WHAT PEOPLE SAY
author of "The Innocents Club"
& "Guilt By Silence“
Barbara Reed delivers a double treat with High Notes Are Murder and its companion CD: a fine mystery and musical accompaniment to die for. Heroine Liz Hanlon is smart, big-hearted, and talented—an up-and-coming jazz singer, pianist, and composer whose career looks bright until a scandal from the past threatens to destroy her and anyone else who stands too close. Reed provides a witty, fascinating insider’s look at an LA music scene that is weirder and scarier than most fans will ever know.
Martin J. Smith
author of Time Release, Shadow Image, and Straw Men
Barbara Reed’s High Notes Are Murder features a heroine as smart and likable as any in crime fiction today.
Singer Liz Hanlon’s voice remains strong and pure throughout this refreshing debut novel.”
author "A Most Personal Look," Markham Publishing
. . . high stakes dealings . . . the story opens a window into both the heart of a dreamer and the mind of a murderer.”
"The Perfect Book Club Book"
I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara Reed this year. She is a talented and classy lady. Much like her character Liz Hanlon. Two of my passions are Jazz music and reading. Barbara brings both of those passions to life. She is a great musician and author.
Harmonic Deception has a dramatic opening in chapter one and keeps that exciting pace throughout the book. Once you are drawn into the drama, you do not want to put the book down.
Harmonic Deception is the "Perfect Book Club Book". We played Barbara's CD " High Notes" as we discussed the dramatic attack at the nightclub and the brave Liz Hanlon. Hearing Barbara singing during the meeting was almost like she was with us. And by the way, the music is as good as the book.
Can't wait for the next one!!!
NICHOLAS F. MONDELLO
reviewer ALL ABOUT JAZZ
Musicians who are also authors tend to be relatively common -it's those Muse juices, you know. Mary Higgins Clark would title her books with the names of well-known popular songs. Popster parrotter Jimmy Buffett and even Madonna have penned. Barbara Reed, however, does it all: she's an outstanding vocalist/pianist/composer/lyricist—and a celebrated author whose work on all embraces song.
The LA-based Reed has been a fixture on the So Cal music scene for years. She's a solid, musically-grounded artist who can deftly shape-shift across genres—and she does just that superbly here. Reed's On Stage offers a baker's dozen tracks, a varied bunch of material incorporating Reed originals, a GASser, and a few pop classics—all recorded either in the studio or live.
The album kicks off with a hip Reed original, "The Tear Returns to Me," an Al Jarreau-like groover that sets the upbeat tone for the date. Reed digs swingingly into the GAS with "The Way You Look Tonight" (with a tasty Sam Riney sax solo) and also into pop dusties-a straight-up version of Teddy Edwards,' "It's All in the Game" and Bobby Darin's signature hit, "Beyond the Sea." All are delivered impeccably and with respect for melody and line. Vocally, Reed's bright soprano voice is inviting and her technical chops there and on the keys are gymnast-like. Her dynamic control and phrasing are Aces.
There's a lovely intimacy in her interpretation of a line. Her genre versatility is on also display with her original "Right Here All the Time" and the Trisha Yearwood 90s' cross-over award-winner, "The Song Remembers When." Her take on Benny Goodman/Peggy Lee and Roger Rabbit's well-known "Why Don't You Do Right" is, to Reed's credit, fun and not goofily camped up.
As a composer, Reed has got to be L.A.'s biggest secret. Her writing and lyricist ability—remember, she's also a celebrated novelist—are versatile and her word choice is always right on. The "Child in You" and "It's a Kid's World" have that special ear-and heart-grab texture that you'd swear that they were in a flick from the Mouse House. The darker "She Saw You Comin'" lets Reed soul it up blue. The closer "But It's His Eyes" is a "killer," sending us off poetically into the Hollywood noir.
The groups behind Reed are L.A.-1 with terrific taste and support. They each frame Reed superbly offering tasteful back-up without stepping on musical toes.
While there are obviously no intentions to break envelopes or redefine things with On Stage, it's a most entertaining near-hour of great music and word delivered by a very talented artist—one certainly worthy of much wider recognition. On Stage is indeed the word.
Personnel: Barbara Reed: vocals, piano, keyboards; Llew Matthews: piano, keyboards; bass: Max Bennett, Tom Gargano, Mark Tavarez, Eddie Young; drums: Randy White, Jeff Fish.
Track Listing: The Tear Returns to Me; The Way You Look Tonight; It's All in the Game; You Can Take It All back; The Child in You; Right Here All the Time; The Song Remembers When; Beyond the Sea; It's a Kid's World; Why Don't You Do right; Remember Me; She Saw You Comin'; But It's His Eyes