A sell-out crowd and a standing ovation at the London Jazz Festival concert to launch Daxaar
(Domino Records, 2007) is a sure sign that veteran drummer Steve Reid is enjoying something of an Indian summer. Since teaming up with electronics improviser Kieran Hebden in 2006, Domino Records has released three albums of their cutting-edge collaborations, and Steve Reid has reached a whole new audience with his African-inspired, jazz improvisations.
In a sense, Reid and Hebden are revisiting the spirit of the improvised jazz duos of the 1960s and 1970s, such as John Coltrane and Rashid Ali, or Sun Ra and Walt Dickerson, and their avant-garde music for the 2000's is no place for the fainthearted.
Daxaar, on the other hand, is a hybrid of western and African textures and rhythms recorded in Senegal, and quite unlike Reid's more out-there collaborations with Hebden. It is a distillation of the music that has influenced him most profoundly, and its infectious grooves are a joy to listen to.
Today, he is going stronger than ever, still striving, always searching, and always staying in the rhythms.
AAJ contributor Ian Patterson spoke with Steve Reid in Lugano, Switzerland by phone.
Check out Steve Reid: Staying in the Rhythm at AAJ today!