November 13, 2009
While many of musicians of his generation have fled for smooth jazz pastures, saxophonist Benny Reid continues to bridge the gap between jazz and contemporary jazz on his latest release Escaping Shadows. Reid’s music is adventurous and explores in a way that is rare to hear these days. But his sound is also clearly the product of influences such as Pat Metheny, as we hear on his composition “New Days” with vocalist Jeff Taylor’s accompaniment. There’s also a hint of Santana in the guitar work of Richard Padron on “Sleeping Beauty”. On the softer side, Reid’s ballad “The Most Beautiful Girl I Ever Knew” harkens back to something that Coltrane might have had in his repertoire. Escaping Shadows is a throughly entertaining recording for those of us who appreciate jazz in a contemporary tense.
Tracks: The Final Chapter, Five Years Later, Sleeping Beauty, Facing The Edge, New Days, The Most Beautiful Girl I Ever Knew, Firelight, Cutting, Always & Forever, Escaping.