A few years ago Joel Siebert, now residing in Lakewood, completed THE SAX MAN, an uptempo documentary (with a bit of bluesiness) about Cleveland’s best-known musician. No, you stupid internet kids, not Michael Stanley - well, yes, we suppose Michael Stanley is Cleveland’s best-known musician. But far more people, arguably, have heard and seen Maurice Reedus Jr.
Reedus, for the past 20 years, have been a ubiquitous street-saxophone player, blowing his notes chiefly around Playhouse Square and sporting events downtown. Many passersby in the crowd just know him as the Sax Man, who takes requests of all sorts - when police aren’t telling him to move along.
Siebert’s film (with guest appearances by radio personality Alan Cox, actor-turned-music-producer Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and prolific local writer Ted Schwarz) opens up Reedus’ bittersweet past. He’s an artist descended from Grammy royalty, a guy who could-a-been-a-contender, and now roughs it with his horn in all sorts of stormy weather. But is he a “real” musician? And could Reedus come through in an honest-to-goodness, professional-style, full-band concert set? A third act performance at the Cleveland House of Blues franchise answers that question tunefully.