Rufus Reid, one of the most magnificent jazz bassists in history, scores here again with another recording in a trio featuring musicians who live up to his virtuosic tendencies. With pianist Steve Allee and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca, Reid breezes through a program of understated originals, Latin-tinged music, and a bit of bop-flavored material sure to please all mainstream jazz fans. Clearly well-rehearsed, Reid puts the band through its paces with sounds more subtle and sophisticated than blaring, forced, or tough-faced. Three tracks are originals composed by the bassist, with Allee credited for two and one for Da Fonseca. The lone standard, "If You Could See Me Now," showcases the ultimately tuneful Reid, who plays the melody all the way through, while his bowed bass on "Caress the Thought" is ultimately dramatic. With the leader in stunning unison with Allee, the deep, heavy, and off-minor "Glory" should stop all listeners in their tracks, while conversely, the light, airy "Ebony" is far from dark, with a little shuffle tossed in. On the Brazilian side there's Marcos Silva's hopping samba "Dry Land," and Da Fonseca's "Doña Maria" suggests that Allee has heard his fair share of the modal McCoy Tyner. The musicianship is at such a high level that you cannot help but be pulled into this exceptional music, going far beyond the pale of most regular piano/bass/drums trios, led by the succinct, deft, and consistently brilliant bass playing of Reid, easily one of the top five bassists in modern jazz.
Out Front Review
by Michael G. Nastos