“Steve Reid played with Sun Ra, knew Coltrane, played at Motown. I mean this is a guy who at 19 was playing drums with Fela Kuti in Africa. He is a musical genius. It’s a creative joy and honour to work with him.”Kieran Hebden (Fourtet) After a number of groundbreaking live shows between Kieran Hebden (Fourtet) and legendary New York drummer Steve Reid, these two artists have embarked on two amazing new recording projects.
The first release is the Steve Reid Ensemble (featuring Kieran Hebden) “Spirit Walk”. This will be followed by a second album by Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid which will be released by Domino Records at the beginning of 2006. Both albums blend electronic experimentation within the frame-work of Steve Reid’s musical heritage. Gilles Peterson will be touring the UK in November alongside The Steve Reid Ensemble. An ardent fan of the music, Peterson has contributed the sleeve-notes to “Spirit Walk” along with another long-time musical admirer Val Wilmer. Steve Reid is a true pioneer of boundary-breaking music.
This latest project/collaboration is a continuation of a musical path that stretches back to the late 1960s. A self-taught master jazz drummer Steve Reid played in Sun Ra’s Arkestra as well as being a session musician at both Motown Records (he plays on for instance Martha and The Vandella’s “Heatwave”) and in James Brown’s in-house band at the legendary Harlem Apollo. In the mid-60s Reid went to West Africa, playing and learning the music of Ghana, Nigeria (playing with Fela Kuti), Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal. On returning to New York he joined Sun Ra’s The Science Myth Solar Arkestra.
In 1968 as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam war he was sentenced to 4 years in prison where he then taught a Black history course to his fellow inmates. In the 1970’s Reid formed the Legendary Master Brotherhood as well as running his own record company, Mustevic Sound, which released a series of his albums (2 of which have earlier been released by Soul Jazz Records). In a career now spanning over 40 years Steve Reid has worked with artists such as Lester Bowie, Miles Davis, Charles Tyler, Arthur Blythe, Ornette Coleman, Gary Bartz, Chief Bey, Archie Shepp, Sam Rivers, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Leon Thomas and more. This new project is the latest part in Steve Reid’s musical odyssey.
“A truly phenomenal artist. This is the album we’ve all been waiting a long time for. Steve Reid is steeped in musical history and yet this album has a modernity all of it’s own.” Gilles Peterson.