It’s amazing what staying out of prison can do for a person’s career (see Robert Downey Jr.). But after several stints in San Quentin and one in Folsom, Ed Reed, 78, isn’t reviving his jazz career-he’s beginning it. His recently released Ed Reed Sings Love Stories, out on Reed’s own Blue Shorts label, exists as the punctuation of a strange would-be career finally coming into fruition.
At age 11, Reed received his first music lessons from teenage bassist Charles Mingus, whose sister lived across the street from the Reed family in Los Angeles. “He taught me how to hear music, how to sing chord changes,” says Reed in a press statement.