Mike Reed's People, Places & Things | Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Mike Reed's People, Places & Things All Ages Critic's Choice Free Member Picks Soundboard

When: Mon., Aug. 25, 6:30 p.m. 2008

Over the past year the quartet People, Places & Things, led by drummer Mike Reed, has grown into the most electrifying jazz band in town. Its stated mission is to resuscitate forgotten Chicago postbop tunes from between 1956 and ’60—a fertile period for brawny saxophone improvisation—but the players have developed such a strong rapport that their choice of material is no longer the main selling point. In particular, tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman and alto saxophonist Greg Ward seem charged by a shared hunger for exploration that drives their tough, agile interactions, which are full of tart harmony, pungent counterpoint, and bob-and-weave sparring. As excellent as People, Places & Things sound on their debut, Proliferation (482 Music), they’re even sharper live, and for these gigs Reed is putting that tight group chemistry to the test by inviting four extra players aboard. The core quartet, rounded out by sturdy bassist Jason Roebke, will be joined by trombonist Jeb Bishop and three musicians who were active in Chicago in the 50s and 60s: trombonist Julian Priester, trumpeter Art Hoyle, and reedist Ira Sullivan. Some of the tunes they’ll play are new originals by Reed, but with those veterans onstage the focus should stay on history. —Peter Margasak

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