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Published: 2007/11/16

Reed Mathis Responds to TLG Backlash

As previously reported, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey bassist Reed Mathis will take over for Ben Chambers in Tea Leaf Green beginning this December. While many fans are excited about Mathis new direction, others are decrying the bassists shift from jazz to more rock-based textures. Mathis is taking his naysayers head-on and posted a lengthy message via JFJOs Yahoo Group. Below is an except from the bassists comments:

_ First, Jacob Fred is the greatest band in the history of the universe. I just got word that we are actually Beethovens favorite band of all time. Hendrix, too. and Bird. They all like Jacob Fred almost as much as I do. We just confirmed a 20-night run at Carnegie Hall in 2010, and Im pretty sure the record were working on is going to go triple-platinum. For real. I hear you, though. It is, possibly confusing_. Jazz didnt start out elitist. Originally, it was FOLK music. Made by semi-illiterate accidental-scholars who simply wanted to party and let people party. The fact that the opera houses of 1890s New Orleans could only afford a single pianist (rather than a full orchestra), who coincidentally had a night gig at a brothel and a buddy in a brass band is a happy accident in the culture, and the upside of the karma of slavery. We are so fortunate that this happened. Elvis, Dylan, and the Beatles were created by SOCIETY to fill the gap that Bird opened. Young people need to dance and get laid, and sing along. Jazz once provided this service. Then it became higher music. We have to worship what is already here. We have to play the music that all people are composing. I believe that Tea Leaf Green does this. I believe Jacob Fred does this. All musicians express the music of all people. Some musicians express the fear and isolation of the socially excluded. some musicians express the joy and comfort of being a tribal people. some musicians express both, because most of us feel both extremes. The RANGE of human experience this is our subject. Ive learned a lot from Mr. Josh Raymer. And I dont have to tell you that Ive learned a lot from Mr. Brian Haas and Sean Layton, and Matt Leland, and Jason Smart, Steve Kimock, Robert Walter, Marco Benevento, Matt Chamberlain, Zack Najor, Karl Denson, Skerik, Mike D, the brothers Barr, Stephen Perkins, Joe Russo, Jon Fishman, Peter Apfelbaum, Jamie Janover, Jeff Coffin, my parents & uncles, Peter Tomshany, Annie Ellicot, and a hundred amazing others. Should I not add to this list? _To me, the whole concept of hierarchy is fear-based. The musical continuum is, if anything, a SPHEREnot a line. 3-D, baby! Nothing in front, nothing behind. nothing above, nothing below. its all spinning and equal. Plus, in the words of the great John Cage, A musics only value is in its USE. Any thoughts? Lets blog it down, friends. love, Reed_ Mathis first show with TLG will take place December 7 at Santa Cruz, CAs Rio Theatre.

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