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Ed Reed: Born to Be Blue

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At 82, four years and now three albums into his belatedly re-energized career, San Francisco vocalist Ed Reed continues to captivate. As the title suggests, this 13-track collection focuses primarily on reflective ballads bordering on melancholy. All, says Reed, draw upon his rollercoaster life experiences, including four decades of addiction and four prison stints on drug-related charges. His deft handling of the likes of “Some Other Time,” “In a Silent Tear,” “End of a Love Affair” and the title track do, indeed, suggest hard-earned wisdom, stylistically harkening back to the elegant tenderness of Johnny Hartman while also echoing the intuitiveness of fellow octogenarian Jon Hendricks.

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