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The music on this CD comes from melody and is about melody. It does not claim to be jazz or any other type of music. It does not pay tribute to any style or tradition. It seeks only to communicate and express beauty through sound and rhythm.
"Mr.Reid, a young jazz bassist, is a careful composer with good ideas about what jazz can do now; he sets it up with backbeats and two saxophones with lines gently intertwining, an art-pop mistiness. It's full of ballads that don't sound anything like the old kind of jazz ballads." John Pareles (The New York Times, Jan 3, 2002)
"An aptly-titled album if there ever was one. 'The Vastness Of Space' is an expansive, big-sounding work which is genuinely individual; there is in the way bassist Anderson has written and arranged nine marvellous original pieces here, a feeling of direct engagement with the artist's worldview. Scanning titles such as ‘Reclusive’ ‘Melismatic Clouds of Joy’ , ‘Prehensile Dream’ and ‘Talons’ might give the impression of an existentially overloaded soul but Anderson’s music comes across as a straightforward expression of everyday feelings which we’ll surely all recognise.
‘Reclusive’ is arguably the strongest track in that sense; a marvellously evocative piece whose understated backbeat and creeping horns are like a face afraid to emerge from under the shadows. Brilliant harmonic interplay between Ben Monder’s flickering guitar, Bill McHenry’s incisive tenor and Andrew D’Angelo’s poised alto conspires to produce mystery and enigma with the kind of stark, spiky energy that defines the music of Dave Douglas.
But the piece is movingly climactic, swelling to a central contrapuntal explosion of its initial angst before trailing back into ambiguity. It’s an intense listening experience that also hits home because of the lack of obvious referencing to jazz heritage per se. The tonalities explored by Anderson and his wandering spirits have the kind of cold storage detachment of the rock and folk crowd. The swing is not of the hot persuasion. Yet in its bold, potent imagery and its haressing of rhythms that can both soar and slumber, ‘The Vastness of Space’ is a masterful record that steers clear of any of jazz’s well-beaten tracks. As the major labels continue to flood us with new bottles of old wine, Reid Anderson is an unknown vintage that will surely only get better with time." (***** 5/5) Kevin Le Gendre (Echoes, France)