SOMETHING LACKING IN a lot of hard- to-classify-hybrid-hey-let's-call-it- New-Age-music is an emotional center, an evolved sensibility that moves the listener. Not so with the music of Tucson's Don Reeve-virtuoso guitarist, flute and mandolin player. His two recordings have one market niche under New Age, but both Nature's Way (Soundings of the Planet), and Spirit Wild (Crash Landing), defy being stuck within the narrow confines of many of New Age's low-content efforts.
A long-time valued player in a number of local bands-Neon Prophet, Rhythm Method, Sruti, Fine Stream Gamelan, jones Brothers, and the Kevin Bowman Band, Reeve can tear up bluegrass, rock, Top 40, pop, folk, acoustic country and music from India and Indonesia. His two releases of original music draw from the variety of styles he can play so well, but the reviews or Nature's Way and Spirit Wild overwhelmingly appreciate that he has found and effectively expresses his own voice.
The reviews recognize both Reeves impressive technical abilities and his "emotional presence." A master of one takes, he is more than well rehearsed-as one reviewer stated, Reeve is in "complete resonance with his guitar." And His rapid fire accuracy playing long and complex melodic runs is so smooth, it sounds deceptively easy. His ability to simultaneously play bass and lead parts make you think there are several tracks on some cuts. Nope, no overdubs.
To get this enviable balance between technique and heart takes a steadfast commitment. Reeve fully appreciates the challenge even though when he first started playing he never realized what it would involve. I did have a period of time when I turned around and found out I did more of this than I intended to do. basically I came to the conclusion that I had come to the point of no return."
Like all quality artists, Reeve is always trying to reach those elusive goals of progress.
"I get the abstract feeling of being on the verge of something really amazing and never quite get there," he says. With this type of dedication though, he's bound to get closer. His next CD is almost completed, and will no doubt represent another welcome plateau In Reeves' artistic evolution.