"...Reed's pieces are as visually and emotionally provocative as his technique is dazzling." -- Hilarie Grey, Jazz Times
"...a revolutionary guitarist who plays his instrument like a drum kit as much as a guitar." -- Guitar World Magazine
"A living guitar legend in his own right"(Minor 7th, (U.S.) November 2000) -- Minor 7th, (U.S.) November 2000
"Handwritten Notes should be a bible for anyone looking at the extended possibilities of the acoustic guitar" -- Billboard, Critics Choice, (U.S.) October 2000
"I listen to Preston Reed and my mouth just drops open. Not only does he play well, but he also has tremendous soul, tremendous emotion in his music." -- Artie Traum's Wood & Steel
"Preston Reed is a consummate performer whose live showcases have consistently wowed both music lovers and professional musicians alike" -- MTV (Asia), October 2000
"Reed's propulsive one-man grooves echo Soundgarden and Joni Mitchell". -- James Rotundi, Guitar Player
"Seeing Preston Reed for the first time is a jaw-dropping experience..." -- Acoustic Guitar Magazine
If you get one acoustic guitar album this year, Handwritten Notes is the one" -- Echoes, (U.S.) November 2000
From the Artist
The overwhelming response from audiences over the past several years to my jazz ballad "First Summer Without You" mandated that I place much more emphasis on melodic,emotional compositions. As a result, I have included six such pieces on this recording.
I wanted the sound on this record had to be the best of any of my recordings. I challenged Paul Baron and Bobby Schnitzer at the beginning of the project to "beat" the sound of any acoustic guitar records they knew of...to make my guitar "huge", but at the same time intimate and lyrical. I believe we surpassed our goal. The sound and sense of space on this CD is tremendous. Bobby said at one point during a mix playback, "It's like you're playing a twelve foot guitar."
Last but not least, I wanted "Handwritten Notes" to be a musically and compositionally challenging record. As with all of my recordings, I have continued my explorations and innovations in technique, rhythm, texture and composition. I have also taken up some new creative directions, one of which is integrating fingerpicking with some of my most extreme two-handed percussive techniques within the same composition. You will hear this hybrid treatment in "Crossing Open Water" and "Night Ride". Another new direction was a return to my blues roots. I had a blast writing and recording tunes like "Lost Time" which offers a wide array of my favorite nasty, ironic blues licks and stylings. Check it out - it was well worth the wait!