Based upon three strong recordings and a much talked about live act, saxophonist/composer Rob Reddy is surfacing as one of the rising stars in modern jazz, thanks to his easily identifiable compositional style and personalized approach to the alto and soprano saxophones. With his fourth release titled Seeing By The Light Of My Own Candle, the artist seemingly extends his somewhat unorthodox phraseology, as he pursues sinuous, elongated choruses and contrasting rhythmic structures. Here, Reddy pair offs with trumpeter John Carlson for what equates to a front line horn section exploring eclectic, yet concisely stated themes along with bustling undercurrents and violinist/mandolinist Charles Burnham's resplendent harmonies.
The soloists' carve out a massive wall of sound, awash with angular lines and chromatic arrangements atop bassist Dom Richards and drummer Guillermo E. Brown's polyrhythmic flows and oscillating rhythms. However, on many of these pieces, Burnham perpetuates an air of innocence via his slick picking and countrified mandolin performances, while the remainder of the band pursues gradually climactic opuses amid the leader's emotive articulations.
Overall, Reddy provides ample breathing room for the rhythm section to expound upon the soloists' often-hypnotic interludes that are primarily constructed upon extended notes and polytonal voicings along with the occasional nod to Ornette Coleman. Hence, Reddy's music boasts a combination of multi-layered time signatures and finely crafted propositions. Recommended!
Track Listing: Street Angel House Devil; Victim; My Own Candle; Child; RJOC; See The Elephant; Prayer III.
Personnel: Rob Reddy: soprano and alto saxophones; Charlie Burnham: violin and mandolin; John Carlson: trumpet and pocket trumpet; Dom Richards: acoustic bass; Guillermo Brown: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.