All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

167

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

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
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 supporting framework for solo improvisation, Reddy balances pre-written forms and thematic improvisation in equal measure.

Expanding this concept to involve a nineteen-piece ensemble, Reddy employs a number of proficient soloists to interact with the pre-written material. Featuring a who's-who of New York talent, Small Town is a versatile and powerful ensemble. With multiple reeds, brass, a string quartet, a pair of electric guitarists and two drummers, Small Town certainly earns its name.

Recorded live at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York, The Book of the Storm continues Reddy's long-standing interest in spirituals, gospel, blues and folk music. "Spacious Skies/Faithless Bells" opens with atmospheric guitar feedback wafting over churning polyphonic percussion, and a circuitous spiral of contrapuntal horns. Building momentum like the proverbial rising storm, it climaxes with a mosaic of expressive horns and strings that elevates guitarist Brandon Ross' searing fretwork.

Using polyphony, unconventional rhythms in odd meters, orchestral hockets and layered counterpoint, a regal sensibility permeates this long-form work. This is serious music, not without moments of levity, but far removed from the transient nature of the marketplace. Following Reddy's conduction with petulant energy, the massed ensemble moves with monolithic force, drifting like tectonic plates composed of pure sound.

While Reddy's rich, evocative ensemble writing is the primary focus, a number of soloists stand out. Electric violinist Charles Burnham dominates the episodic "God Damn" with expansive lyricism. Stalwart bassist Dom Richards' meditative solo feature at the conclusion of "Faithless Bells" provides respite to John Carlson's blazing trumpet feature on the same piece. Jon Margulies' blistering guitar solo on the roiling "Fool's March" and Mark Taylor's haunting French horn statements on "Amongst The Ruins" are additional highlights.

Closing with the powerful "Amongst The Ruins," a somber meditation filled with low brass and languorous martial drumming, the ensemble drifts away into the ether as the drums fall silent.

Dense and uncompromising, yet accessible and infinitely rewarding, The Book of the Storm is Reddy's most fully realized work yet, a high water mark in an ever expanding discography.

Track Listing: Spacious Skies/Faithless Bells; God Damn; Fool's March; Amongst The Ruins.

Personnel: Rob Reddy: composer and conductor; Oscar Noriega: clarinet and bass clarinet; Steve Elson: flute and soprano saxophone; Cochemea Gastelum: alto saxophone; Tim Otto: soprano and tenor saxophones; Lisa Parrott: soprano and baritone saxophones; John Carlson: trumpet; Bob Scarpulla: trumpet; Mark Taylor: French horn; Lis Rubbard: French horn; Curtis Hasselbring: trombone; Charles Burnham: violin; Sarah Bernstein: violin; Marlene Rice: viola; Mary Wooten: cello; Dom Richards: double bass; Brandon Ross: acoustic and electric guitars; Jon Margulies: electric guitar; Pheeroan akLaff: drums; Guillermo E. Brown: drums.

Title: The Book of the Storm | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Reddy Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Right As Rain

Right As Rain

Rob Reddy
Citizen Quintet

Up South

Up South

Rob Reddy
Bechet: Our Contemporary

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Citizen Quintet

Citizen Quintet

Reddy Music
2017

buy
Citizen Quintet

Citizen Quintet

Reddy Music
2016

buy
Bechet: Our Contemporary

Bechet: Our...

Reddy Music
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Inner Core CD/LP/Track Review
Inner Core
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Dirigo Rataplan II CD/LP/Track Review
Dirigo Rataplan II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 21, 2018
Read The Window CD/LP/Track Review
The Window
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read "Vintage Christmas Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Vintage Christmas Trio
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Chapter 2" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter 2
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 21, 2017
Read "Returnings" CD/LP/Track Review Returnings
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 13, 2018
Read "Months, Weeks and Days" CD/LP/Track Review Months, Weeks and Days
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 26, 2017
Read "Obsidian" CD/LP/Track Review Obsidian
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 3, 2018