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Album Review

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 ...


Album Review

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 ...


Album Review

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 ...


Album Review

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 ...


Album Review

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 ...


Album Review

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 ...


Album Review

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 ...


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