Monday, January 13, 2014

Rufus Reid Quiet Pride The Elizabeth Catlett Project Motema 2014

A monumental and inspiring work from an improvisational giant...Stunning!
Brent Black /
There are works and artists that I feel incredibly unqualified to write about, Quiet Pride fits nicely in this niche. After spending some time with Rufus Reid at the JEN Convention here in Louisville there is no doubt in my mind that upon hearing that the legendary bassist would say something to the effect of "Nonsense! Do what you do and enjoy the moment!"
Quiet Pride, The Elizabeth Catlett Project is a stunning work embracing the somewhat conceptualized notion of what happens when art influence art. This is one of the finer works of what happens when improvisational music transcends genre and moves into a more spiritual place where ideas, emotions, and a spiritual connection all seem to find their rightful place in a work that transcends critical analysis. For the uninitiated, Elizabeth Catlett could easily lay claim as arguably the finest African American visual artists of the 20th century. Lines, shapes and images are magically transformed into a sweeping context that embraces form and not necessarily function which may be the key into the power of this work. As a bassist, Rufus Reid commands the highest respect. As a composer, Rufus Reid may well be enjoying a second illustrious career.
Naturally the supporting cast here is of note not just for celebrity for the innate ability to embrace the nature of the work and aid in the harmonic transformation from the cerebral to the visceral plane with ease, grace and lyrical wonderment. Among the 20 m
instrumentalists lending their expertise to this epic we find trumpet phenom Freddie Hendrix, saxophone titan Steve Wilson and Reid's long time friend and pianist Steve Allee. Other notable appearances include Ingrid Jensen, Ryan Keberle, and Tim Hagans.
This suite for large ensemble is deceptively subtle in both performance and interpretation thus charting a new course for new American music for the next generation.
An auspicious release.
Tracks: Prelude To Recognition; Recognition; Mother And Child; Tapestry In The Sky; Singing Head; Glory.
Personnel: Rufus Reid: Bass; Steve Allee: Piano; Herlin Riley: Drums; Vic Juris: Guitar.
Conductor: Dennis Mackrel
Trumpets: Tanya Darby, Tim Hagans, Ingrid Jensen, Freddie Hendrix.
Trombones: Michael Dease, Jason Jackson, Ryan Keberle, Dave Taylor
French Horn: John Clark, Vincent Chancey
Reeds: Steve Wilson: Alto & Soprano Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet
Erica Von Kleist: Alto Sax, Flue, Clarinet
Scott Robinson: Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet
Carl Maraghi: Bariton Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Voice: Charenee Wade
Release Date Feb. 11