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by Glenn Astarita
Prominent New York City progressive saxophonist and composer, Rob Reddy contemporizes innovative soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet's artistic persona with his large ensemble, featuring several longtime associates, violinist Charles Burnham, bassist Dom Richards and drummer Pheeroan Aklaff. Reddy doesn't simply restate the past, but more importantly intertwines the trad jazz component with a scintillating and upbeat commingling of nouveau applications. Bechet's wide vibrato technique, full-bodied and animated improvisational acumen extended conventional norms into the upper strata during his heyday ...read more
by Troy Collins
With so much history to explore, tribute albums to jazz greats have become an established custom, regularly issued by artists of varying experience, from neophytes to masters. The most efficacious of these homages provide a fresh perspective on longstanding traditions, tracing the lineage of current concepts to past advances. A salient example of this phenomenon is Bechet: Our Contemporary, Rob Reddy's inspired ode to fellow soprano saxophonist and legendary innovator Sidney Bechet. Reddy has been active in the New York ...read more
by Donald Elfman
This Small Town --Reddy's large ensemble--has created a massive statement that shows just where jazz composition, new music, collective improvisation and individual expression meet. The leader, though a vital and engaging instrumentalist, envisioned this four-part suite as a situation where he would not play his saxophones. What took shape, instead, was a huge structure that revolved around a core of musicians with whom Reddy has been regularly involved. It's a maelstrom of sound in which players disappear into the storm ...read more
by Nic Jones
This is a break with precedent for saxophonist and composer Reddy, as it's the first time he's recorded an extended composition for a large ensemble of which he's not a performing member. His role here is that of both composer and conductor, and he's fortunate indeed to have a group so clearly capable of making his music come to life.
A note of caution needs to be sounded, however. Any listener of a reactionary frame of mind is going to ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Rob Reddy puts his saxophone aside to concentrate on composition for The Book of the Storm. Reddy has already shown that he has germane ideas and brings that facet into prominence once more.
The idea for a large ensemble came to him in 2001. Reddy could not contain the ideas that went through his imagination in a single narrative, so he parlayed that into a process that finally evolved into a four-part suite. The poet Tomas Tranströmer provides the next ...read more
by Troy Collins
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Rob Reddy premiers his most ambitious work to date with The Book of the Storm, a jazz symphony in four movements. The premiere of his large ensemble, the aptly titled Small Town, is not only his first official live recording, but his debut as a conductor. Similar to contemporary classical composers, Reddy's writing method has long embraced improvisation as an additional element to his intricate pre-written compositions. Rather than using charts and notation as the ...read more
by Elliott Simon
That rarefied air where the compositional arts--writing, music and painting--come together is the holy grail for which this release from soprano/alto saxophonist Rob Reddy's Gift Horse is searching. Using 15th Century cover art and inspiration from beat poet godfather William Carlos Williams, Gift Horse bemoans A Hundred Jumping Devils that get in the way of this ultimate quest, sometimes delightfully and other times unpleasantly. While all this may sound a bit pretentious, it isn't, and Reddy has ...read more