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Preston Reed | Handwritten Notes

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UK - Scotland

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Jazz: Weird Jazz World: World Fusion Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Handwritten Notes

by Preston Reed

A hypnotic look at world jazz styles with mellow finger style guitar and moving progressions.
Genre: Jazz: Weird Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Night Ride
4:59 $0.99
2. Gianaina
3:42 $0.99
3. First Summer Without You
4:31 $0.99
4. Tractor Pull
3:50 $0.99
5. Crossing Open Water
4:45 $0.99
6. The Groove Is Real
3:01 $0.99
7. What You Don't See
5:02 $0.99
8. Accelerator
3:22 $0.99
9. Love In The Old Country
3:59 $0.99
10. Along The Perimeter
3:28 $0.99
11. Lost Time
4:33 $0.99
12. Quintana Roo
3:35 $0.99
13. After A Rain
3:58 $0.99
14. Shinkansen
3:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Preston Reed is a guitarist of many parts - so many parts that when he brings them all into play, first time listeners often find it impossible to believe that they're hearing just the one musician, in real time.

At full tilt, Reed's fingers, thumbs, fists and hands at once suggest a drummer, keyboardist, bassist and several guitarists at work. It's a dizzying, exhilarating phenomenon. A portrait of the acoustic guitar as full-on heavy metal band.

But impressions of rock bands - and high speed trains and duelling, pulling tractors - are only one side of Reed. While acknowledging that somewhere inside him there is a screaming electric guitarist pacing like a caged lion, Reed is also a player of deep sensitivity who can compose and play a blues or a ballad with a touch reminiscent of his great jazz piano-playing hero, Bill Evans.

Reed's entry into this guitar odyssey was inauspicious enough, his path thereafter largely self-discovered. A few chords learned from his guitar playing father, a brief, very brief, flirtation with the ukulele, clandestine practice sessions of his favourite Beatles and Stones songs on Dads guitar.... and then a too-strict classical guitar teacher led to premature retirement.

At 16, however, Reed heard Jefferson Airplane's rootsy blues offshoot, Hot Tuna. His interest was rekindled big time. Acoustic guitar heroes John Fahey and Leo Kottke were studied, their styles absorbed but not imitated, and at this point things really begin to get interesting because, at 17, Reed, by now precociously proficient, played his first live gig, supporting beat poet Allen Ginsberg at the Smithsonian Institute.

Just getting on a train from his native Armonk in New York state to Washington was a cool adventure. And it was just the first of many, not least of which was the one which resulted from his signing his first deal with a major record company, MCA, through the auspices of his friend, country singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett.

Determined to make the most of this opportunity, Reed pushed himself to go beyond the standard fingerpicking styles he'd perfected. The result was the beginnings of the startlingly innovative style, with its percussive, two-handed fretboard attack, that you hear today and which as caused guitar luminaries such as Al DiMeola and the late Michael Hedges to describe Reed as "phenomenal" and "inspiring".

Reed's compositional talents extend to film soundtracks and prestigious commissions for the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, and as well as appearances alongside Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt his major performances include an historic live satellite broadcast on Turkish National Television in 1997 with renowned saz player and composer Arif Sag which reached an audience of 120 million in 17 countries, prompting a flood of international telephone calls to the station from stunned viewers.

Since 1979, he has recorded thirteen albums and three videos and charmed audiences on three continents. He continues to tour with the same hunger and relish that informs his guitar playing and he gives regular workshops where he passes on the techniques he has developed for extending the acoustic guitar's possibilities. The secret, he says, is to relax and let the guitar patterns run by themselves. Which explains how, at full tilt, he may sound like a full-on heavy metal band but he still won't have broken sweat.



to write a review

Mark Stys

Incredible! Amazing!
Preston Reed has created another stunning album with Handwritten Notes. A style all his own. His creativity has inspired me to spend more time with my acoustic guitar.


Loved It!!
Having followed his work for some time now, this album kicks butt!!

Jim Green The Wandering Endorphin

He has inspired me to play guitar again...
I have all of Preston's cds that are offered here on CDbaby and if I were forced to pick a favorite, this would be the one. Preston Reed is truley the Jimmy Hendricks of our time! He has inspired me to play guitar again and to hear his influence on my music feel free to check out www.cdbaby.com/wandering2

Eric Loy

Outrageously prodigious, ground-breaking guitar compositions!
Preston Reed continues to push the limits of astounding progressive guitar compositions. His best yet. A musician's musician, yet accessable to anyone.

Michael Treder MP3 finger style guitarist

Has the full capacity of the acoustic guitar been reached?
Preston has once again risen the bar on the tonal expression and capacity of the acoustic guitar! A combination of sensitivity, innovation and raw power that grabs your attention and does not let go!

Charley Delve

Excel! Illumes evolution Fahey-Kaki, if you get my drift.
Am still STUDYING THIS!!! Y'all pickers know whut ah mean.


Amazing songs composed and played by Preston Reed – the littlest orchestra of the world! Handwritten Notes: an album to show to the future generations!

Matt Lai

Amazing, formidable, melodic, groovy and inspiring!
A very well balanced album which shows the fantastic command and technique which Preston Reed has over the guitar. Very inspiring to use the guitar in this way with seemless transitions to playing two hand independant taps (for those who are familiar with more chapman stick approaches) as well as using the guitar percussively, this album demonstrates his ability to apply this appropriately to write and play these great instrumentals. There is no denying his talent yet he does not show off or over do things so with a good mixture of ballads and fast numbers, to categorise this album under any one genre would be a crime. Although entirely acoustic, his songs blend together elements of western roots, rock, jazz, blues, funk, and who knows how many others. Whether you listen as background music or with full attention, this album is a great starter point for those who have never heard him before, and with every listen you will find something new.


He does sound like several players at once!

I have several of his CDs (one of which had a disclaimer saying it was one person with one guitar, with no overdubs!), and have seen him play live twice. He is in complete command of his instrument and it's a pleasure to behold. He's up and down the neck and all over the body, whether picking, strumming or slapping.

sammi sidan

Good CD with great variety!
I enjoyed the cd very much, I especially enjoyed the variety of tracks, and by that I mean the good mix of slow and fast melodies! You can count me as a new fan of Preston Reed!!!
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