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Rufus Reid Releases Quiet Pride, a Tribute to the Life and Work of Elizabeth CatlettIconic bassist Rufus Reid Reid will perform two shows at the March 12 Jazz Standard , at 7:30 and 9:30 PM.  Tickets are $30 and are available via Ticketweb.

Reid’s new Motema Music CD, Quiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project was released on February 11, and is garnering critical praise.Jazz Inside Magazine says,  “… it is Reid’s writing that gives this suite and the band in general its own musical personality. With the release of Quiet Pride, it is time to start thinking of Rufus Reid not just as a bassist but as an important writer….” Critical Jazz lauded the album as “a stunning work embracing the somewhat conceptualized notion of what happens when art influences art….An auspicious release.”

For the upcoming show at the Jazz Standard , Reid reunited much of the same twenty piece ensemble featured on Quiet Pride.  In-demand drummer Jonathan Blake replaces the great Herlin Riley in Reid’s core ensemble, along with Steve Allee on piano and Vic Juris on guitar. Trumpet players Greg Gilbert and Mike Rodriguez ably take on the parts performed by Ingrid Jensen and Tanya Darby on the album, and Luis Bonilla fills Jason Jackson’s trombone chair. The remaining line-up is stellar, with Tim Hagans and Freddie Hendrix on trumpets; Michael Dease, Ryan Keberle and Dave Taylor on trombones; John Clark and Vincent Chancey on French horns; Steve Wilson on lead alto/soprano sax, flute and clarinet; Tom Christensen and Scott Robinson on tenor sax and clarinets; Carl Maraghi on baritone sax and bass clarinet; Erica von Kleist on alto sax, flute and clarinet, and Charenee Wade on vocalese.  The widely respected drummer, composer and conductor Dennis Mackrel, who conducted the orchestra on Quiet Pride, will also conduct at the Jazz Standard show.

The inspiration for this epic, large ensemble work was Reid’s fascination with the sculptural work of Elizabeth Catlett, the great African American artist and civil rights activist, whose works can be found in the collections of the White House, the Museum of Modern Art, and of private collectors such as Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, and jazz impresario George Wein.  “You know how you can spend hours in a gallery, just letting the images sink in?  I found myself responding to the shapes and lines in Elizabeth’s work.  While there is no ‘absolute’ correspondence, I do feel that she inspired me to mix my own shapes and lines,” explained Reid, whose suite movements are inspired by Catlett’s sculptures Glory, Mother & Child, Recognition, Singing Head, and Stargazer.

Interestingly, the February 11, 2014 release date ofQuiet Pride coincides with Reid’s 70th birthday (on February 10), and also marks his 50th year in the music industry, in a career that has included numerous awards and commissions: BMI Composers Workshop; Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize; two Chamber Music America’s New Works grants; The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for Composition; and the Mellon Jazz Living Legacy Award.  Other accolades include The Jazz Educator Achievement Award from Downbeat, The International Association of Jazz Educators Humanitarian Award, the Carter G. Woodson Visionary Award, the International Society of Bassists’ Recognition Award for Composition, Jazz Education Network’s LeJENds of Jazz Education Award, and the Congressional Achievement Award in Recognition of Outstanding Musicianship and Contributions to the Preservation of Jazz.

Reid’s dream to compose for large ensemble was made possible by his winning the prestigious Raymond and Beverly Sackler Composition Competition prize in 2006 for his original four-movement suite, Quiet Pride.  A fifth movement was completed and added in 2012, leading to this newest release, his 17th as a leader.  Reid’s signature sound has also graced the music of countless jazz giants, including Eddie Harris, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, Benny Golson, J.J. Johnson, Jack DeJohnette, and Nancy Wilson.  As an educator, he is sought after internationally and is the author of the acclaimed instructional book and DVD, “The Evolving Bassist”– the definitive bible for every jazz bassist and the industry standard since 1974.  Reid also served for twenty years as the Director of Jazz Studies and Performance Program at William Patterson University.

For more information about the show,  For more information about Rufus, check out his website or his page on the Motema website.

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