Billboard Charting Record (Jazz Albums #1, Contemporary Jazz Albums #1, Heatseekers Albums, Independent Albums)
Jonathan Hay, Benny Reid, and Mike Smith had numerous discussions on how to respectfully, faithfully, and creatively re-imagine Eric B. & Rakim’s classic 1988 album, Follow the Leader. The difficulty was twofold. One, Follow the Leader is a revered and iconic hip-hop album and had to reflect its adoration. Two, how can it be translated to a jazz style, especially omitting the centerpiece, Rakim’s voice? Reid (lead instrumentalist – tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, bari saxophone, flute) and Hay’s (producer) initial strategy of replaying Rakim’s extended, rhythmically intricate rap verses organically morphed into a more improvised, classic jazz style. The emcee vocal style and flow along with Eric B.’s thorough-composed instrumentals, served as a model for Hay, Reid, Smith and musician Mani Ajami to draw inspiration.
Benny Reid is a unique new voice on the contemporary jazz scene. Still in his twenties, his alto sax speaks with authority beyond his years, and his soaring, emotionally charged melodies make it immediately clear to the listener that this is a new jazz presence who will be with us for many years to come. Benny has surrounded himself with an ensemble of 5 of the best young players in the New York area and has produced this debut CD with the confidence and finesse of a veteran.
Features Benny Reid on alto saxophone, keyboards, and vocals on “Transient Melody” and “Waves Of Red;” Richard Padron on guitars; Aaron Goldberg on piano, Rhodes; Reuben Rogers on bass; Antonio Sanchez on drums; Jeff Taylor on vocals; and Ryan Fitch on percussion on “Destiny?” and “Dancing With My Father.”
Saxophone wunderkind Benny Reid returns with the follow-up to his impressive Concord Jazz debut Findings. Escaping Shadows include an inspired collection of nine originals, plus a moving arrangement of Pat Metheny’s “Always and Forever.” With this new CD Reid truly comes into his own… with his warm tone, great playing, distinctive, catchy melodies and infectious grooves. Grounded in the tradition of classic modern jazz, yet with his own original twist, he blurs the lines of musical category, making this album less about genre and more about great music. The album features Benny Reid (alto saxophone & keyboards), Richard Padron (acoustic &electric guitars), Pablo Vergara (piano, Fender Rhodes, keyboards), Daniel Loomis (bass & electric bass), Kenny Grohowski (drums), Jeff Taylor (vocals), and Ryan Fitch (percussion).