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A lot of listeners only know my records with Daniel Carter and they assume Iím some sort of free jazz player, when Iím really about much more than that.
A low trilling crescendo, replete with harmonics, a sharp rise and sudden plummet as one of those upper partials is tossed off a cliff and fades into the distance. Yet, after a brief pause and in the very next gesture, it returns to create a triumphant major third. Such pithy compactness is typical of bassist/composer Reuben Radding's approach to music making. His free playing usually combines US grit and power with an always fascinating and detailed sense of European formal structure; nowhere is this more apparent than on the first two gestures of Reuben Radding Solo: Live in Rochester, his twelfth free album-length download of 2007, all currently available on Radding's website.
"I just turned forty at the end of 2006, Radding explains. "I wanted to celebrate, but I also wanted to do something that would be a challenge to me, that would up the ante. There is, of course, a practical element to the Twelve Months project, one that is almost inseparable from its more intangible aspects. "I'm in the fortunate position to have the means of production. I have Studio STATS [in Brooklyn], I have the website and I have the playing partners.
It is a fine list of partners indeed, including contributions from Harris Eisenstadt, Damon Smith, Weasel Walter and, perhaps above all, Nate Wooley and Jack Wright. Each appears on a quarter of the collaborative efforts that make up the twelve downloads, and they represent two of Radding's longest-lasting partnerships to date. "I have been in so many different groups with Nate, says Radding, "including one with Mary Halvorson, and we're putting out a record on hatART. Nate's also one of my closest friends. I always feel great playing with him. Jackwell, he's been around playing free music for an eternity. He's simply one of the most long-standing American free improvisers alive and it is a complete joy to play with him.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.