Rufus Reid, Out Front [Motema]

Beefy tone, impeccable technique, likeclockwork time and melodic, adventurous solos have defined Rufus Reid’s work on thousands of recordings, and it’s inspiring to hear the veteran upright player and educator lead a jazz power trio as potent as his new Out Front group.
By Philip Booth ,

Beefy tone, impeccable technique, likeclockwork time and melodic, adventurous solos have defined Rufus Reid’s work on thousands of recordings, and it’s inspiring to hear the veteran upright player and educator lead a jazz power trio as potent as his new Out Front group. High-energy opener “Glory” has Reid, the tune’s composer, sharing a hop-scotching unison line with pianist Steve Allee, against Duduka Da Fonseca’s hyperactive drum-set sizzle. The three ease their way through several shades of samba on “Dona Maria” and “Dry Land,” and turn in textbook deep-groove swing on Eddie Harris’s “The Crying Blues.” Reid’s gorgeous tone, amber vibrato, and huge sustain are showcased with his unaccompanied intro and outro, melody reading, and dazzling improvisation on Tadd Dameron’s “If You Could See Me Now.” And his sensitive arco work is in full flight on his aptly titled ballad, “Caress the Thought.” It’s all enchanting, and often awe-inspiring.