271

Rob Reddy's Gift Horse: A Hundred Jumping Devils

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
A Hundred Jumping Devils is saxophonist Rob Reddy's fifth studio album, after a five-year recording hiatus. His new ensemble, Gift Horse, reconvenes some of his regular sidemen, including legendary violinist Charles Burnham and longstanding bassist Dom Richards, both featured on his previous release, Seeing By The Light Of My Own Candle (Knitting Factory, 2001). Percussionist Mino Cinelu, French horn player Mark Taylor and guitarist Brandon Ross join this new lineup, whose distinctive combination of strings and horns is a recurrent theme in Reddy's ensembles.

An advocate of the term "New American Music," Reddy blends Appalachian folk tunes, blues, marches, processionals, reels, hymns and similar forms into his singular style. The presence of Mino Cinelu's polyrhythmic percussion adds a distinct Latin element to the album's liveliest numbers, a new twist in Reddy's oeuvre.

Reddy's sonorous writing is multi-layered and accessible, drawing from traditional forms such as gospel and folk tunes for inspiration. Yearning horn swells, plaintive, sweeping strings, expansive themes, and a fondness for propulsive undercurrents inform Reddy's eclectic arrangements. A democratic bandleader, his chart-driven compositions are thorough but not restrictive, allowing his sidemen ample time to make their own statements, both individually and collectively.

Creating a unique blend of vivid timbres and rich instrumental textures, Gift Horse explores a wealth of harmonic colors. Reddy is a lyrical stylist; his tart tone and serpentine phrasing is expressive, but never histrionic. Mark Taylor's dulcet French Horn pairs beautifully with Charles Burnham's sinewy violin. Guitarist Brandon Ross employs a variety of approaches, from bluesy, down-home acoustic strumming to coiling, electric bop runs. Dom Richards has been Reddy's bassist for the past decade, and his stalwart contributions anchor the ensemble with knowing conviction. Percussionist Mino Cinelu brings a multihued mix to the group, from scintillating asides to hypnotic rhythms.

Reddy is an impressive and open-minded tunesmith, whether penning punchy samba riffs ("O-Brasil") or winding melodies filled with rich harmonies and subtle counterpoint ("Abraham"). He alternates between lilting, buoyant motifs ("The Unnamable") and glacially paced dirges ("One") with ease, always putting his own personal stamp on the proceedings. A lush and evocative record, A Hundred Jumping Devils stands tall in Reddy's discography. It's good to have him back.

Visit Rob Reddy on the web.

Track Listing: Hymn For The Insurrection; The Unnamable; Procession; A Hundred Jumping Devils; Mark Of Sincerity; O-Brasil; Gabriel's New Horn; Abraham; Solipsism; One (for Jef).

Personnel: Rob Reddy: soprano and alto saxophones; Mark Taylor: French horn; Charles Burnham: violin; Brandon Ross: acoustic and electric guitars; Dom Richards: double bass; Mino Cinelu: percussion.

Title: A Hundred Jumping Devils | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Reddy Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Wobbly Danse Flower CD/LP/Track Review Wobbly Danse Flower
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Carry Fire CD/LP/Track Review Carry Fire
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 22, 2017
Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Genesis, Mystery And Magic" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis, Mystery And Magic
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "Smooth Shake" CD/LP/Track Review Smooth Shake
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Wobbly Danse Flower" CD/LP/Track Review Wobbly Danse Flower
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Out of Place" CD/LP/Track Review Out of Place
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.