“I have been given a gift,” Reid says of his new life as a composer. His career attests to his cultivation, stewardship and outreach of this gift.
Most of the music here is composed by Reid and it covers a lot of ground. Collectively the band can blast like the Jazz Messengers or gently float through a lyrical piece, and leader Reid holds it all together with his elegant playing.
His music is exactly what you would expect from a master musician. His melodic lines are lyrical, and he is the master of unexpected harmonic surprises. Rufus writes like he plays, and it can’t get much better that that.
Neil Slater, University of North Texas
I am SO impressed with the originality and skill of your writing. You knock me out.
Rob Curnow, Composer/Arranger, Sierra Music Publications
The Central New York Jazz Orchestra nonet gave Reid’s jazz composition “Linear Surroundings” a classical performance Friday night in Mulroy Civic Center’s Carrier Theater.
And the Central New York musicians obviously struck all the right moods during the 40-minute piece written by the guest artist for the evening: Reid, a world-famous educator, musician and composer.
“Thank you,” Reid said to the standing crowd applauding them all. “One rehearsal. It looks easy, but it’s not. To put something like this together requires great musicianship.”
That’s because Reid wove an intricate mosaic with the four movements of the suite. Titled “Shadow Chasing,” “Moods,” “The Peaceful Flame” and “Collage,” they drew the best work out of the musicians, fast and slow, loud and soft, all quite lovely down to the compelling, crashing piano cacophony from Stetch in the final movement.
The Post-Standard, Syracuse, NY
Rarely has a jazz or classical composer merged the two worlds as seamlessly in a chamber-music setting as Reid has in Linear Surroundings,’ which evokes the radiant spirit of Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville, Summer of 1915,” though steeped in a jazz-blues sensibility. To hear vocalist Dana Hanchard pooling long, sensuous phrases that were echoed and embellished by seven instrumentalists – each drawing on classical and jazz techniques – was to encounter a nearly ideal performance of a translucent, musically substantive score.
I am pleased to bring to your attention the outstanding new composition Quiet Pride by internationally known bassist and composer Rufus Reid.
Mr. Reid’s beautiful composition for large jazz orchestra, the winner of the 2006 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Composition Competition at the University of Connecticut was premiered by the University Jazz Orchestra in March 2007. The work is inspired by sculpture of the renowned artist Elizabeth Catlett. Mr. Reid’s work and his visit to the campus provided many opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaboration between the Departments of Music and Art and the Benton Museum of Art.
Mr. Reid’s work in conducting our students with his new composition and his performances with the Jazz Orchestra was inspiring for its sensitivity and his deep musical knowledge.
Rufus Reid in one of the most gifted composers and performers of our time. He made an extraordinary contribution to musical life at the University of Connecticut, and it is my pleasure to recommend this esteemed artist and his work to you.
With best wishes,
Head & Professor of Music
University of Connecticut