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RUFUS REID’S – HUES OF A DIFFERENT BLUE
The Brilliant Follow Up to Out Front
(2010, Motema Music)
Featuring the Out Front Trio of Reid, Steve Allee (piano) & Duduka Da Fonseca (drums), with very special guests, legendary saxophonist Bobby Watson, trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, saxophonist J.D. Allen & master Brazilian composer/guitarist Toninho Horta
“Reid is the man to call for any musical situation that demands both the utmost skill and impeccable taste…his luscious sound and buoyant swing can levitate an ensemble clear off the bandstand.” – The New Yorker
“His work is a virtual catalog of modern bass technique, tempered by his infallible musicianship. The man has taste…he consistently offers up an earthy tone, flawless intonation, and fluid fingerwork. Plus, you can set the clock by his impeccable time.” – DownBeat
“Reid and his colleagues managed an impressive feat: expressing a hard-core blues sensibility while retaining the high tonal sheen that defines this ensemble. The combined eloquence of Reid’s imperturbable bass lines, Allee’s harmonically advanced pianism and Da Fonseca’s multi-layered rhythms on drums made this the high point. The musicians cohered as a trio functioning as a single unit rather than three distinct sources of sound. Reid stands as one of the most versatile bassists in mainstream jazz.” – The Chicago Tribune
As an artist, Rufus Reid defines evolution and growth. On the double bass, he seems to have reached the pinnacle of mastery on his instrument only to push the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic envelope further each time you hear him. As a composer, Reid set out to make his mark in this discipline not too long ago and has simply taken off, gaining major recognition and landing numerous grants and awards. In addition to the new music on Hues of a Different Blue (produced by Suzi Reynolds and to be released on April 12 on Motema), Reid will enjoy the debut of his three-movement symphony orchestra work, Mass Transit, taking place over two performances (May 7, 2011 in Idyllwild, CA & May 8 at The Redcat Theater in LA), which serve as the culmination of his Guggenheim Fellowship Project. Reid was also awarded the prestigious MacDowell Colony Fellowship in 2010 (www.macdowellcolony.org). So far 2011 has seen Reid as a guest of The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, which performed his compositions, and has enjoyed The Youth Symphony of Dupage, IL premiere of his orchestral arrangement of Caress The Thought for Solo Bass (by retired Chicago Symphony Principal bassist, Joe Guastafeste).
Since their previous recording, Out Front, the fantastic chemistry of the Out Front Trio (Reid w/Steve Allee and Duduka Da Fonseca) has only grown stronger and deeper, plainly evident in their reading of Reid’s new compositions and the standards that comprise Hues of a Different Blue. We were also amazed to witness an immediate camaraderie and excitement for the music throughout the sessions from our new musical guests as we met and made music together with them for the very first time. For me, this is what the real meaning of jazz is!, stated Reid.
While Reid was certainly “the architect” (as Allee called him) of the project, the making of Hues of a Different Blue was geared toward featuring everyone in new and exciting formats. Reid explains further, In designing these arrangements, my goal was to feature the unique sound of the trio and the unique voice of each guest, in unexpected ways that would offer a new musical experience for each player, and an exciting new surprise for you as well. I’m delighted with the results and hope you will be too.
With Hues of a Different Blue, Rufus Reid has created an album of music that can best be described with one word, unforgettable; clearly for the musicians, but most importantly, for the listeners. It is a joy in life to witness an artist hitting a creative stride; Rufus has been on one for many decades, and that continues unabated with this recording. It is a valuable experience beyond measure to view great visual art, to read exceptional literature, and to hear extraordinary music, as each piece carries with it the possibility for us to reflect on ourselves and humanity, and delight us in ways we never thought possible. Hues of a Different Blue accomplishes just that, and as Rufus says in his velvet baritone, you can’t get any better than that.
Rufus Reid on Bobby Watson, Freddie Hendrix, J.D. Allen and Toninho Horta:
“Other than Freddie Hendrix and me, Bobby Watson was meeting everyone else at this session for the first time. Bobby and I hadn’t played together in years and were long overdue. He brings his special sound, wittiness and incomparable energy to our duo on These Foolish Things.”
“This is my third recording together with Freddie Hendrix, who continues to be a very special individual to me. Freddie has been movin’ on, out, and up since his time on the road with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Alicia Keys, and new performances with Roy Hargrove. Listen as his beautiful lush sound caresses The Eloquent One, a ballad I wrote in tribute to the late Hank Jones, who was the epitome of eloquence, both on and off the bandstand.”
“J.D. Allen was a delight to get to know and he brought such clarity in his sound and magnificent musical performances. We’ve begun a new musical friendship. He’s definitely one of the strong, young players on the scene, carving his own space and receiving much deserved accolades from audiences and critics around the world.”
“The Brazilian icon Toninho Horta graced this recording with his stunning presence and artistry on acoustic guitar. Our duo version of his original, Francisca, is deep with passion. It was very special for me to play with this distinctively unique artist, beloved internationally. His presence was huge and truly special. I am honored by his enthusiasm and generous spirit that made it possible for me to record with him.”
Bobby Watson, Freddie Hendrix, J.D. Allen and Toninho Horta on recording Hues of a Different Blue with Rufus Reid:
J.D. Allen: “My generation, I think we need people like Rufus Reid, we really do, he’s very valuable, he’s right up there in the school with Betty Carter and Art Blakey. He has a lot to share, he does share, but being in a working situation with him, the way the recording went about, was really easy and a lot of fun, and I learned a lot, and I’m grateful to be here.”
Freddie Hendrix: Mr. Reid, I mean I could just go on and on about him. He’s one of my heroes, my inspiration, and I’m just happy to be a part of this project with him.
Bobby Watson: It’s been like a gift because I just didn’t think we’d ever get a chance to record together. You know we played together years ago and he’s one of the greatest bass players in the world, and such a gentleman. And to see how he works and talks to all the musicians and how relaxed he is and focused, very focused, in the studio. I was just extremely honored and privileged to be on this. I feel like as I wrap this session I’m a better musician than when I came in.
Toninho Horta: I was very lucky to have this kind of opportunity in my life. Not any Brazilian has the opportunity I have. Thank you Rufus, very much, from the deep of my heart. Love you. Thank you.
(Above quotes excerpted from video The Making of Hues of a Different Blue, produced by Suzi Reynolds and available at www.Redcatpublicity.com, on the “what’s new” page)
2008 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
2006 The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Composition Award - Presented to Reid for his big band work inspired by four sculptures of Elizabeth Catlett.
2006 ASCAP/ IAJE Commission for Established Jazz Composers
2005 Mellon Living Jazz Legacy Award 2001, International Society of Bassists Distinguished Achievement Award
2000 Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize – For Excellence and Creativity
1998 Jazz Educator Achievement Award – DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE
1997 Humanitarian Award - The International Association of Jazz Educators
1988 Congressional Achievement Award – In recognition of outstanding musicianship and contribution to the preservation of Jazz
Rufus Reid truly continues to be THE EVOLVING BASSIST.