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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kieran Hebden / Steve Reid / Mats Gustafsson: Live At The South Bank

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If abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock could be asked how his instant drip paintings reflect the entire history of modern art, he might have replied that his body movements, splatters, flinging, flipping and pouring of paint act as a channel for all this painterly knowledge--and that of his forefathers and contemporaries. Likewise, this two-disc set of music by electronic artist Kieran Hebden, drummer Steve Reid and Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson transmits music from the free jazz experiments of the 1960s through the experimental electronica movements of today. Recorded in 2009, Live At The South Bank is sadly the ...

INTERVIEWS

Steve Reid: Staying in the Rhythms

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A sell-out crowd and a standing ovation at the London Jazz Festival concert to launch Daxaar (Domino Records, 2007) is a sure sign that veteran drummer Steve Reid is enjoying something of an Indian summer. Since teaming up with electronics improviser Kieran Hebden in 2006, Domino Records has released three albums of their cutting-edge collaborations, and Steve Reid has reached a whole new audience with his African-inspired, jazz improvisations.

In a sense, Reid and Hebden are revisiting the spirit of the improvised jazz duos of the 1960s and 1970s, such as John Coltrane and Rashid Ali, or Sun ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Reid Ensemble: Daxaar

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Forty years have passed since drummer Steve Reid journeyed for three years in Africa, learning the roots of rhythm with master percussionist Guy Warren and in the band of Fela Kuti. For Steve Reid, returning to the continent of rhythm to record Daxaar in Senegal is no mere nostalgia trip: “The first time I went to learn and this time I was just going to give and enjoy, and find out what new thing we could discover together. The result is a brew of potent Afro funk-jazz grooves where rhythm is king and where groove trumps soloing.

Kora ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Reid Ensemble: Daxaar

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At age 62, most people are slowing down a little, taking fewer risks and carefully pre-planning their activities. Not so Steve Reid. The Bronx-born drummer, whose recording debut, aged 19, was on Martha & The Vandellas' iconic “Dancing In The Street," and who went on to work with many of the “new thing" movers and shakers of the late 1960s and early 1970s, still lives by the freewheeling, devil-may-care zeitgeist which prevailed during his formative years. He trusts his instincts and goes where the vibe takes him.

For Daxaar, the vibe took Reid to Senegal. Accompanied by two ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kieran Hebden / Steve Reid: Tongues

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There is a natural symmetry in the pairing of sampler/electronics improviser Kieran Hebden and drumming troubadour Steve Reid. Reid's credits run from Fela Kuti to Sun Ra, James Brown to Miles Davis, and Archie Shepp to Arthur Blythe. Hebden, a fan of avant-garde and free jazz (particularly Pharoah Sanders), has remixed tracks by artists as diverse as Badly Drawn Boy, Black Sabbath and Steve Reich. It is safe to say that both musicians share a certain sense of adventure, and the open-minded and patient listener will be amply rewarded by Tongues, their third collaboration.

The ten concise and intense tracks ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid: The Exchange Session Vol. 2

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Imagine John Coltrane's Africa/Brass during its most intense and primal passages, and you're getting some idea of what The Exchange Session Vol.2 sounds like--but with a truckload of electronic juju replacing the horns. This is spontaneously created electro-acoustic music at its rawest, most beat-centric and most pile-driving.

Steve Reid has been a presence on the experimental, world music and otherwise alternative edges of the jazz life for over forty years. Coltrane was one of the few legends he never actually played out with (though in the early 1960s the saxophonist briefly lived in Reid's neighbourhood and gave some informal tuition ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid: The Exchange Session Vol. 1

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These two wide-ranging musicians met less than two years ago, but they seem to have already forged a strong working relationship. Steve Reid, whose drumming pedigree goes all the way back to high school practice sessions at John Coltrane's house, has worked with a dizzying variety of prominent musicians from Miles Davis to Fela Kuti and James Brown--and, yes, the Rippingtons. His discography runs well into the hundreds. Electronics specialist Kieran Hebden, a comparative youngster in his mid-20s, is best known for his Four Tet project (four full-length releases).

The two played together on Reid's excellent Spirit Walk (Soul Jazz, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Reid Ensemble: Spirit Walk

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An uber-visceral, trance-centric celebration of Great Black Music ancient-to-modern--mixing up free improv, Afrobeat, the astral jazz of Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane, North African Sufi music, early '70s electric Miles, chicken shack B3 grooves, Gil Scott Heron and the Last Poets, and more, all of it laced with real time electronica--Spirit Walk is serious mindbending business, as in free your ass and your mind will follow.

Led by the Bronx-born, currently Swiss-based, itinerant US drummer Steve Reid and recorded in London this summer, the album features an international crew of musical cosmonaughts, both established and unsung, including some new and ...



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