Scott Reeves

Creative Jazz Improvisation



Scott Reeves is a trombonist, alto flugelhornist, composer, arranger, author, and college jazz educator. A Chicago native, he attended Indiana University where he received his B.M. in trombone and his M.M. in jazz studies. Over the years he has studied improvisation with David Baker, Woody Shaw, and Kenny Werner; arranging with Manny Albam, Mike Abene, Jim McNeely and Mike Holober; and trombone with Thomas Beversdorf, Lewis Van Haney and Dennis Smith.

Since 1976, Scott has been teaching jazz at the university level and currently teaches at The City College of New York, CUNY, where he holds the rank of tenured Full Professor. Scott previously held positions at the Juilliard School, the University of Southern Maine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Memphis State University and Western Washington University. Scott frequently presents workshops and concerts throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Italy, and is a long-time composer participant in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in NYC.

Scott’s most recent recordings are the 2018 release, “Without a Trace” and the 2016 release “Portraits and Places” by the 17-piece Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra. Other recordings under his leadership include his quintet recordings, “Shape Shifter” (featuring Rich Perry) and “Congressional Roll Call” (featuring Bill Mobley, James Williams & Kenny Werner), as well as “Tribute” by his 4 trombone/3 rhythm septet, Manhattan Bones. Scott can also be heard as a sideman on four CDs by the Dave Liebman Big Band, as well as the Bill Mobley Big Band double-CD “Live at Smoke."



Some of the instrumentalists with whom Scott has played include:


Duane Eubanks, Herb Pomeroy, Clark Terry, Freddie Hendricks, Jim Rotondi, Joe Magnarelli, and Bill Mobley


John Fedchock, Mike Fahn, Gary Valente, Sam Burtis, Alan Ferber, Tim Sessions, Mark Patterson, John Mosca, Luis Bonilla, and Doug Purviance


Dave Liebman, Benny Carter, Rich Perry, Tim Reis, Jon Gordon, Dick Oatts, George Garzone, Gerry & Adam Niewood, Jason Rigby, and Steve Wilson


Kenny Werner, Mike Holober, Jim Ridl, Roberta Picket, and James Williams


John Patitucci, Rufus Reid, Mike McGuirk, John Benitez, Todd Coolman, and Ron Carter


Pete LaRoca, Eliot Zigmund, Tim Horner, Andy Watson, Billy Hart, and John Riley, and his son, Eric Reeves


Scott’s recent performing & arranging credentials include work at New York jazz clubs such as Birdland, the Village Vanguard, Smoke, and the 55 Bar. He regularly performs with the Dave Liebman Big Band, the Bill Mobley Band, the Erica Seguine Orchestra, the Valery Ponomarev Big Band, and his own groups: the 17-piece Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra, the Scott Reeves Quintet, the Clark Terry/Bob Brookmeyer Retrospective Project, and his 4-trombone, 3 rhythm band, Manhattan Bones. Among the many groups Scott has subbed with include the Vanguard Orchestra, the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, NewYorkestra, the Oliver Lake Big Band, the Pete McGuinness Big Band and the BMI Jazz Composers Orchestra


Scott's latest release is Portraits and Places, performed by the Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra (featuring Steve Wilson). His previous recording credentials include his quintet releases, You Are What You Think, Congressional Roll Call, and Shape Shifter LIVE at Cecil's, as well as Tribute for Manhattan Bones.

As a sideman, Scott appears on three recordings with the David Liebman Big Band: Beyond the Line, As Always, and Tomorrow's Expectations. Two of Scott's big band arrangements, "Anubis" and "New Breed," are featured on As Always

Scott also plays on the Bill Mobley Big Band CD, Live at Smoke, which includes his arrangement of "Arioso."

Additional credits include "Composition 96" by Anthony Braxton and "Honey" by the Rome-based Santucci/Scoppa Sextet, as well as recordings by bassist Sam Sherry, Mike Treny's Jazz Composers Orchestra, and Japanese vocalist Kaoru Azuma.


Scott's two books, Creative Jazz Improvisation and Creative Beginnings (both published by Prentice-Hall), are among the most widely used texts in their field.

They have been used in the USA at schools such as the University of Southern California, University of Texas, Cincinnati Conservatory, Rutgers, William Paterson University, City College of New York, Georgia State University, Philadelphia University of the Arts, Temple University, Miami/Dade College and High School for the Performing Arts, University of Minnesota, and Berklee. 

In Europe, they have been adopted by academies such as Brunel University in London, The Royal Conservatory in Brussels, and the Università della Musica in Rome.

Scott has also written eleven articles and papers on jazz; his article on jazz arranger Gil Evans was the feature story for a 1995 issue of Jazz Educators Journal. His compositions and arrangements for jazz ensemble are available from Reebone Music, Aebersold Jazz, and UNC press.