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CD/LP/Track Review

Rufus Reid: Out Front (2010)

By Published: April 8, 2010
Rufus Reid: Out Front Long a first-call bassist, Rufus Reid has played with numerous greats since arriving on the jazz scene in the early '70s, including Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
1917 - 1993
trumpet
, Thad Jones
Thad Jones
Thad Jones
1923 - 1986
trumpet
and Mel Lewis
Mel Lewis
Mel Lewis
1929 - 1990
drums
, Dexter Gordon
Dexter Gordon
Dexter Gordon
1923 - 1990
sax, tenor
, Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz
Lee Konitz
b.1927
sax, alto
, Art Farmer
Art Farmer
Art Farmer
1928 - 1999
flugelhorn
and Jimmy Heath
Jimmy Heath
Jimmy Heath
b.1926
sax, tenor
, to name just a few, in addition to a number of dates as a leader. His fat tone and inventive lines add something to every record date and he is a capable composer and arranger as well.

Out Front is Reid's ninth album as a leader but the bassist makes it clear in both the liner notes and the video group interview (a bonus MP4 file) that the music is a group effort rather than that of leader and sidemen. His accompanists are also top-shelf musicians. Pianist Steve Allee
Steve Allee
Steve Allee

piano
has been on the jazz scene for several decades, though he has only been getting wider exposure in recent years as a leader. Duduka Da Fonseca is known primarily for his brilliant Brazilian percussion as a member of Trio Da Paz and the numerous record dates in which he has taken part; on this occasion, he uses a full drumkit in a straight-ahead setting.

All three men contributed originals to the date. Da Fonseca's "Doña Maria" is an infectious blend of Brazilian rhythm and post-bop, with the former utilized to introduce the theme and to back Reid's solo and the latter as the main body of the arrangement. Reid's lush ballad "Reminiscing" opens with unaccompanied piano, becoming a shimmering waltz with the addition of bass and brushes. The leader's "Caress the Thought" is a multifaceted mini-suite, taking the listener through many moods. Allee's "Ebony" is a tribute to Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones
1927 - 2004
drums
, a jaunty, strutting vehicle that recalls the late drummer's musical personality.

The trio also explores several well-known compositions, highlighted by their thoughtful setting of Tadd Dameron
Tadd Dameron
Tadd Dameron
1917 - 1965
arranger
's beautiful "If You Could See Me Now." The bonus group interview complements Reid's liner notes and allows each player to discuss the inspiration to his compositions and how they evolved.


Track Listing: Glory; Doña Maria; Reminiscing; Ebony; Caress The Thought; Dry Land; The Rise of the Row; If You Could See Me Now; Cryin' Blues.

Personnel: Rufus Reid: bass; Steve Allee: piano; Duduka Da Fonseca: drums.

Record Label: Motema Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream



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