark can milk a tune for all its worth at both the ballad and jump ends of the spectrum.  Always dressed to impress, Lisa exudes charm and sophistication.

The Eddie Reed Big Band has recently released their debut CD, entitled Hollywood Jump.  Recorded at the historical Capital Records studios, it is a precocious and authentic endeavor representing a cross-section of swing and jazz standards.  Contents include: "Salt Lake City Blues" (arranged for Johnny Mercer by Will Hudson), "Jazznocracy" (arranged for Jimmie Lunceford by Will Hudson), Duke Ellington's "Cottontail," Gene Krupa's "Boogie BLues," and the Yiddish folk song "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön."  Artie Shaw standards "Natch" and "The Lamp is Low" also appear, the arrangements for which Shaw contributed from his personal library.

     
Big Band Songlist