SoapBox: Rufus Reid

October 1, 2009

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?

My family!

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 one take!

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.


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