There’s a nice read over at Washington City Paper with Mike Reed, the great Chicago drummer. I’ve seen him several times but haven’t caught his band People Places and Things — check out Reed’s blog for a few pieces on the project. Sounds really great from what I’ve been listening to just these past few minutes.
But back to the WashCity Paper interview…
Washington City Paper: People, Places and Things was formed specifically to explore the music of Chicago in the mid-to-late ’50s. What is important about that era?
MR: It’s the missing piece of the puzzle. People think about Chicago jazz in terms of the AACM and the Chicago Underground of the ’90s, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the Austin High Gang, or maybe Louis Armstrong when he first came here from New Orleans. This is the link between them.
There was so much going on in Chicago at that time, from folks like Sun Ra, Frank Strozier, Booker Little, and the jam-session culture that existed there at the time. I heard a whole hourlong interview not long ago with Sonny Rollins, about when he was in Chicago and living at the Y, and one of his memories was that there were just so many more places to work, even more than in New York. And that kind of fell apart because of that myopic view that New York is the place to be, and when great Chicago musicians like Clifford Jordan and Wilbur Ware decided they had to move to New York, it killed that culture not just in Chicago but in Detroit and Philadelphia.
Also thanks for the Dave Dougals shout out, Mike. Check out the whole interview here.