I am so sorry for your loss. I was really sad and shocked to hear the news. Paul always took the time to chat with me between sets when I was
setting up or breaking down my video gear. One year he was quite excited about a clever idea he had for filming one of his
signature songs (Old Rockin' Chair). He asked if I could put a camera on both sides of the piano and so he could sing the
Jack (Teagarden) part of the tune to one camera and then turn to the other camera to sing the Louis (Armstrong) part.
The song came out great and he seemed so happy to see his concept work. - Cine Devine
I remember at age 6, I use to go to the jazz festival in Pismo and dance on the dance floor with my cousins. And then at about age 13, I volunteered at the festival
with my grandma Virginia. That is where I met most of my jazz friends I have today. And then once I met my husband, I started taking him and we continued the tradition
and our son now goes to the festivals and dances on the dance floor. I remember a lot of home videos and a lot of train rides. I remember going to the Monarch
Butterfly Grove and I remember staying the night in the beautiful Pismo Beach house. I remember Christmas Eve's. I remember when my grandma Virginia married
grandpa Paul. I remember all the cruises. It was so hard to listen to CCS when my grandma passed away but I finally got back to listening to them and I enjoyed it all.
The festivals will be hard to attend but I am going to try my best to persevere. Thank you to all the jazz fans and friends of my grandpa Paul Reid who have said all
kinds of kind words. I appreciate them all.
- Amelia Chastain
Many listeners consider Cornet Chop Suey to be an “eclectic” group. As Bob Draga once noted, “Cornet Chop Suey is like an operating blender with no lid!”
Paul Reid epitomized our eclecticism through his musical versatility, experiences and creativity. Whether coming up with creative performance arrangements (like recreating the voices of Jack Teagarden and Louis Armstrong in our Louis Armstrong tribute), or performing creative and beautiful song interpretations, Paul was a truly unique voice. He was always pushing the limit, searching for new ways to express himself or interpret music. Even watching Paul eat could be considered an eclectic event: I remember watching him reconstruct the breakfast buffet on his plate in the most unusual ways!
We will all miss Paul’s knowledge of 20th century music and movie history. He was an avid collector of antiques and memorabilia wherever we traveled, and always able to provide names and dates when a question arose about recordings and movies.
Paul Reid was a friend to all! Regardless of arguments or differences of opinion that might occur, you could always count on Paul’s friendship and support. He will always be a very important part of Cornet Chop Suey’s success and “eclecticism”.
- Brett Stamps
Working with Paul Reid was special! He was much more than our piano player. He was gifted with a knowledge of the great melodies of the classics, and the standards from the great American songbook. Having him in the band was like having Mel Brooks in the band . . . you never knew quite what to expect, except that his playing would be creative, unique, and at times . . . genius. He could not be satisfied with conforming to routine, and called me often to share new musical ideas and concepts. I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to know him and share the stage with him, he will be missed!
- Jerry Epperson
I met Paul in 2010 when I re-joined CCS. I realized right away how talented Paul was. If we were playing a beautiful ballad Paul was right there with the perfect chords and substitutions. If it was a high energy, up tempo arrangement, no one could match Paul. He could be an entire band on his own. His arrangements were clever and always fun to play. He always had ideas floating in his head for new arrangements. Paul was also a fun person to be around. Very clever. I don't think I ever saw Paul in a bad mood. He will always be a part of Cornet Chop Suey!
- Jay Hungerford
One of many things that I will remember about Paul is his ability to listen to your stories about some conversation you had with a musician at a festival, or during your travels as a musician, and he would know exactly who you were talking about and share his experience about them as well. Paul knew almost everyone in the festival circuit and he loved to talk about his connection with them. When Paul would, tell you a story about his travels, you would listen in awe of his experiences. He would always make his stories so entertaining. Paul did it all and he was blessed with the gift of storytelling. I was sitting with him in a booth at a Denny’s in Penticton, BC and we were talking about his experiences in in Hawaii, when he lived there. Paul worked for a radio station in Hawaii and did “On Air” interviews with local and international talent. His stories were many and his descriptions were delightfully funny. I could have stayed for hours at that Denny’s listening to his adventures in music and the entertainment business. I know Paul will live in our hearts forever as a class act and even more as our dear friend. Keep playing, Paul. By the way, we stayed in that Denny’s for 2-1/2 hours telling delightful stories.
- Dick Maley
Playing and singing with Paul was great, and I will always treasure the memories of just sitting with him at festivals and being awestruck at his encyclopedic memory for all things show-biz, especially pertaining to early recordings and films.
While on a Mexican cruise with CCS, we went ashore and spent hours walking and talking, and we rested at a small hidden taqueria. The whole time his childlike curiosity and cheerful enthusiasm for everything in sight was so nice. He was so sweet to everyone he met. It made the time fly by. He was one of a kind. A good, good man.
- Jim Lawlor
As I told Amelia, his grand daughter, the other day, I’ve known Paul before Jazzberry Jam band was really organized. He and Mike Silverman were playing in a pizza Parlor in LA and Bill Borcher suggested we play with them at Catalina in 1973. Bruce was in Washington and Leader didn’t show, so Vic Kimzey and I played with them and had a grand time. Through the years his kind hearted friendship has meant the world to me and What a talent!
I sang at Paul’s wife’s funeral at Pismo. Paul and his brilliant mind arranged a different version of the Lord’s Prayer for me to sing, which I did.
Boy I will miss him more than words can tell.
- Earl McKee
It is with great sadness that I have learned that our good friend, pianist, entertainer and all around great guy Paul Reid has passed away. We did a lot together at two pianos; jazz festivals, cruise ships, entertainment history and just had a blast. Can't begin to describe what a loss this is. He's having a great jam session and lots of laughs right now with his many talented friends!
- Randy Morris
I'm heartbroken to hear that my dear, treasured friend Paul Reid - a wonderfully talented musician, arranger, entertainer and kind and generous friend -- has passed away suddenly to join that great trad jazz band jam in heaven. :( Everyone in the trad jazz festival circuit LOVED Paul - he was SO talented and such a wonderful entertainer and he was also a loving and kind person who was always there to help someone else. We will miss him SO much! I wish I could find my video of him doing both Louis Armstrong AND Jack Teagardan's duet of Rockin' Chair - but here's some video of him and the guys in Cornet Chop Suey doing "Looka There, Ain't She Pretty" - one of his features with the band...this is from 2017, I think. I loved Paul even before he joined Cornet Chop Suey - one of the BEST bands on the trad jazz festival circuit - and when I last saw him at the Chandler, AZ jazz festival in Nov. 2017, we even talked of working together and making some trad jazz songs for digital downloads...he was the BESTEST! Keep on jazzin' in heaven Paul because we're gonna miss youse down here!
- Jazzin' Jeanne Brei
I'm going to miss watching Paul Reid and Randy Morris enjoy the obsure movies they swapped in festival hotel rooms.
- Paul Scavarda
Paul Reid was the sweet, witty and very talented piano player for the Cornet Chop Suey band. He was one of the nicest people in this world that I have known.
I considered him my close family.
When my father passed away he contacted me and asked if he could play at his memorial. My dad and Paul got along so very well and thought the world of each other.
Paul did a great version of Louis Armstrong on the piano with his voice and dad loved his arrangement. Paul played it at dad’s memorial.
We would talk on the phone off and on at least every month. He was very talented - he even wrote me a song one year and played it at the festival.
He ate Thanksgiving dinner with dad and I every single year while dad was alive, we made it a tradition. When dad passed away we made sure the tradition
lived on and always had Thanksgiving dinner together when he came to town for the jazz festival.
He was very thoughtful with a kind heart for others. Paul had a lot of fun playing in the band on cruises and at all the different jazz festivals. Paul
will be so greatly missed, so very talented bringing music to everyone’s soul.
The red leather cap he has on in the picture (see above) at last year’s jazz festival has a story behind it.
Paul had a large hat collection and one night after we had dinner at the musicians buffet, he apparently forgot to take his red leather cap with him when he left.
So the whole next day he was trying to figure out where he lost his cap, thinking it was gone for good.
Well low and behold, when we went to dinner the next night there it was, sitting right where he left it, on the chair at the table in the musicians buffet room.
No one had taken it and the waiters had left it for him to find. He was so elated that he had found his Red cap.
- Carey Thoza
The trad jazz community has lost two incredibly talented and kind souls this week. RIP Connie Jones (a New Orleans cornet icon) and Paul Reid (gifted pianist and arranger).
- Justin Au
Such a fun and talented man - will miss him!
- Donna Milne Ringling
I met Paul for the first time at the 2018 Suncoast Jazz Classic. What a great guy and a wonderful pianist. Charlie and I are so sorry to hear of his passing.
- Dan Howard
What a great guy. I was honored to be a friend of his. His sense of humor was off the charts funny. We also shared a love for Spike Jones music and videos. Onstage he was a constant source of entertainment.
- Robert Storms
What a loss. Peace and comfort to you and yours. I miss you “Uncle” Paul. I’m so thankful for those conversations we had. Long, long conversations.
- Forrest Helmick