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Rufus Reid: Live at the Kennedy Center

This set by Reid’s quintet contains not only a CD but also a companion DVD with an extra performance and a lengthy interview with the leader. “I have been given a gift,” Reid says, and he speaks of new life as a composer. His career (as bassist for Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon and Stan Getz, among many other “names”) and as an educator (he was director of jazz studies at William Paterson University) attests to his cultivation, stewardship and outreach of this gift.

Reid’s group-trumpeter and flugelhorn player Freddie Hendrix, tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, pianist Sumi Tonooka and drummer Tim Horner-performs seven of his originals plus four others on this set. The music is warm, inviting and uplifting. “Come Out and Play,” the opener, is a playful Thad Jones-like Reid original; Hendrix, the youngest member of the group, makes an immediate impact on the session with his bright sound, high held notes and Freddie Hubbard- and Woody Shaw-like melodic connections. (Hendrix is impressive. Where has he been?)

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