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Rufus Reid: Composer, Educator, Bassist, Gait Keeper… And Prophet

David Hadley Ray By

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AAJ: Dave Brubeck was a master of odd meters.

RR: Yeah, that too, but he wrote all of the time. Every Christmas we'd get a Christmas card from him and his wife, and it would have a little piece of music in it. It was like a hymn, and she would write the lyrics and he would write the... You know? I mean, there are people who are just like that, and he was heavy. Benny Golson is still writing. Horace Silver wrote tons, we're talking prolifically. Wayne Shorter. There are a lot of names, not to mention Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk! I mean, They are already over here. (meaning, in a class of their own) So, for me to even get in this realm of composition now. My music is somehow resonating.

RR: Everybody is a composer, everybody can write music, but not many people get their music played, much less read, much less recorded. So I feel very blessed to be able to witness some of these things still in their early stages. I mean, I'm still a novice as far as I'm concerned. I mean there are people who've been writing for thirty, forty, fifty years?! Jimmy Heath's been writing for at least seventy-five years! I'm approaching maybe seventeen, eighteen years of concentratedly trying to write. I love the process. That's what's killing me (smiles).

In Closing

I would like to thank Mr. Reid for taking time from his composition and allowing me into his wonderful home. He has been extremely kind and courteous, far beyond the call of duty. I've had to pinch myself actually. It's amazing.. He's iconic, and he's a lovely person.

Photo credit: Jimmy Katz

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