Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Reid, Rufus (L.)

Reid, Rufus (L.), bass, educator, author; b. Atlanta, GA, 10 February 1944. His mother, Sylvia Reid, and his father, Alvin A. Reid, both played piano. He had two older brothers, Alvin A. Reid, Jr. and Richard Reid. Both played  amateur tenor sax and clarinet. Reid's wife is Doris and his son is Michel.

Reid was raised in Sacramento, California where he played the trumpet through junior high and high school. Upon graduation from Sacramento High School, he entered the United States Air Force as a trumpet player. During that period he began to be seriously interested in the bass. After fulfilling his duties in the military, Rufus had decided he wanted to pursue a career as a professional bassist. He moved to Seattle, Washington, where he began serious study with James Harnett of the Seattle Symphony. Rufus Reid received his Associate Arts Degree from Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington, in 1969. He continued his education at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he studied with Warren Benfield and principal bassist, Joseph Guastefeste, both of the Chicago Symphony. He graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Music Degree as a Performance Major on the Double Bass. He continued his education at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Music Degree as a Performance Major on the Double Bass. His formal teachers were James Harnett of the Seattle Symphony, Warren Benfield and Joe Guastefeste of the Chicago Symphony. Rufus began doing clinics in 1971, adjudicating and performing. He moved to Teaneck, New Jersey in July, 1976, and have been there ever since.

He started teaching at William Paterson College (now University) in the Fall of 1979 and retired from there in 1999.  He was the Director from the beginning.  Along with Marty Krivin, he started the program that exists today.  However, it was his vision that had Thad Jones there as a full time Artist In Residence, but the degree program did not exist until much later. As Director of the Jazz Studies and Performance Program, he developed the curriculum of this degree program where he coaches small and large jazz ensembles. He stayed there for 23 years before retiring from the university as Professor Emeritus. Reid has two bass method books published.  The first, "The Evolving Bassist," an aid in developing a total musical concept for the double bass and electric bass, was published in 1974 and in 200 came out in its Millenium edition.  The second, "Evolving Upward--Bass Book II," an aid in developing thumb position technique for the double bass, was published in 1977.
From 1980 to 1985, Rufus was on the music panel of The National Foundation For The Advancements In The Arts.  This program is ARTS (Art Recognition and Talent Search), specifically for graduating high school students across the nation.  This program is now affiliated with the International Association of Jazz Educators and Rufus continues to work with both programs.

His major professional career began in Chicago and continues in New York, where he has traveled, performed and recorded with most of the Jazz Masters.  He was privileged to share a moment of music with some that have passed on--Booker Irving, Gene Ammons, Kenny Dorham, Sonny Stitt, Don Byas, Philly Joe Jones, Kenny Dorham, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, and Dizzy Gillespie. He continues performing and recording with Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Harold Land, Bobby Hutcherson, Freddie Hubbard, Ray Bryant, J.J. Johnson, Benny Carter, and Joe Henderson, Kenny Burrell, Kenny Barron, Jimmy Heath,to name a few. He was with Eddie Harris for five years, 1971-'76, Dexter Gordon for four and half years, 1978-81, and J.J. Johnson for about six and a half years through a nine year period (when Johnson's wife Vivian passed, he was off the scene about 2 1/2 years). He also did three years with Jack DeJonnette. Rufus Reid has recorded over 250 albums and has made three under his own leadership. Rufus has performed and recorded with Andre Previn, Kathleen Battle and the St. Lukes Chamber Orchestra in 1992.  Also in 1992 Rufus had two performances of "Two Faces", a Concerto for Solo Double Bass and Jazz Trio, composed by Benny Golson for Rufus with the Wayne Chamber Orchestra.  It was debuted at William Paterson College and had a New York premeire in October in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Rufus joined in partnership with Akira Tana in 1990 to form the quintet, TanaReid.

Perpetual Stroll; Harold Danko/Rufus Reid Duo; Mirth Song; Seven Minds; Corridor To The Limits; Rufus Reid and Michael Moore: Doublebass Delights (1995); Ron Jackson - Rufus Reid Duo: Song for Luis; TanaReid: Yours and Mine, Passing Thoughts, Rumour, Blue Motion, Looking Forward, Back To Front (1997-98);
As sideperson:                                                                                                                                  
Eddie Harris: Is It In; Charlie Parker Memorial Concert; Gene Ammons and Dexter Gordon: The Chase!; Nancy Wilson: Kaleidoscope; Eddie Harris: Instant Death, Eddie Harris Sings The Blues, Excursion; The Awakening: Mirage; The Forefront: Incantation, In The Forefront; Jamey Aebersold: Jazz Clinicians' Quartet; Dexter Gordon: Sophisticated Giant, Manhattan Symphonie; Lee Konitz: Lee Konitz Nonet, Figure And Spirit; The Thad Jones and Mel Lewis Quartet; Ran Blake: Rapport; Etta Jones: My Mother's Eyes; John McNeil: Embarkation; Eddie Daniels: Street Wind; Buddy Montgomery: Ties; The Matteson-Phillips TubaJazz Consort; Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra: Monica Zetterlung; Henry Threadgill: X-75, Vol I; Harold Danko: Coincidence; Nancy Harrow: Anything goes; Dexter Gordon: Great Encounters; The Ricker Set: Blues - All Keys-All Instruments; Mel Torme: Live At Marty's; Mel Lewis & The Jazz Orchestra Plays          The Music of Bobby Brookmeyer; Billy Mitchell Quintet: DeLawd's Blues; Ted Dunbar: Secundum Artem; Helen Merrill: Chasin' The Bird; Kenny Burrell: Listen To The Dawn; John McNeil: Clean Sweep; Jim Hall: Circles (one tune); Ricky Ford: Tenor For The Times; Albert Daley: Textures; Bob Mover: In The Tradition; Mike Metheny: Blue Jay Sessions;  - Mike Metheny; Joe Carter: Too Marvelous For Words; Frank Wess and Frank Foster: Two For The Blues; Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition; Larry O'Leno Sings Billy Strayhorn; Bob Mover: Things Unseen!; Art Farmer and Benny Golson: New Jazztet; Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition Album Album; Joe Wilder and Joe Newman: Hangin' Out; Barry Harris:For The Moment; Frank Wess and Frank Foster: Frankly Speaking; Roslyn Burrough: Love is Here; John Stubblefield: Confessin'; Kenny Burrell: A La Carte; Ricky Ford: Shorter Ideas; Dexter Gordon: Nights At The Keystone; Kenny Barron: Autumn In New York; Art Farmer: You Make Me Smile; Jimmy Heath : New Picture; Claudio Roditi: Claudio!; James Williams Sextet: Progress Report; Frank Gordon: Clarion Echoes; Chris Connor: Classic Chris Connor; Sumi Tonooka: With An Open Heart; Paquito P'Rivera: Manhattan Burn; Lee Konitz: Ideal Scene; Horace Parlan: Joe Meets The Rhythm Section; Freddie Hubbard: Life Flight; Ray Bryant: "Bassie & Ellington"; Art Farmer: Something To Live For; Donald Byrd: Harlem Blues; Hal Galper: Naturally; Ralph Moore: Round Trip; Shannon Gibbons; George Cables: Circle; Jed Levy: Good People; Andrew Hill Trio and Quartet: Shades; Rob Schneiderman: New Outlook; Ray Bryant: Golden Earrings; Barney Kesse; Red Hot and Blues; Bobby Hutcherson: Cruisin' The 'Bird; Art Farmer: Blame It On My Youth; Harold Danko: The First Love Song; Mike Wofford Plays Gerald Wilson: Gerald's People; John Handy: Excursion In Blue; Geoff Keezer: Waiting In The Wings; The Bob Rockwell Trio; Ray Bryant: Blue Moods; Carol Sloane: Love You Madly; A rt Farmer: Ph.D.; Andrew Hill: Eternal Spiritl; Stan Getz: Anniversary Vol. 1: Stan Getz at Montmartre; Dave Liebman: Time Line; Mickey Tucker Quartet: Blues In Five Dimensions; Toots Thielemans: The Windmills of Your Mind; Jerome Barde: Feliz; Michel Sardaby: Going Places; Rob Schneiderman: Smooth Sailing; Bobby Roatch: Something Old Something New; Sanpei Ohno: Miki; Madeline Eastman: Point of Departure; Benny Golson Quartet; Freddie Hubbard: Topsy - Standard Book; Bob Mover: You Go To My Head; Bob Rockwell: Reconstruction; Carol Sloane: The Real Thing; J.J. Johnson: Quintergy - Live At The Village Vanguard; Shoko and Norman: 500 Miles High; Benny Carter: All That Jazz--Live At Princeton; Hank Jones: With The Meridian String Quartet; Nick Brignola: What It Takes; Stan Getz: Serenity; Sumi Tanooka: Taking Time; Jesse Davis: Horn of Passion; Meredith D'Ambrosio: Love Is Not A Game; Eddie Higgins: Those Quiet Days; J.J. Johnson: Standards; Donald Byrd: A City Called Heaven; Ed Thigpen: Young Men and Olds; Michele Rosewoman Trio: Occasion To Rise; Kirl Lightsey Trio: From Kirk To Nat; Tete Montoliu Trio: A Spanish Treasure; Benny Golson's NY Orchestra: J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concertos (w. Art Farmer); George Kawaguchi and The All Stars: Jazz Battle; Kenny Barron Trio: The Moment; Kenny Burrell: Sunup To Sundown; Asian American Jazz Trio: Sound Circle; A Tribute To Wes Montgomery; Alan Farnham: Play-cation; Tribute To Wes Montgomery - Vol II; J.J. Johnson: Vivian; Secret Agent Men; Joe Henderson: The Standard Joe; Sumi Tanooka: Here Comes Kai; Jane Ira Bloom: Art And Aviation; Sumi Tanooka: Taking Time; Sax Legends Vol 1,2; J.J. Johnson: Let's Hang Out; Gene Bertoncini: Acoustic Romance; Rob Schneiderman: Standards; Asian American Jazz Trio: Moon Over the World; Greg Abate: Bop City - Live At Birdland; Alvin Batiste: Late; Tom McKinley Trio: Jazz Alive at Pittsburgh; Blues Guitar For The Homeless: Strike A Deep C hord; Stefan Karlsson: Below Zero; Dave Liebman: Setting The Standard; Ruth Brown: The Songs of My Life; Dan Faulk: Focusing In; Peter Weniger: Key of The Moment; Kenny Barron: Other Places; Harold Ashby: What Am I Here For?; Last Night When We Were Young: Ballad Album ("Memories of You" by TanaReid); Jeri Brown: The Peacocks; Jay Collins: Uncommon Threads; Helen Merrill: Brownie - Homage to Clifford Brown; Eddie Allen Quintet: Remembrance; Mel Martin: Plays Benny Carter; Kenny Burrell: Ellington A La Carte; Tsutomu Kojima: Chatterbox; Kathleen Battle: Honey and Rue; Ben Riley: Weaver of Dreams; Peter Leitch: Colours & Dimensions; Jane Ira Bloom: The Nearness; Conrad Herwig: New York Breed; Rob Schneiderman: Keepin' in the Groove; Nick Brignola: The flight of the Eagle

Down Beat magazine March 1999, feature story

In 1997, The International Association of Jazz Educators awarded Rufus with the Humanitarian Award.  Bass Player magazine, awarded Rufus the1998 Jazz Educator Achievement Award. In November 1999, The New Jersey Chapter of the IAJE named him Outstanding Educator of 1999. The International Society of Bassist presented Rufus the 2000 Distinguished Achievement Award.  In 2001, Rufus won the Charlie Parker Composer Award, from the BMI Jazz Composer's Workshop, for his composition, Skies Over Emilia.

Contact information:
P.O. Box 757
Teaneck, NJ 07666   
Tel: 201-837-2117
Fax: 201-837-0248

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