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Billy Reed's - Wednesday, May 31, 2006
HARD-BOP JAM SESSION with David Valdez

Billy Reed's, with its new management, has re-configured the popular night spot with an area for live music cozying up to the far end of the bar. David Valdez has inaugurated a great new Wednesday night jam session aiming for "Hard-Bop" tunes by the likes of Lee Morgan, Stanley Turrentine, Horace Silver, Cannonball Adderly and Herbie Hancock, among many others. Last Wednesday's session was a kick with a good mix of music and local talent taking the new stage.

Along with Valdez' cool alto sax were Greg Goebel on keyboard, Bill Athens on bass, and drummer Joe Janiga. Talented young saxman John Nastos sat in on most of the tunes and ran away with a couple of high energy choruses of Three Little Words. An up-tempo treatment of the Latin classic Triste got a boost from Craig Lombardi on bongos. The young percussionist just re-located from Detroit (Michigan, not Oregon).

Eli Reisman sat in on guitar and gave Goebel a break from the keyboard. Drew Shoals took over the drums for several tunes and some great solo work. Annie Madison came aboard for Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.

Shoehorn had already added his alto licks to a couple of tunes when Robert Moore joined the band for an extended take on Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You? Moore laid out the lyrics at a perfect tempo for plenty of solos including his own trumpet.

When I left, shortly before 11:00, the crowd had thinned but the players had some great blues chemistry going. This was a perfect mid-week kick-back-and-relax evening with nary a pause in the 3-hour-plus gig. The new menu was varied and my dinner was ideal. For serious listeners, this is a nicely intimate musical setting, if not a conversation bar. But Billy Reed's is spacious and affords plenty of areas at varying distances from the music to satisfy all. I'll be back for much more and will hopefully again nab a ringside table.


David Valdez is JSO's Featured Musician of the Month May, 2006

Robert Moore is JSO's Featured Musician of the Month October, 2005

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