Ed Reed – The Song Is You (2008)

Ed Reed - The Song Is You (2008)
Artist: Ed Reed
Album: The Song Is You
Genre: Vocal Jazz
Origin: USA
Released: 2008
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
The Song Is You (Hammerstein-Kern) – 5:20
It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dream (Ellington-Hodges-George) – 5:54
Where or When (Hart-Rodgers) – 8:55
I’m Through with Love (Kahn-Malneck-Livingston) – 2:25
All Too Soon (Ellington-Sigman) – 5:21
I Get Along Without You Very Well (Carmichael) – 5:21
I Didn’t Know About You (Ellington-Russell) – 5:26
Don’t You Know I Care (Ellington-David) – 4:51
Lucky to Be Me (Bernstein-Comden-Green) – 4:02
Don’t Like Goodbyes (Arlen-Capote) – 5:55
It Never Entered My Mind (Hart-Rodgers) – 5:25
Here’s to Life (Molinary-Butler) – 4:39
Black Is (Dodge) – 4:40


At age 79, San Francisco based vocalist Ed Reed presents only his second recording as a leader and his follow-up to his 2007 debut CD Ed Reed Sings Love Stories. A softie at heart, preferring ballads and midtempo swingers and standards, Reed’s pipes come close to the velvety croon of Nat King Cole, with a slight swagger reminiscent of fellow West Coaster Ernie Andrews, and staggered phrasings similar to Carmen McRae. The multi-instrumentalist Peck Allmond leads the backup band with notables as guitarist Jamie Fox and especially pianist Gary Fisher, who acts as a co-music director on these studio dates. Reed is an effortless, pleasurable, in many ways perfect vocalist who neither challenges the written lyric nor embellishes upon it, but adds big-time soul flavoring and a heart to match. A troubadour, romantic, and heartstrings puller to his core, Reed shines on such slower numbers as the lesser known Duke Ellington/Johnny Hodges song “It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dream” with violin lead from Russell George, the more bluesy Ellington number “All Too Soon” or the nicely rendered “It Never Entered My Mind.” You hear the entire ensemble of Allmond only rarely, but they shine on the energetic “The Song Is You” with Allmond’s flute and George’s violin most prevalent. Reed is naturally downhearted on “I’m Through with Love,” traipses in a light Latin mood with Allmond’s flute for yet another Ellington evergreen “Don’t You Know I Care,” and sidles up to Fox for a typical “Here’s to Life.” On Harold Arlen and Truman Capote’s “Don’t Like Goodbyes,” Allmond plays trumpet — perhaps his best instrument — as you really hear the over pronounced and effective phrasings that made McRae’s singing so endearing. Not that he’s effeminate by any means, as Reed stands up on the swinger “Lucky to Be Me.” A really good effort, long overdue and comparable to any male singer on the current scene, this CD is easily recommended for those who want to hear someone who has lived life, and can tell you its many stories.
Review by Michael G. Nastos