As A Performer / As a Recording Artist / As an Educator / As a Composer
Reviews of Rufus Reid "Out Front" Enhanced Cd ~ Motéma Records
Rufus Reid - bass, Steve Allee - piano, Duduka Da Fonseca - drums
  Rufus Reid, one of the most magnificent jazz bassists in history, scores here again with another recording in a trio featuring musicians who live up to his virtuosic tendencies. With pianist Steve Allee and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca, Reid breezes through a program of understated originals, Latin-tinged music, and a bit of bop-flavored material sure to please all mainstream jazz fans. Clearly well-rehearsed, Reid puts the band through its paces with sounds more subtle and sophisticated than blaring, forced, or tough-faced. Three tracks are originals composed by the bassist, with Allee credited for two and one for Da Fonseca. The lone standard, "If You Could See Me Now," showcases the ultimately tuneful Reid, who plays the melody all the way through, while his bowed bass on "Caress the Thought" is ultimately dramatic. With the leader in stunning unison with Allee, the deep, heavy, and off-minor "Glory" should stop all listeners in their tracks, while conversely, the light, airy "Ebony" is far from dark, with a little shuffle tossed in. On the Brazilian side there's Marcos Silva's hopping samba "Dry Land," and Da Fonseca's "Doña Maria" suggests that Allee has heard his fair share of the modal McCoy Tyner. The musicianship is at such a high level that you cannot help but be pulled into this exceptional music, going far beyond the pale of most regular piano/bass/drums trios, led by the succinct, deft, and consistently brilliant bass playing of Reid, easily one of the top five bassists in modern jazz.
–   Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide 
    Rufus Reid keeps getting better. Those who know him by pleasant memory or his reputation for ubiquitous professionalism and versatility can still be ambushed by how refreshing the bassist sounds in his 60s. With his robust notes, woody tone and utter mastery of mainstream jazz timekeeping, he has been the spiritual heir of Ray Brown since Brown's death in 2002.
     Out Front, his second disc and first studio album for Motema, finds him in an inspired, fairly democratic trio with kindred — if somewhat obscure — cohorts: pianist Steve Allee (Buddy Rich) and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca (Trio da Paz).
      Allee credibly squawks cavernous chords a la McCoy Tyner ("Dona Maria," "Dry Land," "Crying Blues"), but he can also plumb the sweet spots of in-the-pocket swing tunes, as on his own "Ebony." Da Fonseca contributes sly hints of Brazilian music — check his brushwork on "The Rise of the Row" — but also builds and resolves tension with simmering beat combinations and erupting punctuations, as on his own ""Dona Maria" and Eddie Harris's "Crying Blues." There is palpable joy and assurance in the way all three ensemble members engage and abet each other throughout these nine tracks.
     This already-satisfying trio outing is bolstered by Reid's star turns, which are spry, riveting and ever-tuneful, a virtuosic answer to any bass-lover's dreams. Reid takes the first 100 seconds of Tadd Dameron's "If You Could See Me Now" as an unaccompanied solo, and doesn't relinquish control of the lead narrative until more than five minutes have elapsed. It's a formidable early benchmark for the best straight-ahead jazz bass you'll hear in 2010. Or listen to his arco work on the suite "Caress the Thought," parts of which are more raucous than its title would indicate. Then there's his songlike phrasing to climax his solo on "The Rise of the Row," or his bold, danceable lines on what he rightfully describes in the liner notes as the "complex yet accessible melody and harmonies" of the lead track, "Glory." This is music of wide appeal.  
–– Britt Robson - On the E music Editorial Staff
Bass Player Magazine Recommends
Rufus Reid  ~  Our Front  [Motéma]
Beefy tone, impeccable technique, like-clockwork time and melodic, adventurous solos have defined Rufus Reid's work on thousands of recordings, and it's inspiring to hear the veteran upright player and educator lead a jazz power trio as potent as his new Out Front group.  High-energy opener "Glory" has Reid, the tune's composer, sharing a hop-scotching unison line with pianist Steve Allee, against Duduka Da Fonseca's hyperactive drum-set sizzle.  The three ease their way through several shades of samba on "Dona Maria" and "Dry Land," and turn in textbook deep-groove swing on Eddie Harris's "The Crying Blues."  Reid's gorgeous tone, amber vibrato, and huge sustain are showcased with his unaccompanied intro and outro, melody reading, and dazzling improvisation on Tadd Dameron's "If You Could See me Now."  And his sensitive arco work is in full flight on his aptly titled ballad, "Caress the Thought."  It's all enchanting and often awe-inspiring.
--Philip Booth, Bass Player Magazine, May, 2010
Rufus Reid -- "Out Front." In his latest disc from Motema Music, acclaimed bassist Reid has crafted a wonderful collection of high-energy, straight-ahead jazz that, he says in his liner notes, "stretches far beyond the bebop boundaries" he's known for. The explorations on this disc include the moving opening number, "Glory," and some wonderfully uptempo tunes such as "Dry Land" and "Crying Blues," as well as Brazilian-flavored "Dona Maria," which is the highlight of this wonderful disc. What makes the music work so well is the magical chemistry Reid has found with his trio. The other musicians are drummer Duduka Da Fonseca (who wrote "Dona Maria") and pianist Steve Allee, who each get to generously express their talents through the album, which reaffirms Reid's smart leadership in his position "Out Front."
-- Michael Janairo,

Rufus Reid: Out Front and with Old Friends  

Great bassists are worth their weight in Maine lobster. Aside from maintaining the foundation so the drummer can stick and move, a great bassist can offer a substantial counterweight to a soloist, plus an additional voice that expands a band's capacity for dialogue. By those measures, Rufus Reid is a great, great bassist, with a strength and dexterity that comes through whether he is a leader or a sideman. Here are examples of Reid excelling in both roles.


Inspiration fills every piece on Out Front, be it standards like Tadd Dameron's "If You Could See Me Now" or one of the slew of crackling originals that make up most of the date. There's a clear sense that each musician is pushing himself a little harder and a little farther, and it's because of the company he's keeping. After making his mark as part of TanaReid and saxophonist Dexter Gordon's quartet, Reid has a unit of his own that could meet or exceed those high water marks. Hopefully, the gap between Out Front and the next disc won't be so long.

-All About Jazz, April 2010
 This is collaboration with chemistry. Allee’s lush keyboard talents, Reid’s multi-tiered bass expertise and Da Fonseca’s connotative cymbals, brushes, sticks and other percussive elements come together in a three-sided musical conversation that emphasizes each artist’s performing and composing skills. 
The nine tracks are split between three songs penned by Reid, one by Da Fonseca, two by Allee and three covers by Marcos Silva, Tadd Dameron (“If You Could See Me Now,” wherein the bass is the only melody instrument) and Eddie Harris (a robust rendition of “Crying Blues”). The enticing material ranges from post-bop and Latin swing to soulful romps and all yield open-minded melodies and sharp ensemble playing.
Listeners get much more than an abundant 70-minute musical journey. Reid’s instructional and interview techniques are exhibited during a 12-minute computer video offered as Enhanced CD disc content. Reid converses with Da Fonseca concerning motivation, preparation and presentation; Allee mentions Elvin Jones’ inspiration on his writing; and the three musicians chat about the experience of being on stage and in the studio together.

The engineering and audio mixing mastery by the behind-the-boards personnel is also notable. Reid’s bass is up-front but never overpowering and his turns from low-pitched and reverberant to airy and ethereal are more than capably captured. Allee and Da Fonseca’s contributions are also consistently and brilliantly delineated.
-Audiophile Audition, Doug Simpson

First-call session bassist and solo artist Rufus Reid rarely sounded better then he does here, on this exceptional trio date with pianist Steve Allee and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca. Aided by the crystalline audio engineering, Reid's prominent bass lines are "out front." Essentially, the musicians attain equal ground during this democratic engagement. They swing hard, vary the dynamic, and impart a radiant twinkle throughout the program.
Reid's booming and corpulent tone amid his fluid pace-setting frameworks act as an accelerator. On Fonseca's "Dona Maria," the trio launches into a get-up-and-go vibe, sparked by Allee's harmonic chord voicings and endearing melody line. Then, Fonseca projects his polyrhythmic aplomb and helps lower and raise the overall pitch, along with a peppery Latin groove, as Allee subsequently directs the band into tenth-gear.
Allee and Reid dish out a beefy two-chord ostinato on the tuneful piece "Dry Land." And in other regions of sound and scope, the trio generates impacting mid-tempo swing and bop patterns, while spawning a conglomerate of oscillating exchanges. However, they temper the flow with Tadd Dameron's probing ballad "If You Could See Me Now," marked by Reid's resonating, yet sensitive theme-building motifs. And they bring it all back home via an uptempo swing vamp on saxophone legend, Eddie Harris' "The Crying Blues."
Other than the players' intuitive workmanship and superior technical gifts, the album is abetted by memorable material. Hence, it's the formula for an irrefutably compelling sequence of musical events.
-- Glenn Astarita,

Out Front - Rufus Reid (Motema) - Bassist Rufus Reid has appeared on countless recordings over his 4+ decades on the jazz scene. It's easy to understand why; he's got great facility, stunning tone, a sense of "swing" that does not quit, and an innate ability to support and interact with soloists. This new recording (with added video content) features the fine Brazilian drummer/percussionist Duduka Da Fonseca and pianist Steve Allee. 6 of the 9 pieces are originals (3 from the leader, 2 from Allee and 2 from Da Fonseca), and 1 each from Marcos Silva, Tadd Dameron and Eddie Harris.
First thing one realize is that this is not just a "show up and blow" session, that the Trio is a working unit and that this music is an expression of joy. Highlights include Da Fonseca's Brazilian hard-bop "Dona Maria" and Allee's medium-tempo swinger "Ebony." The former displays the drummer's brilliant ability to move a group while the latter is a blues-based work that features a highly expressive bass solo and highlights the composer's strength as an accompanist.
Reid's "Caress the Thought" is a multi-sectioned work that has a number of dynamic shifts, showcases the bassist's stunning arco (bowed) work, Allee's richly melodic yet rhythmic solo playing and Da Fonseca's drive interspersed with moments of soft cymbal splashes. The Trio approaches Dameron's classic "If You Could See Me Now" as a ballad with Reid as the only solo voice - one could not ask for a more melodic solo from an acoustic bassist. Reid's high notes are strong, the occasional harmonics add a sweet touch, and he takes his time to develop his melodic ideas (the cut does not seem long at 9 minutes.)
Rufus Reid is definitely "Out Front" but not at the expense of his fellow musicians or the program. These players are equals and the success of this recording is that no one person nor style dominates.  Impressive music, great playing and good friends add up to one fine CD.
-- Richard B. Kamins, Step Tempest,

Reid is right. This four-star effort exhibits the trust his bandmates have in both his incredible gifts and competencies as a bandleader and in each other. With the same nimble ease Reid employs to walk his fingers up and down the bass, he consistently walks his band to the outer limits of what a jazz trio can do.  Over the course of nine brilliant tracks, they take excursions into compositional and stylistic arenas younger groups wouldn't dare approach - bright Brazilian numbers, 12-tone influenced works and cinematic suites - without ever forsaking accessible, singing melodies, buoyant, swinging rhythms and grooves so profound they might as well be craters.
"Out Front" opens, literally, with a drumroll on the vibrant, aptly named cut "Glory"; the tune slides and swings along almost effortlessly. With Brazilian native Da Fonseca leading the charge and setting the pace behind the drums, the trio takes two highly successful forays into that country's rich jazz idioms: "Doña Maria," which Da Fonseca wrote, and Marcos Silva's "Dry Land." The former has a spry staccato feel, Da Fonseca's dynamic drive accommodating both Reid's virtuosic runs and Allee's mad melodies - at points, he seems to play every square inch of the piano at once; the latter features a lively push-and-pull as rhythms range from devil-may-care to demanding. On both tracks, Da Fonseca showcases his total command behind the kit, an ability to take the reins or lighten up, depending on the song's requirements.
"Out Front" isn't all upbeat and up-tempo. "Reminiscing," a Reid original, opens with an extended piano intro that's wistful, warm and appealing; the ballad features colorful chords and an atmospheric entrance from Reid with delicate, low tones. The album's centerpiece, the 12-minute suite "Caress the Thought," opens with rich, reverberating bowed bass; cinematic and shimmering at some points, fateful and insistent at others, the track features fascinating harmonic touchstones and gliding piano melodies that are positively Gershwin-esque in spots.
Each player contributes excellence, but Reid's name rightfully marks the record, and his playing is marvelous. "If You Could See Me Now," a tune where the bass alone carries the melody, is a microcosm of his work across the entire LP. Playing solo for the first 90 seconds, then weaving his lines through the rest of the song, his tones can be deep and resonant or light and ethereal; his dexterity is incredible, his range brilliant.
-- Aarik Danielsen, The Columbia Daily Tribune
Reviews of "Live At The Kennedy Center" The Rufus Reid Quintet  CD/DVD SET
    Rufus Reid, bass; Rich Perry, saxophone; Freddie Hendrix, trumpet, fluegelhorn;
    Sumi Tonooka, piano; Tim Horner, drums
Reid’s group performs seven of his originals plus four others on this set.  The music is warm, inviting and uplifting.  Reid is a melodic composer, and the horns respond in kind throughout the album.  Reid leads and supports with firm bass lines.  His demeanor and beat convey authority, not of the aggressive, Charles Mingus type, but of a steadier, more even temperament.  This CD package is the most comprehensive portrait of the ever-instructive Reid we’re likely to get.
November, 2007
"With a set card of mostly originals, Reid shows what once a first call, stays first call.  It’s nice to do the right things with these living
legends while they are still alive and this set sets a standard that more should follow.  And it’s a great, intense listen for real jazzbos.

Reid’s bass feature, ‘Sophisticated Lady,’ is the only standard here but all the originals are good.  Numbers scored in 6/8 and 7/4 are swung just as hard as 4/4 and some of the ideas, as in Reid’s own ‘Celebration,’are brilliant.  The spacy repeated bass figure that holds its chord progression together is inspirational to all the soloists, and Hendrix’s soaring entry phrase is superb.  Other
tastefully selected yet rarely heard pieces are by musicians better known for their playing, including tenorist Harold Land and Billy Childs.  This album would be highly recommended even if it didn’t come with a companion DVD, but you will find one and it includes a condensed biography of Reid for good measure."
Jack Massaarik, JazzWise Magazine, London
October, 2007
"Long celebrated as a bassist, Teaneck resident Reid has in recent years sharpened his composition focus. The latest persuasive results are heard on this fine collection, recorded last October at the Kennedy Center in Washington.  The leader improvises with his typical resonant sound, agility and keen ear for songlike statements. Perry, Hendrix and Tonooka offer similarly tuneful efforts."
Zan Stewart, The Star Ledger, Newark, NH
May, 2008

"This project is simply wonderful.  'The Peaceful Flame' is a moving and haunting performance of this Reid piece and showcases the pianist Sumi Tonooka.  A classic recording."
Paul Pearce, Bass World
Volume 31,  2007
"Known for his first call status, Reid consistently offers an earthy tone, flawless intonation and fluid fingerwork.  It's a treat to hear Reid stepping back into the spotlight as bassist, bandleader and composer with a consistently appealing live set dominated by his own tunes (the two-disc set includes a DVD).    For the leader's sole unaccompanied piece, he chooses something familiar, bringing Duke Ellington's 'Sophisticated Lady' to life with a richly humming reading of the melody, interjecting sliding 10th and stray harmonics, and emphasizing the bluesy dimensions of the song with a solo that has fingers snapping at the Kennedy Center." 
Philip Booth, DownBeat
September, 2007 
"Most of the music here is composed by Reid himself.  The melodies and rhythms used in the likes of the hustling 'Celebration' and the gently pulsing 'Dreamgliding' are unusual and intricate.  They allow space for some excellent individual work from the players and Reid holds it all together with his elegant playing.  Collectively the band can blast like the Jazz Messengers or gently float through a lyrical piece like Billy Childs' 'heroes.'  The DVD also includes on extra performance, 'The peaceful Flame,' a semi-abstract piece with a hushed, hesitant air that ends in a dramatic piano solo."
Jerome Wilson, Cadence
September, 2007
The Composer

“I wanted to drop a line about the orchestration of The Meddler.   Thanks for sending me the parts and the recording, it has been very helpful.   Let me also say, that I enjoyed the string writing very much.   I would be excited about anything you do in the future in this or similar veins, so I will be watching.    Between this and your Linear Surroundings, you are certainly doing some very exciting things!”
Thanks again,
Yours in Bass,
Donovan Stokes

“I am SO impressed with the originality and skill of your writing.  You knock me out.”
Rob Curnow
 "Rufus Reid not only has elevated his song writing to a new level, he has broadened the scope and deepened the                    dimensions of postbop with his extraordinary sense of movement."
 Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun Times

"It's a beautiful set, one gigantic musical passage after another; there's a potpourri of rhythmic stylings and pulses. Really, there's just a lot of great musical stuff here that will keep you listening repeatedly."
Jon W. Poses, Columbia Daily Tribune
"Our decision was unanimous. 'Skies Over Emilia' is an impressive work, and reflects the high standards of the Jazz Composers Workshop."
Dan Morganstern, speaking on behalf of all the judges Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize August, 2000

The Performer
“Reid's engagement leading his own group Tuesday night at the Jazz Showcase offered a rare opportunity to hear a formidable artist stepping to the forefront. The performance proved immensely appealing, though in often surprising ways.  Reid led this band in an evening of sleek, sumptuous, exquisitely understated ensemble playing.

Shrewdly, Reid has chosen collaborators well-equipped to articulate his aesthetic for this group.  Each of the musicians in this organization took his cue from Reid, who sounded as radiantly lyrical on this occasion as this listener ever has heard him. In solo statements, Reid produced phrases so delicately drawn and subtly nuanced as to suggest the work of a soft-spoken vocalist singing to an audience of one.

In Reid's new composition, "Come Out and Play," the rhythm players achieved a cohesiveness one doesn't regularly encounter.”
Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
May 5, 2006

    Rufus Reid’s playing epitomizes the conflicting faces the bass has presented to modern jazz.  Ever since Oscar Pettiford and Ray Brown developed the technique that made the instrument a solo vehicle, it’s been torn between its traditional place as a rhythmic anchor and a spot in the front line.  In the 70’s after graduating from Northwestern, Reid did as much as anyone to bridge that division, marrying old fashioned tone to newfangled virtuosity; in the process he influenced two generations of mainstream bassists, first with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, then as an in-demand sideman, and later leading his own bands.  
    Neil Tesser - The Reader's Guide, June 9, 2006
     "The bassist Reid is the man to call for any musical situation that demands both the utmost skill and impeccable taste. A rare gig as a leader gives us the chance to hear how his lucious sound and bouyant swing can levitate an ensemble clear off the bandstand."
    The New Yorker - July 15, 2002

    “The musicians of the Rufus Reid Quintet consistently focus their energies away from self-aggrandizement and toward a serenely lyric, nearly transparent ensemble sound. To hear this band unfurl so much sonic beauty without a hint of ostentation or bravura is to be reminded what substantive musicmaking ultimately is all about. For although any number of more incendiary bands plays the Showcase week after week, the Reid Quintet reaffirms the power of profound understatement.
    "For although the ample size of Reid's tone and the easy virtuosity of his technique is well-known from his work in other bands, in his own ensemble he produces a music of unexpected serenity, stylistic breadth and tonal sheen.”
    Tribune arts critic (2004)-By Howard Reich
    "Peter Ind celebrated his 75th Birthday, stating he is three quarters of the way there now, on the bandstand of the cutting-edge Chelsea club. The evening's high spot was Ind's double bass duet with US star Rufus Reid. Standing shoulder to shoulder, these veterans swapped counterpoint ideas on Body And Sould and Eddie Durhsm's old favourite, Topsy, with remarkable delicacy. An unexpected treat, it was like watching bull elephants tap-dancing."
    Jack Massarik, The Evening Standard
    "Reid, particularly, creates inimitable string bass rhythms and harmonies that he employs both within the ensemble and, in solo, without. On one number he may set up a simple, droning, repeated phrase (like Miles Davis' undercurrent of bass lines in his last years); on another, Reid can set up rhythms and rhythmic variations against which [Billy] Hart can improvise on his kit and Barron can use as a departure point for his own keyboard variations." (Review of Kenny Barron Quintet) Review of Kenny Barron Quintet at Yoshi’s
    Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner - March 9, 2000

    "His presence in this country is a rare treat, and his incredibly smooth walking bass lines provided an assured foundation for the London Jazz Orchestra’s arrangements. He has a tone rich enough to threaten the audience with the confessional - the pleasure of hearing it narrowly misses being one of the cardinal sins - and his solos are so melodic several of this reviewer’s discs are in danger of wearing out."
    Sholto Byrnes , The Independent Newspaper, London, England - June 4, 2002

    "Rufus is known for his ability to play with elastic strength. While the transcription accurately represents the notes and rhythms, you should listen to the solo to experience the organic feeling and sound Rufus draws out of his bass."
    Transcription notes, "Embraceable You"
    John Goldsby, Bass Player Magazine - March 1999

    "Reid with his rich, solid bass sonority, plays marvelously musical choruses which are models of melodic, rhythmic and harmonic richness."
    Review of The duMaurier Atlantic Jazz Festival
    Stephen Pedersen, The Chronicle-Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia - 1998

    "So in a nutshell, the bass player’s job is really very simple: just play all the right notes in all the right places. Then after the other players have had their say, the bassist gets to solo, and nobody does all of those things better than Rufus Reid. And as if all that were not enough to occupy one busy bassist, Reid is a dedicated jazz educator."
    Bob Bernotas, Jazz Player Magazine - Dec/Jan 1998

    "Green and Reid play with a degree of subtlety, sensitivity and tonal polish that one rarely encounters in improvised swing music... Reid answered him with long and elegant lines, his legato touch so persuasive that one almost might have thought he was using a bow."
    Review of Benny Green and Rufus Reid Duo at the Jazz Showcase
    Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune - March 18, 1999

    "Reid displayed a daunting mastery of the concerto’s shifting moods. He shored up the weaker transitions with deftly-woven glissandos. Both his presence and his playing gave the piece it’s spine."
    Review of "Two Faces" Concerto by Benny Golson, Lincoln Center
    Gene Seymour, New York Newsday - Oct. 23, 1992

    "Reid is widely respected as both an educator in New Jersey by day and a partner to Manhattan’s top jazz musicians at night...Reid’s solos were cogently and forcefully argued. Even in his most widely intuitive fantasizings, he remained close by the tune. His harmonic explorations ranged wide, yet he never lost his audience or the band."
    Review of Fiesta Jazz Festival
    Mike Greenberg, Express News, San Antonio, TX

    "It was all highly uncompromising creatively challenging fare, especially for a mall concert before a general audience. Yet it must be judged successful, since hardly any of the audience departed during the long set. The high artistic level of the music, and the success it had in holding an audience, suggests that jazz can reach wider audiences and be appreciated without being adulterated or diluted."
    Review of concert at Willowbrook Mall, Wayne, New Jersey
    George Kanzler, The Star-Ledger, NJ

    "Linear Surroundings" Performance
    Ravinia, Highland Park, IL 
    Rarely has a jazz or classical composer merged the two worlds as seamlessly in a chamber-music setting as Reid has in "Linear Surroundings," which evokes the radiant spirit of Samuel Barber's "Knoxville, Summer of 1915," though steeped in a jazz-blues sensibility. To hear vocalist Dana Hanchard pooling long, sensuous phrases that were echoed and embellished by seven instrumentalists -- each drawing on classical and jazz techniques -- was to encounter a nearly ideal performance of a translucent, musically substantive score. 
    Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, June, 2006 
    The Recording Artist 
    "Rufus Reid is a stalwart of the bottom line, having played on seemingly countless albums and tours. His newest album as a leader, appropriately titled 'The Gait Keeper' (Sunnyside) could additionally establish his credentials as a composer of note. The original tunes on this quintet session manage to be both visceral and thoughtful, and they provide ample fodder for improvisational variation."
    Review of "The Gait Keeper" (Sunnyside)
    Nate Chinen, JazzTimes

    "It has been said that a true craftsman never stops creating. This is certainly true of Rufus Reid's latest masterpiece. 'Celestial Dance' is perhaps the most unique piece included in this palette by the bassist. After almost four decades of playing and touring, Rufus has found yet another fresh challenge - this new quintet and his writing. Congratulations on this most recent project and outstanding recording."
    Review of "The Gait Keeper" (Sunnyside)
    Paul Pearce, Bass World, Journal of the ISB

    "'The Meddler' is a kind of groove-based blues that's infectious and playful, showcasing everyone in a kind of cast call. The album's closer, "Seven Minds," opens with alternately juicy and impressionistic arco bass playing from the leader and closes the show with a great theme that leaves you wanting more."
    Review of "The Gait Keeper" (Sunnyside)
    John Ephland, Downbeat Magazine

    "Bassist Reid has never been known as a composer, so it's a very pleasant surprise to find him leading this quintet in a program of original pieces. One of the differences between this date and most quintet outings is that the rhythm section is much more of an equal voice in this ensemble. There's a sense of space with this group that allows even the trickiest piece to appear familiar. Tenor saxophonist Rich Perry is a standout soloist, pianist John Stetch is excellent and drummer Montez Coleman makes the varied and often complex forms seem natural."
    Review of "The Gait Keeper" (Sunnyside)
    Jim's Top 10 CDs of 2003
    The Cat's Meow
    Eugene, OR

    "'The Gait Keeper' exemplifies not only his giant technical prowess but his sensitivity and energy. Reid has put together a top-flight five-piece group, one that can move and shake, knows how to examine and investigate and offers a respectful nod to its predecessors. It's a beautiful set, from the reggae-tinged "The Meddler" right through the final note of "Seven Minds." There's a potpourri of rhythmical stylings and pulses, really, there's just a lot of great musical stuff here that will keep you listening repeatedly."
    Review of "The Gait Keeper" (Sunnyside)
    Jon W. Poses, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

    "Featuring a selection of newly composed works within the context of his handpicked intergenerational group, "The Gait Keeper" opens a new passage into Reid's evolving musical persona. Always the master mentor, Reid has made certain that a tight quintet is on hand to interpret his original compositions. The soulful "You Make Me Smile" features Rich Perry's full tenor tone and the tasteful trumpet vibrato of Fred Hendrix. John Stetch's piano stands out on both "Ode To Ray" and the capricious "Whims of The Bluebird." The complex title piece has drummer Montez Coleman at the helm as the ensemble jointly navigates through its distinct compositional divisions. His solo on "The Meddler" allows the bass to reach its full potential with an intricate melodic line rooted within the greater rhythmic contour. Reid assures that everyone is in step on the suitably titled Gait Keeper.
    Review of "The Gait Keeper" (Sunnyside)
    Elliott Simon, All About Jazz-New York

    "The Gait Keeper sees the bassist shift his compositional attentions to the type of small group setting in which he is most used to performing. The Gait keeper is a masterclass in imaginative and hip, in-the-pocket swinging jazz."
    Review of "The Gait Keeper" (Sunnyside)
    Matthew Simpkins, Double Bassist - Autumn 2003

    "This delightful session is sure to thrill admirers of both Ind and Reid and this evident labour of love is a joy to recommend."
    Review of "Your And Mine" Rufus Reid/Peter Ind CD (Wave Records)
    David Lewis, Cadence Magazine - September 2000

    "Moore's luminous tone and stunning solos, complemented perfectly by Reid's more deliberate approach, have perhaps never been better captured on record. At once firmly rooted in tradition, yet entirely fresh and contemporary, this is music which transcends the limitations of its format and should appeal not just to bassists, but to anyone with open ears and a love of good jazz."
    Review of "The Intimacy of The Bass" Rufus Reid/Michael Moore CD (Double Time)
    Simon Wolff, Double Bassist Magazine (UK) - January 2000

    "Moving from peak to peak like a skilled mountaineer, Rufus Reid maintains firm section control without being domineering and turns out solos that always put emotion above his unassailable technique."
    Review of "The Best of The Last Ten Years, Passing Thoughts", TanaReid (Concord)
    Richard Johnston, Bass Player Magazine - January 1999

    "Reid has been a quiet force on the jazz scene for years. anchoring groups from Dexter Gordon to Bobby Hutcherson. His most obvious strong suit has been the deep-grooved swing, but the live "Corridor To The Limits" makes it clear there are several more equally important sides to Reid."
    Review of "Corridor To The Limits", Rufus Reid Trio with Harold Land (Sunnyside)
    Bob Young, Jazziz Magazine - January 1991

    "Reid possesses a warm, round sound, an extraordinary technique and an expansive music sensibility, a combination that has made him one of the day's most sought-after bassists."
    Review of "Seven Minds", Rufus Reid Trio (Sunnyside Communications, Inc)
    Chuck Berg, Lawrence Journal World - Dec. 29, 1985

    ***** (5 stars) "...the album (Perpetual Stroll) is clearly a showcase for the superb playing of Rufus Reid. His work here is a virtual catalog of modern bass technique, tempered by his infallible musicianship. The man has taste...Reid has mastered the art of packing tremendous intensity into a few well-chosen notes. All of Reid's solos begin with articulate melodic statements that are logically developed and extended..."
    Review of "Perpetual Stroll", Rufus Reid Trio (Sunnyside Communications)
    Jim Roberts, DownBeat Magazine - December 1981

    "Rufus Reid is simply one of the most brilliant specialist of the instrument."
    Review of "Mirth Song", Rufus Reid/Harold Danko Duo CD (Sunnyside)
    Alain Gerber, Jazz Magazine (France)

    "The double-bass solo can be a thing of glory--Rufus Reid's solo on Stan Getz's album Anniversary is one of the most sensuous sounds imaginable."
    Sholto Byrnes, The Independent Arts and Books Review, London

    "The (Stamm/Soph Project) session has a palpable sense of enjoyment to it. (This, by the way, is due in large to the presence of Reid, whose energy always comes through loud and clear.) Reid is fabulous throughout, combining light melodicism with heavy bottom end."
    Review of "The Stamm/Soph Project" CD (Marstamm)
    Jason Bivins, Cadence - August 2001

    "With his surehanded sense of time, great feel and big, round sound, Reid lifts any project he takes on."
    Review of "Sunup to Sundown" Kenny Burrell CD
    Richard Johnston, Bass Player Magazine
    The Educator 
    “It was so great to hear you play on many occasions and watch you interact with the students during the last two weeks.  You sounded fantastic as always.  Your ability to "say it with less"  is remarkable.  You continue to evolve and inspire me in so many ways.  I cherish your friendship.”
    All the best,
    Lynn Seaton, July 11, 2005

    “Rufus Reid is  the evolving bassist.  His 30-plus-year career has been a journey through many roles, and he’s always looking for new ways to spread his influence as a bassist, teacher, composer, and bandleader.  Reid’s books The Evolving Bassist  and Evolving Upward have long been indispensable guides for aspiring jazzers, and his inspired instruction at jazz clinics worldwide has reached countless players.  Reid has earned a reputation as one of our most consistent, creative, and adaptable jazz bassists.”
     John Goldsby, Bass Player Magazine, March, 1999

    ”Your commitment to the students was very obvious and I have received very positive feedback from your presentations.  Your acknowledged reputation in this area became very evident throughout the event.”
    Pat Crichton, Artistic Director
    ‘JAZZ AUSTRALIA’   Perth, Australia

    “I, of course, had known that you are a great musician, but knew nothing of your educational expertise.  You certainly proved yourself.  Your upbeat personality and constant energy were a joy to watch.  Five minutes with you and my students stopped feeling nervous.  I learned that you are a fine arranger and composer on top of all your other attributes.”
    John Paddon, Lyndon Institute, Lyndon Center, Vermont

    “While Rufus’ energy outdistanced that of the students, they would have enjoyed spending even more time with him.  His considerable experience teaching, his fantastic artistic gift and his genuinely caring personality endeared him to the students and enabled them to accomplish much in a short time.  He showed us just how much depth could be realized from his compositions.”
    Matthew McGarrell, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

    “It is very difficult to find world-class musicians who can actually teach and relate to students and other teachers.  As an active participant/organizer for 26 years of festivals, I can honestly say that you were one of the best we have had the pleasure of hosting.”
    Ron Keezer, Associate Director, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

  The Evolving Bassist DVD
    Rufus Reid, bass, with Mulgrew Miller, piano and Lewis Nash, drums
    Warner Brothers Music, #905699

    There are quite  a few educational or instructional DVD’s on the market, and there will no doubt be many more as players, educators and fans realize what a great medium this is.  As an avid reader, I would never say a bad thing about a book, but given the oral and aural tradition of Jazz, it seems obvious that a DVD offers advantages in sight and sound.  When one can have a veteran teacher and great bassist like Rufus Reid in one’s home, at any time--one can hear and see him speak, play, and sing--that is tremendous.  A wonderful product from the original Evolving Bassist.
    Chris Kosky
    ISB Magazine

    ...lately I was searching for something new to keep my approach fresh, and I've found the book to be just the thing to keep things happening.    Thank you for contributing to my search.
    Andy Raciti, Assistant Principle Bass
    The Sydney Symphonic Orchestra

    I am going to encourage every bass player I know to get the DVD (Like the book, it's too valuable a resource to lend it to anyone.)
     Dan Sagraves

    I watched and listened intently anticipating a highly intellectual monologue on the finer points of double bass playing...leaving me hopelessly out of depth...but it never happened.  Instead here was this really sweet...kindly man who came across in the most non threatening captivate and interest the student with wonderful ideas and thoughts about bass playing...It would have been nice if you also taught Thermo Dynamics, Calculus etc. I think I would have done a lot better at night school. Your ability to simplify the process of bass playing is just marvelous.
    Steve Colin-Thome

    I wanted to compliment you on your excellent instructional DVD which I got a
    few days ago.  A first class set of lessons!  Even though I have been
    playing jazz jobs for several years, I still got a lot of things to think
    about from your lessons.
    Steve Menegaz, Houston, Texas

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