Earshot Jazz Festival Preview: Ed Reed and Anton Schwartz | November 3, 2015

Ed Reed

Ed Reed

Singer Ed Reed and saxophonist Anton Schwartz met almost 10 years ago in the SF Bay area.  Ed was 78 years old at the time, and just getting recognized as a jazz singer.

Partly due to his love of jazz, Ed has survived drug addiction and multiple prison terms.  Four CDs later, he’s been on the Downbeat Critic’s Poll list of “Rising Stars” for six years, topping that list in 2014.  Read more about Ed’s amazing life at

“I started thinking about what I wanted to do next, and I was thinking Coltrane, I wasn’t thinking about Johnny Hartman.  I was thinking about the ballads that Coltrane played, and as soon as I opened my mouth, everybody said ‘Hartman’.  That’s the way it evolved, and it’s really been a lot of fun, people have appreciated it,” says Ed.

The 1963 John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman album is an iconic romantic ballads recording which was re-introduced to music lovers through the 1995 Clint Eastwood film “The Bridges of Madison County.”  Ed and Anton will be playing the songs from that album on November 6 and 7 at Tula’s Restaurant and Jazz Club for the Earshot Jazz Festival.

“I came of age with that recording,” says Anton Schwartz.  “It helped me through some of my dark hours when I was in college.  I’ve listened to it dozens, if not hundreds of times.  So there’s that ages-old question of how do you honor something without trying to duplicate it.”

Ed:  “We’re doing ‘Lush Life’ in a way that nobody’s done it, just saxophone and voice.  I wanted to do it with just me and that one instrument, and Anton is ideal. And I feel like we’re still growing into it.  It’s all new each time we do it.  And that goes for the rest of the songs, too.  I don’t think we’ve done any of it the same way twice.”

Anton:  “I have to go at it each time without any pre-conception, because you’re telling the story, and it’s my job primarily to be in the moment and see where you’re leading things.”

Ed:  “We try to stay close to the original arrangements, but everything else is kind of free-flowing.  It’s exciting.”

Anton:  “Coltrane and Hartman only recorded six songs, so we’re doing a bunch of other things, all of it from Coltrane, a few that maybe people aren’t as familiar with.”

Ed and Anton will perform at Tula’s this Friday and Saturday with Dawn Clement on piano, Michael Glynn on bass and D’vonne Lewis on drums.



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    A blog about Jazz, Blues, Latin Jazz, New Orleans, musician's stories and more. My name is Robin Lloyd and I've been involved in jazz radio and the music business for over 30 years. This is my personal blog.

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