FOR MANY YEARS RUFUS REID HAS BEEN KNOW AS THE
Evolving Bassist, also the title of his best-selling bass method book, now
in it’s fourth decade of publication. As a sideman, Reid has performed
with many mainstream jazz heavyweights, including Dexter Gordon,
Eddie Harris, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Thad Jones, and Mel Lewis.
Reid successfully balances his role as ensemble bassist with projects as
a bandleader. He has numerous CDs to his credit, including Live at the
Kennedy Center [Motéma, 2007], The Gait Keeper [Sunnyside, 2003], and
his duo outings with bassist Michael Moore, 1996’s Double Bass Delights
and Intimacy of the Bass [both Double-Time Jazz, 2000]. Most recently,
Reid received a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2008 to
compose a work for symphony orchestra and jazz quintet.
What is your idea of a perfect gig?
Playing with great players and being paid what was agreed.
What is your most treasured possession?
If you were to die and come back as any musician, who would it be?
What is your third all-time favorite record and why?
Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley [Capitol, 1961]. I never get tired of
hearing it swing so hard!
What is your dream scenario?
When recording music, the headphone mix works, the music is great, the
other musicians make you play better than ever, and everything is done in
What annoys you about the music business?
The inconsistencies and lack of knowledge from the individuals who decide
who should receive notoriety.
Who are your heroes?
Eddie Harris, Ray Brown, Benny Golson, and Thad Jones.
What was your most recent big mistake?
Trying to answer all of these questions!
What is your goal for the coming year?
To compose a full symphonic work with a jazz ensemble embedded
within the orchestra.