Vibes in the Night
Paul W. Reeves recently released 'Vibes In The Night'. Completed in the fall of 2006 and released in December of 2006, this great CD, featuring several jazz classics and Paul's virtuosity and terrific musicianship on the Vibes, Piano, Drum Set, Auxiliary Percussion, and Bass, Guitar, and String Synthesizers, along with his personal arrangements of the tunes, will keep you listening for many hours. Many people, like yours truly, know Paul W. Reeves as a friend, pal, and buddy. A few thousand people know him as a top flight Band Director with an award-winning band program, while still thousands of others know him as an educational leader of award-winning schools. For all of those people, there is one more aspect to Paul that some of us know about: his reputation as a top-notch musician in the Detroit area for many years. In addition to earning 3 college degrees (the first of which was in Music from Wayne State University in Detroit) and working as a top-flight Band Director in the Detroit area, Paul W. Reeves has performed professionally since he was 16 years old with Jazz Bands (Big Bands and Combos), Pop Groups, Rock N' Roll Bands, Symphony Orchestras, and Chamber Ensembles, as well as a substantial amount of solo work. While Paul is mostly known for his percussion talent, especially his work on the vibes and drums, Paul also plays the Piano, as well as the Strings, Bass, and Guitar Keyboards. In addition, on his CD's, Paul further displays his virtuosity in music, as he wrote, arranged, played, recorded, and mixed all of the parts! The final products are truly his own creations from beginning to end. Influenced heavily by the playing of jazz musicians Buddy Rich, Bobby Hutcherson, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Count Basie, and Oscar Peterson, as well as the music of several classical composers, including Beethoven, Bach, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, and scores of others, Paul's rare blend of musicianship, virtuosity, and the knack for playing the right notes at the right time, make his CD's worth listening to over and over, as many of us have already done! The following songs are on 'Vibes in the Night': Autumn Leaves - We begin with vintage Paul! His first love in jazz is the be-bop style, in which the bass and drums constantly drive and push the band forward, while the piano provides the chords. Over this foundation, Paul's vibes carry the melody and much of the solo work, although he let's the piano take a solo turn, as well! The lyrics to the tune are sad, but you wouldn't know it in this rendition, as Paul's playing evokes happy thoughts that are sure to have you tapping your toe from beginning to end! Satin Doll - When Paul was still in high school, he often played at the Elks Club in a band with his Band Director. One of his favorite tunes to play was "Satin Doll", because, as he said, "The drums got a chance for some solo work throughout the tune!" His drum work in this chart doesn't disappoint, as he mixes solo/fill work with his same relentless driving force that made him one of the most in-demand jazz drummers in the area! Listen to the bridge on the Vibes solo .... then try to write it down or sing it back ..... you can't do it, can you? One of my favorite moments in listening to Paul's artistry is when he solos over the bar lines, yet somehow manages to end up right on cue with the band! The Shadow of Your Smile - This is one of my favorite cuts on the CD! All elements of the bossa nova, as well as the playing of the Vibes, Drums, Bass, Piano, and Auxiliary Percussion are tops on his version of this Jobim tune! Note the Bobby Hutcherson and Milt Jackson influences on this tune, that is, before our vibist goes back into his vintage Paul W. Reeves style. This is one of the tunes that you will listen to over and over, both for it's jazz elements, as well as it's easy-to-listen-to quality! I'm in the Mood for Love - I am not sure how to make a ballad swing with intensity, but Paul sure did it on this track! I watched him record the solos for this track and I could see the intensity and emotional output exuding from him in multiple doses! Paul always puts everything that he has into his playing, but it's never more evident than on his ballad work. ALL OF ME - Another sad, sad song, in terms of the lyrics, but hold on ...... there's no sadness in Paul's version of this standard tune, as his upbeat tempo, driving bass and drums (note the Buddy Rich-style hi-hat playing in measures 3 and 4!) and lightning fast Vibes and Piano solos make this the happiest tune on the CD! Another toe-tapper throughout the song, you'll need a drink of very cold water after you hear this non-stop drive from beginning to end! Don't Get Around Much Anymore - O.K., I finally figured it out; Paul W. Reeves has a gift for taking incredibly sad songs and making them sound happy. I actually found myself smiling during his piano solo and trying to figure out the notation on his over-the-bar-line solo on vibes. I couldn't figure out the notation, but I was able to continue the smile that was left over from the Piano solo! Another Ellington tune, this has always been one of Paul's favorite tunes to play at gigs, as it's a little unpredictable with it's chord structure, yet fun to listen to and play. Enjoy! The Girl from Ipanema - For years, this was Paul's 2nd or 3rd tune at each gig. This tune is always guaranteed to get toes taping, fingers tapping, and minds wandering to the beaches of Ipanema or your own favorite beach! To differentiate from some of his speedy Vibes solos on other cuts, Paul takes it easy on this solo by incorporating fewer notes, but not compromising any musicianship. You'll also like his electric Piano solo, as well as the strings at the bridge. A natural drummer, his drum set and auxiliary percussion work are outstanding on this cut, as they lay the ever-present foundation for the tune without ever getting in the way of the Ipanema travels of the other instruments! I Wanna Play Now! - Paul wrote this blues tune while he was a junior in high school. He and some of his friends formed a band that performed for their own National Honor Society induction ceremony and Senior Awards Night, and, yes, they played this song. Before the Vibes and Piano exchange fours and before the Bass takes his own 12 bars, can you count the number of notes in Paul's Vibes solo? I watched him record the solo and it sure looked like smoke was coming from his mallets when the 12 bars were over! But, in typical Paul W. Reeves style, his smokin' hot Vibes solo ended up right on cue, leaving the listener mesmerized! Seven Steps to Heaven - Paul first had the chance to play this Miles Davis classic at a jazz club on the East Side of Detroit. As he puts it, 'We played there every Sunday night, we packed the place, and I couldn't wait to play this tune on drums, as there are ample moments for fills, as well as an extended solo!'. Paul's 240 beats per minute will leave you breathless, from his statement of the melody through the vibes and piano solos and the extended drum solo that gets the heart racing! Another instant Paul W. Reeves classic! Click on Paul's website for more information!! Notes by: Sarah H. LaVerney.