Reuben Radding: Intersections (2006)
Reuben Radding has had to take initiative to get his music heard before. Luminescence, a recording of duets performed with multi-reedist Daniel Carter, was shopped around and ultimately released by AUM Fidelity in 2002; it gave off a do-it-himself scent that carries over to Intersections, the first release on the bassist's own Pine Ear Music label. Radding is plenty busy, performing and recording in combinations of various size and styles (including wicked work with Seattle's Wally Shoup Trio), but Pine Ear is an example of what jazz musicians must do these days in order to get their music heard, rather than have sessions languish in the can. Radding's trio on this CD offers chamber-style interaction, musical delicacy and whispered intimacies
Radding has one of the thickest tones on the double bass in jazz today; his playing relies on notes that carry on and linger horizontally, while his compositions run the scale vertically. This bidirectionality infuses the music with a favorable creative tension, particularly on the hypnotic "Making Certain it Goes On. Oscar Noriega's snake-charmer clarinet seduces on "Siren, a tone poem that features Radding's evocative arco attack and enables Matt Moran to put the "vibe" in vibraphone with his resonating sustained notes.
"Canal and Lafayette picks up the tempo a bit from "Brush, but continues the same mathematically precise playing by Noriega and Moran, while on "Bellevue, Bellevue and Bellevue, Moran's single-note strikes jump from left to center to right, orienting you to the composition even as its repetitiveness locks your attention. "Marginal Way mixes Radding's arco and pizzicato and alternately pairs him up with his bandmates: mirrored by Moran's metallic vibes, in dialogue with Noriega, then back to Moran for a concluding conversation. Drum fans need not fear. Noriega, Moran and Radding create a world of melody and rhythm all their own.
Track Listing: Brush; Siren; Canal and Lafayette; Bellevue, Bellevue, and Bellevue; Jasper's Lies; North; Marginal Way; Making Certain It Goes On; Dance of Fury.
Personnel: Reuben Radding: double bass; Matt Moran: vibraphone; Oscar Noriega: clarinet.