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Eric Reed: Stand!

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Eric Reed’s latest offering opens with the CD’s title track, a reminder of how the gifted pianist can bring orchestral dynamics, layering and thrust to even a simple theme whenever the spirit moves him.

And that spirit moves him often on this gospel-inspired trio session devoted entirely to original compositions. In some ways, the performances of “Stand!” and “Glitch Shout On,” another album highlight, are typical of the album’s rewards. The melodies quickly fold back on themselves, and yet with each cycling they take on fresh harmonic colors or acquire additional momentum, thanks in part to bassist Rodney Whitaker and drummer Willie Jones III. Not exactly a joyful noise, perhaps, but exuberant and driven just the same, especially when Reed is gathering clusters of resounding chords and punctuating them with darting single-note runs.

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