It seems there’s always a go-to piano player in New York. A guy who can play with anyone, but who is so good that, no matter what he plays or who he’s playing with, you always know it’s him. He’s got a touch, a style, a feeling. He’s someone who comes forth and grounds the whole scene.
In addition to playing with everyone, this guy also composes and leads dates and sessions. He’s always playing. He’s got the entire repertoire in his bones – church, blues, swing, bop, and everything before, in between and beyond any labels.
John Hicks used to be that guy and was that guy for many years before he died. His records are always rewarding. He was not only moving forward, but also honoring the tradition. It was a treat to hear him in any setting.
Eric Reed began to be that guy about 15 years ago and is in the thick of it, right now. He has many records under his name – all great – and he’s on a bunch of others. He’s at Lincoln Center, touring, gigging, and teaching. His heart is in his music and he’s continuously giving it away. He loves Monk and Ahmad Jamal and he’s a brother to them.