Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Steve Reid

  • Rhythmatism [Mustevic, 1977] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Rhythmatism [Mustevic, 1977]
Here's what happens when you oblige jazz artists to record themselves. The music is terrific; personally, I prefer this sampling from the forceful alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe to David Murray's work on Low Class Conspiracy, probably because it's simpler. Leader Reid, a drummer, always provides what the title promises, and like so many of the new players Blythe isn't limited to modern methods by his modernism--he favors fluent, straight-ahead Coltrane modalities, but also demonstrates why he belongs on a tune for Cannonball. But the sound is really lame--the drums are mixed up front without any gain in clarity or presence, and the horns could be coming through the bathroom door. A label like Blue Note, say, hasn't first-released any music this solid in years; I wonder how much just one album a year of it would cost. B+