The Jazz.com Blog
September 10, 2009 · 0 comments
This young alto player, poised to release his second CD “Escaping Shadows” on September 15, writes fusion, ECM-ish material—vamps, funk, open-ended blowing—and runs a tight organization. Backing him on original material are a group of musicians able to pull off the unusual accents, mood changes, hits, heavy syncopation, upper structure harmonies, advanced progressions, and contrapuntal lines of his music.
Reid has a very good embouchure and sweet tone. All his tunes have head arrangements with the sax making the initial statement and guitar sometimes doubling, playing harmony, response or counterpoint improvisation. Reid tends to compose long smooth lines of melody, although he certainly can build the intensity, as with "Escaping Shadows," which moves from a dreamy introduction and waltz with tight kicks into some furious alto improvisation.
The energy of his band sustains Reid well. Chalk that up in large part to the steady rhythmic intensity of drummer Kenny Grohowski's drums, kicking, pulling and guiding the band with snap and verve. Strengthening the mix, too, is the Metheny-influenced guitar of Richard Padrón. Soloing on the lilt and lift of "New Days" or the funk "Firelight," Padron delivered fast, fluid lines that curled in on each other or developed through repetition.
Although fusion is his defining sound, Reid added a more conventional ballad, with pretty, rounded lines and good melodic and harmonic logic—"The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," written for his sister.
This blog entry posted by Roanna Forman. For links to the rest of Forman’s coverage of the festival, click here.