Bassist/composer Rufus Reid announces his Fall tour in support and celebration of his latest recording, the critically-acclaimed Out Front (on Motema Music). The concerts will feature the incredible trio featured on the CD, pianist/composer Steve Allee and drummer/percussionist/composer Duduka Da Fonseca.
“Some bassists stand out for the strength of their walking lines, their fluent technique or their expertise with the bow, or the musicality of their solo conception. Bassist/composer Rufus Reid has all of these covered, and much more. As a bassist, he is the total package. The same can easily be said for his skills as a composer and a bandleader.” – Grammy winning jazz journalist Bob Blumenthal. He has achieved “living legend status” as a man for all genres, and not just for his musical prowess, but because he lights up a stage, a classroom, everyone he meets, and most importantly, audiences around the globe. Not content to simply rest on these laurels, Reid chose to turn his focus towards the goal of excelling as a composer in formats ranging from solo bass to full orchestral scores. In a few short years, this “young” composer has gained major recognition and has landed numerous grants and awards.
His new recording on Motema Music, Out Front (available now), is further confirmation that there is nothing typical about Rufus Reid, his music or his bands. The title of the recording, and the special camaraderie and chemistry the bassist shares with pianist Steve Allee (Buddy Rich, John Clayton, The Randy Brecker Quartet, David “Fathead” Newman) and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca (Trio Da Paz, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, John Scofield, Lee Konitz, Joe Henderson, Nancy Wilson, Slide Hampton, Kenny Barron, Tom Harrell, amongst many others), is explained here by Reid: Out Front suggests several connotations. “In addition to being ‘out front’ as the leader, my playing in this setting is somewhat atypical in that this music stretches far beyond the bebop boundaries for which I have received recognition in the past. The interaction with these uniquely talented gentlemen and the outcome of this music is a direct result of my dedication to my own continuing compositional and harmonic growth and adventurous spirit. It is fueled by my desire to continue to stretch and grow artistically with every original piece I conceive and with every recording I make.” With Out Front, Reid, Allee and Da Fonseca have succeeded in a sonic experience that is likely to leave you with the desire to make repeated visits until the music reveals all the little things that combine to make it so very special.
For a musician who has been associated with the likes of Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, The Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Henry Threadgill (and a multitude of other luminaries), and his own groups such as Tanareid (with drummer Akira Tana), Rufus has been extremely fortunate to have experienced these remarkable ensembles in which the chemistry soared to a level exceeding expectation and defying explanation. With a resume as deep and varied as Reid’s one could imagine that it would be difficult for him to find musical encounters that meet these sky-high standards. The trio with Allee and Da Fonseca (which came together originally for just one gig in San Antonio, Texas) not only lived up these standards but in some ways exceeded them.
The music on Out Front features compositions by all three members, accented by the brilliant Tadd Dameron composition “If You Could See Me Now,” which features Reid as the lead voice throughout, and the hard-swinging Eddie Harris tune “Cryin Blues” (Reid enjoyed a lengthy association with this master of funk and jazz). Other highlights include the opening tune, “Glory,” a Reid composition inspired by a striking sculpture of the incredibly accomplished Afro-American artist and national treasure, Elizabeth Catlett. “This sculpture depicts the complexity, power, and beauty of a strong black woman’s face. The music emulates those feelings with its complex, yet accessible melody and harmony,” explains the bassist. Da Fonseca’s “Doña Maria” follows, washing over the listener in the jubilant and infectious Brazilian feel. Steve Allee contributed the medium tempo on “Ebony,” which showcases the trio’s powerful, seasoned ability to swing.
Every tune on Out Front overflows with exuberance, collectively and individually. Put another way, on this brilliant new recording from Rufus Reid, you can hear and feel their smiles. “By trusting each member of the group to interpret the spirit of each tune, we challenge one another to raise the bar musically and harmonically in each of our performances,” says Reid. “It becomes joyful and that feeling is clearly communicated to the audience.”
More on Rufus Reid:
Born on February 10, 1944 in Atlanta, GA., and raised in Sacramento, California, Rufus Reid’s lifetime of being a first-call, in-demand bassist for live performances, tours, and hundreds of recordings gave birth to his world-wide acclaim as a bandleader. In 2009 the multiple award-winning bassist was the special guest artist of Sweden’s Norbotten Big Band where seven of his original compositions were recorded and broadcast from in six different cities, on Swedish radio, and the web. Also in 2009, Rufus was a special guest at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, performing with jazz greats Danilo Perez and John Patitucci, honoring legendary bassist Paul Chambers.
“As an arranger and composer, Reid’s depth displays an embrace of the wide musical world. There is no single Rufus Reid type of tune, or a typical Rufus Reid band. Each piece, and each performance, is determined by what the musical situation demands.” – Grammy winning jazz journalist Bob Blumenthal. His impressive array of awards, grants, prizes and honors are testimony to his talent, musicianship, continual search for the next artistic challenge and commitment to growth as an artist and as a human being. Rufus Reid has achieved “living legend status” as a man for all genres.
Rufus travels throughout the world as a guest artist performing his compositions with both small and large ensembles, performing Workshops and Master Classes. His book, The Evolving Bassist – in publication since 1974 – continues to be recognized as the industry standard for bass methods. A millennium edition was published in 2000, and in 2003, a DVD adaptation was released featuring a concert with Reid, Mulgrew Miller and Lewis Nash on Warner Music.
Rufus Reid is an exceptional educator, teaching clinics since 1971, through associations with the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, the Stanford University Jazz Workshop and the Lake Placid Institute to name a few. He served as Professor and Director of the Jazz Studies and Performance Program at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ for twenty years, completing his tenure in 1999.
October 30 @ 9 & 10:30 PM: Yardbird Suite
11 Tommy Banks Way, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, http://www.yardbirdsuite.com
October 31-November 2 @ 7:30 PM: Earshot Jazz Festival @ Tula’s
2214 2nd Ave Seattle, WA, tel 206 443 4221, http://www.tulas.com
November 3: Jimmy Maks
221 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR, tel 503 295 6542, http://www.jimmymaks.com
November 5: Upstairs at Vitello’s
4349 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA, 818 769 0905, http://www.vitellosrestaurant.com
November 6 @3:30-5:30 PM: Berkeley Jazz School (workshop)
2087 Addison St, Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 845-5373, http://www.jazzschool.com
November 7 @ 4:30 PM: Bach Dynamite & Dancing
Douglas Beach House, 307 Mirada Road, Half Moon Bay, CA, http://www.bachddsoc.org
November 9 @ 7:30 PM: Anthology
1337 India St. San Diego CA, tel 619 595 0300, http://www.anthologysd.com
Press Enquiries: Roz Corral at Red Cat Publicity, 212 243 7875, RedCat@nyc.rr.com
Or Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity, 347 578 7601, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Reid is the man to call for any musical situation that demands both the utmost skill and impeccable taste…his luscious sound and buoyant swing can levitate an ensemble clear off the bandstand.”- The New Yorker
“His work is a virtual catalog of modern bass technique, tempered by his infallible musicianship. The man has taste…he consistently offers up an earthy tone, flawless intonation, and fluid fingerwork. Plus, you can set the clock by his impeccable time.” – DownBeat