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Rob Reddy: Bechet: Our Contemporary

Read "Bechet: Our Contemporary" reviewed 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 ...

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Rob Reddy: Bechet: Our Contemporary

Read "Bechet: Our Contemporary" reviewed 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 ...

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Rob Reddy's Small Town: The Book of the Storm

Read "The Book of the Storm" reviewed 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 ...

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Rob Reddy's Small Town: The Book of the Storm

Read "The Book of the Storm" reviewed 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 ...

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Rob Reddy's Small Town: The Book of the Storm

Read "The Book of the Storm" reviewed 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 ...

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Rob Reddy's Small Town: The Book of the Storm

Read "The Book of the Storm" reviewed 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 ...

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Rob Reddy's Gift Horse: A Hundred Jumping Devils

Read "A Hundred Jumping Devils" reviewed 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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Rob Reddy: The Fine Line Between Composition and Comfort

Read "Rob Reddy: The Fine Line Between Composition and Comfort" reviewed by Paul Olson

Rob Reddy's one of the prominent soprano saxophonists working today, but his reputation has been built upon his work as bandleader and, especially, as a composer. He's been a presence in New York for 20 years now, having studied with soprano player Dave Liebman and reedsman Makanda Ken McIntyre before graduating from the first-ever jazz program at Greenwich Village's New School.Reddy played as a sideman with bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson (Jackson encouraging him to ...

INTERVIEWS

An AAJ Interview with Rob Reddy

Read "An AAJ Interview with Rob Reddy" reviewed by AAJ Staff

This interview was first published in December 1999.

Imagine for a moment that you are a graduate student of American history. The twist to this premise is that you are alive 10,000 years from now. As part of your research you are investigating life in 20th century America. Your goal is to attempt an explanation of life in America through examination of 20th century American music. Assume also that wonderful resources such as All About Jazz have moved ...

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Rob Reddy's Gift Horse: A Hundred Jumping Devils

Read "A Hundred Jumping Devils" reviewed by Karl A.D. Evangelista

Rob Reddy's music conveys motion--a rare thing in an era when jazz often seems like the stuff of historians, when even the most astute artist might fail to create anything genuinely new. Doubtless, though, Reddy is a capable creative voice, and A Hundred Jumping Devils is far more than mere repertory work or pastiche.

Following the William Carlos Williams quote from which the album takes its title, Devils longs to be free from the torment of its materials, and in ...

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Rob Reddy's Gift Horse: A Hundred Jumping Devils

Read "A Hundred Jumping Devils" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Rob Reddy has always been an adventurer in the best sense of the word. He goes out once again here with his Gift Horse group, raking in a different kind of music--not only with the far from usual instrumentation of the band, but also a greater reliance on composition than in the past. Many of the tunes have a hymnal essence, which Reddy converts into glorious music through his arrangements. Adding to the positive, there is a samba and a ...

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Rob Reddy's Gift Horse: A Hundred Jumping Devils

Read "A Hundred Jumping Devils" reviewed by Troy Collins

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 ...


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