All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Right As Rain

Right As Rain

Rob Reddy
Citizen Quintet

Up South

Up South

Rob Reddy
Bechet: Our Contemporary

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Citizen Quintet

Citizen Quintet

Reddy Music
2017

buy
Citizen Quintet

Citizen Quintet

Reddy Music
2016

buy
Bechet: Our Contemporary

Bechet: Our...

Reddy Music
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Royal Family CD/LP/Track Review
Royal Family
by Chris May
Published: November 19, 2018
Read W CD/LP/Track Review
W
by John Eyles
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Igbó Alákọrin CD/LP/Track Review
Igbó Alákọrin
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Hello Human CD/LP/Track Review
Hello Human
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Svårmod Och Vemod Är Värdesinnen CD/LP/Track Review
Svårmod Och Vemod Är Värdesinnen
by Vitalijus Gailius
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Ancestros CD/LP/Track Review
Ancestros
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 18, 2018
Read "Seymour Reads The Constitution!" CD/LP/Track Review Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "Ship" CD/LP/Track Review Ship
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 8, 2018
Read "The Street Doctor" CD/LP/Track Review The Street Doctor
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 26, 2018
Read "Bricks" CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read "Initial" CD/LP/Track Review Initial
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: April 11, 2018
Read "Strata" CD/LP/Track Review Strata
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 5, 2018