Rob Reddy

With Citizen Quintet, Reddy has purposefully diminished the emphasis upon the compositional form on behalf of a looser and more open approach to the creative substance, allowing the musicians’ longtime familiarity to breathe more freely. As a result, Reddy says “this session had a real joy & ease to it.” Indeed, the sense of joyful turbulence and free-reined expressiveness that is so fundamental to the music of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra and Albert Ayler is vividly displayed throughout this album.

 
But this is no free improv or loose-knit blowing album by any means. There is a rich and complex structure and overall sense of purpose and shape always in full bloom. Reddy states, “Within the confines of five instrumental voices I attempted to break the ensemble down…solos, duos, trios, entire ensemble improvisations… I continue to explore the idea of juxtaposing the composed melodic material and the improvised music with one another.” They emerge from the compositional structures and sometimes the process is reversed–and often combined. Written and improvised lines are sometimes blurred, sometimes intersected and sometimes indistinguishable within the pure musicality and extraordinary musicianship of the members of the ensemble. 
Striking unison passages, stirring anthems, arresting harmonies, atmospheric rubato, and a rollicking sense of energetic jubilance are all part of the compositional structure and improvisational interplay. The individualistic voices of the musicians combined with their impeccable artistry and consummate sense of creativity make the music shimmer with excitement and vitality. 
 
Reddy uses one collage-like piece in three parts to create a web of context to anchor the album.  “Hear Me?” opens the album, while “Hear Me? (Very Slight Return)” emerges a bit more than halfway through, with “Hear Me? (Slight Return)” closing the album out.  Swaggering blues, hollering unison, mesmerizing chants and collective exchanges at the highest level create a sumptuous aura that makes the listener feel that they are waking from a lovely dream each time this mosaic reappears.
 
Richly dense atmospheric excursions are at play for a pair of extended pieces. “Time Smells Good” opens with crystalline guitar also; darkly ominous with impending danger, then ushering in a lovely slow drag dirge that sets the foundation for Reddy’s sinuous, serpentine solo. Fluttering soprano opens “Redemptive Grace,” a smoothly grooving waltz time sojourn, with exceptional guitar/bass interplay over delicate percussion opening up the way for a riveting guitar solo and sparkling soprano. 
 
The captivating Art Ensemble of Chicago vibe is invoked on two other items. “Right as Rain” has an Ornette-ish compositional line in rubato, with visceral individual statements emerging from the compositional mass; and “Duck Duck Goose” is a delightful “battle” that pits soprano and drums against trumpet, guitar and bass. Carlson’s dynamic talents are showcased on “Paralysis Of Analysis,” opening on an inspired trumpet cadenza eventually underscored by an explosive, rapid-fire, starkly syncopated and suspended line that buoys his exhilarating solo.
 
“Forsaken’s” richly syncopated unison melody lays the foundation for a full ensemble improvisation that constructs a fervid and impassioned wall of sound. The whimsically sardonic spirit of one of Reddy’s greatest mentors, Makanda Ken McIntyre, is on hand for the delightful “Without a Paddle”, staggering like a happy drunk, with echoes of Reddy’s Bechet project in Richards’ tuba-like bass. 
 
There is a European artistic giant who does come to mind in terms of Reddy’s musical approach – the immortal filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, who maintained a steady group of collaborators in front of and behind the lens to shape his most singular vision. A true modernist, Reddy draws upon the full palette of jazz expressionism rather than the Modern European milieu that flavors many of today’s more daring composers. 

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Citizen Arts Presents a Triple Bill Evening of Adventurous Music, Saxophonist Rob Reddy Set to Perform Special 99 Cent Dreams Program

Citizen Arts Presents a Triple Bill  Evening of Adventurous Music   Saxophonist Rob Reddy Set to Perform  Special 99 Cent Dreams Program January 11 at The Cell Theatre in New York City    Citizen Arts presents a triple bill on January 11 at The Cell Theatre in New York City. The performances …
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Drummer Nate Smith Chronicles His Own Black American Experience and Reality of the American Dream Through Deep-Rooted Grooves on Debut Album “KINFOLK: Postcards from Everywhere” – Available February 3, 2017 on Ropeadope Records

Drummer Nate Smith Chronicles His Own Black American Experience and Reality of the American Dream Through Deep-Rooted Grooves on Debut Album KINFOLK: Postcards from Everywhere – Available February 3, 2017 on Ropeadope Records Album Features Special Guests Chris Potter, Dave Holland, Lionel Loueke, Adam Rogers, and Gretchen Parlato “Nate Smith has it all: …
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Saxophonist Rob Reddy Set to Perform Three NYC Concerts in October as Part of Program 99 Cent Dreams

Saxophonist Rob Reddy Set to Perform  Three NYC Concerts in October as  Part of Program 99 Cent Dreams Performances to Feature His  Bechet: Our Contemporary Ensemble Wednesday, October 5 Set Time: 8:00pm The New School  (Arnhold Hall) 55 West 13th Street   New York, NY 10011 Phone:  800-292-3040 Web:  TheNewSchool.edu Thursday, …
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Saxophonist Rob Reddy Blurs the Lines Between Improvisation and Complex Structure on “Citizen Quintet” – Available September 30 on Reddy Music

Saxophonist Rob Reddy Blurs the Lines  Between Improvisation and Complex Structure on  Citizen Quintet – Available September 30 on Reddy Music  Since his emergence onto the scene in 1989, composer/soprano saxophonist Rob Reddy has established himself as an adventurous and original leader in the contemporary jazz realm. Prolific, eclectic and versatile, Reddy is recognized …
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AVAILABLE TODAY via Reddy Music: Composer/Saxophonist Rob Reddy Honors Sidney Bechet’s Place In History on “Bechet: Our Contemporary”

AVAILABLE TODAY via Reddy Music: Composer/Saxophonist Rob Reddy Honors Sidney Bechet’s Place In History on Bechet: Our Contemporary   Mr. Reddy…is no rabble-rouser by temperament: his music emanates from the hurricane’s placid eye. – The New York Times   Rob Reddy plays the saxophone, but he seems most at home as a …
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“But Mr. Reddy…is no rabble-rouser by temperament: his music emanates from the hurricane’s placid eye.” – NY Times

“This is a very interesting slice of the new jazz pie, one that listeners not familiar with Reddy should investigate. There’s likely more on the promising, not-too-distant horizon.” – All Music

“Rob Reddy’s music conveys motion—a rare thing in an era when jazz often seems like the stuff of historians, when even the most astute artist might fail to create anything genuinely new.” – Karl A.D. Evangelista, All About Jazz

“Rob Reddy plays the saxophone, but he seems most at home as a composer and conductor, helming ambitious projects that combine classical sweep with avant-jazz abandon.” – Timeout New York

“…Rob Reddy has conjured a universe of dissonant free-funk, folk-like hymns, ethereal out-of-tempo tone poetry and beyond.” – David R. Adler, Village Voice

“Reddy deserves much credit for enabling himself to push the envelope in presenting a music with such distinct elements of ancient precepts and modernistic devices.” – Michael G. Nastos, All Music

 


  • Rob Reddy “Citizen Quintet” Cover

  • Rob Reddy “Citizen Quintet”

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