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When drummer Mike Reed started People, Places & Things, he conceived of the band as a means to engage with a nearly forgotten episode in the history of Chicago jazz. Their first album, Proliferation (482 Music), was stocked with material by the likes of John Neely and Sun Ra that had pushed the boundaries of hard bop in the late 50s, and the quartet performed it with a rhythmic adventurousness and formal flexibility derived from the contemporary avant-garde. Over the course of several records and a triumphal concert at Millennium Park, the group took this approach to its logical conclusion, in part by sharing stages and studios with players who’d been part of the late-50s scene. On Second Cities: Volume 1 (482 Music), People, Places & Things turn their attention to a new place and some different people. It was recorded in Amsterdam with seven members of that city’s thriving improvised-music community. It’s the group’s most diverse record to date, reaching beyond muscular bop and pensive, bluesy balladry into totally free improvisation—and it also includes a pair of joyous South African kwela-style romps by the late Sean Bergin.

Back to People Places and Things: Second Cities Volume 1 album page.
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