Reuben Radding - double bass
Matt Moran - vibraphone
Oscar Noriega - clarinet
All music published by Pine Ear Music (ASCAP) except Dance of Fury published by Durand SA Editions Musicales
Recorded September 11th, 16th, and 28th, 2005
Recorded and Mixed by Reuben Radding at studio STATS, Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Michael Marciano at Systems Two
Graphic design by Mark Lerner
Cover photo "Sea of Snakes" by Susan Bowen (www.susanbowenphoto.com)
Reuben Radding was born in Washington DC to a family of classical musicians, and relocated to New York City in 1988 where he studied contrabass with Mark Dresser and quickly became a busy stalwart of the Downtown scene. His powerful sound and sensitive listening has contributed to countless ensembles ranging from Jazz, to Classical, as well as ethnic genres, and he has been featured on over 30 recordings on labels such as Leo Records, AUM Fidelity, Tzadik, and Knitting Factory Works.
Reuben Radding has also performed or recorded with John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Stuart Dempster, Robert Dick, Saadet Turkoz, Wally Shoup, Wolfgang Fuchs, John Oswald, Ursel Schlicht, Dylan VanDerSchyff, Dave Douglas, John Hollenbeck, Ned Rothenberg, Scott Rosenberg, Anthony Coleman, Nate Wooley, Butch Morris, and many others.
Reviews of Intersections:
"The solos on bassist Reuben Radding’s Intersections (Pine Ear Music) are intended to test the nature of the compositions; themes are often somber and long-limbed, with large interval leaps that inspire the trio to stretch phrasing and loosen tempo to the point of open-ended entanglements that spontaneously reshape the music from the inside. Matt Moran’s vibes brighten the ensemble palette, whether in rattling, resonating solos, bowed to create hazy, shimmering harmonics, or sparsely yet percussively comping underneath Oscar Noriega’s deft, rhapsodic, slightly tart clarinet. The key to Radding’s compositional approach lies in the program’s final piece—an arrangement of the sixth movement of Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du Temps, where the extended melody is given a light swing feel and used as a “head” for solos, while motifs are fragmented and abstracted to serve as accompaniment. Throughout the disc, the trio alternates between this chromatic harmonic syntax and Webernesque melodic contours spun like spider webs, upon which they improvise with tightly focused interaction." (Art Lange, Point of Departure)
"This is complex and demanding music, executed with grace and precision." (Chris Kelsey, Jazz Times)
"Featuring Reuben Radding on double bass, Matt Moran on vibes and Oscar Noriega on clarinet. Three of downtown's better players from different backgrounds come together to make this an inspired trio offering. Reuben can be heard in a duo or trio with Daniel Carter as well as that great trio with Carrie Schull (oboe) and Tara Flandreau (viola). Matt Moran is a member of the great Claudia Quintet, as well as with that recent gem from Monika Heidemann. Oscar Noriega has a swell CD on Omnitone, is a member of Satoko Fujii's NY Big Band and has a clarinet duo with Chris Speed. This trio, however, sounds more like the great Jimmy Giuffre Trio (w/ Paul Bley & Steve Swallow) from the mid-sixties. Very thoughtful, contemplative, elegant and quietly fascinating. Reuben wrote six of the nine tunes with two trio compositions and a version of Messiaen's "Dance of Fury". On the trio's "Siren", they stretch out each note with great suspense and spaciousness. I dig the way the trio perform "Canal and Lafayette", The theme is stated by the clarinet, shadowed by the vibes and later the bass takes over the central thread. Oscar's lush tone and careful, cautious clarinet playing is superb throughout. The clarinet and vibes both do a fine job of letting their notes resonate into dreamlike drone/notes, while Reuben's bass often provides the thread that holds the trio together. An auspicious date from one fine trio.
(Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery)
Geography’s never been much of a reliable compass or container for musical forms. In jazz, coastal distinctions, dividers that were faulty to begin with, have long since crumbled. Bassist Reuben Radding is a prime example of a now prevailing trans-coastal attitude. Hailing originally from Washington, D.C. and a transplant to NYC in 1988, he spent several years in Seattle forging ties to the Emerald City improv community and releasing several albums before heading back east. Despite a routinely active dance card the scope of his interests remains only partially represented by his discography. Like many of his peers he decided to launch his own label, Pine Ear, out of his apartment to combat the growing gap between tape cache and commercial releases.
Fitted with a title reflecting Radding’s bridge-building nature, Intersections illustrates both his creativity and candor. The instrumentation presents a composite of the classic Giuffre and Norvo trios and conveys their spirit if not strict form. Radding’s resonant upright joins with the arid limpidity of Oscar Noriega’s brooding clarinet and Matt Moran’s translucent vibes for a framework that is at once familiar and evergreen. Nine cuts, six scripted by the leader, evince strong chamber improv inclinations. Composition plays as prominent a role as improvisation on the majority of pieces. But just because the map is partially predrawn doesn’t mean the paths undertaken are predictable.
“Siren” and “North” are drone experiments largely devoid of meter that together embody one of the more compelling facets of the ensemble, the tonal congruity and overlap achieved in their measured interactions. The fit is especially keen between Noriega and Moran. There are evanescent moments in each piece where it’s hard to parse the two players apart, clarinet voicing ethereal pitches that blend with shimmering pedal sustains. Moran’s frequently been compared to a youthful Bobby Hutcherson and in this setting the likeness is particularly salient as his patterns of notes condense into free-standing rubato clusters.
Radding plays mainly pizzicato, his rich patterns favoring rounded edges and rhythmic tractability rather than sharp points and bracing stops. Noriega and Moran show a similar concern with clarity of line. It’s here that the Norvo comparisons ring most true, though by my reckoning Red never ventured into realms accessing this degree of harmonic freedom. Much of the action pivots on intuitive responsiveness. One person, often Noriega, traces variations on a sinuous motif as the others shape elastic counterpoint. Tracks like “Brush” and “Canal and Lafayette” compress the dulcet and energetic strategy into economical five-minute packages brimming with melodic activity.
Episodes of nebulous déjà vu do arise in the latter half of the program, but they’re more a product of the mellifluous instrumentation than any act of gross repetition by the musicians. Radding ends the outing with a clever arrangement of Messiaen’s “Dance of Fury” that once again brings to mind the contemplative folk form investigations of Giuffre. The disc represents as an propitious debut for Pine Ear, an imprint that will hopefully accomplish the same sort of profile boosting outcome for Radding that Ginko Leaf mustered for saxophonist James Finn. (Derek Taylor, Bagatellen)
Radding's trio on this CD offers chamber style interaction, musical delicacy, and whispered intimacies. Radding has one of the thickest tones on the double bass to be heard in jazz today and his playing relies on notes that carry on and linger horizontally, while his compositions run the scale vertically. This bidirectionality infuses the music with a favorable creative tension, particularly on the hypnotic "Making Certain It Goes On". Oscar Noriega's snake charmer clarinet seduces on "Siren," a tone poem that features Radding's evocative arco attack and enables Matt Moran to put the 'vibe' in vibraphone with his resonating sustained notes. "Canal & Lafayette" picks up the tempo a bit from "Brush," but continues the same mathematically precise playing by Noriega and Moran, while on "Bellevue, Bellevue, and Bellevue" Moran's single note strikes jump from left to center to right, orienting you to the composition even as it repetitiveness locks your attention. "Marginal Way" mixes Radding's arco and pizzicato and alternately pairs him up with his bandmates: mirrored by Moran's metallic vibes, in dialogue with Noriega, then back to Moran for a concluding conversation. Drum fans need not fear. Noriega, Moran, and Radding create a world of melody and rhythm all their own. (Jeff Stockton, All About Jazz)
Interestions bears repeated spins on your psyche.
(Mark Corroto, ALLABOUT JAZZ.COM)
This collection of nine pieces for clarinet...is as classy and cool as its sleek blue / grey photo cover art. Radding's compositions are understated and angular, but the trio is crisp and sharp, exploring intervals and colours with extraordinary grace and clarity. Intersections is a thoroughly satisfying and warmly recommended outing by three superb musicians. (Dan Warburton, Paris/Transatlantic)
"Radding has a fertile and wide-ranging imagination." (Christian Carey, Signal to Noise)
"In contrast, the solos on bassist Reuben Radding’s Intersections (Pine Ear Music) are intended to test the nature of the compositions; themes are often somber and long-limbed, with large interval leaps that inspire the trio to stretch phrasing and loosen tempo to the point of open-ended entanglements that spontaneously reshape the music from the inside. Matt Moran’s vibes brighten the ensemble palette, whether in rattling, resonating solos, bowed to create hazy, shimmering harmonics, or sparsely yet percussively comping underneath Oscar Noriega’s deft, rhapsodic, slightly tart clarinet. The key to Radding’s compositional approach lies in the program’s final piece—an arrangement of the sixth movement of Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du Temps, where the extended melody is given a light swing feel and used as a “head” for solos, while motifs are fragmented and abstracted to serve as accompaniment. Throughout the disc, the trio alternates between this chromatic harmonic syntax and Webernesque melodic contours spun like spider webs, upon which they improvise with tightly focused interaction." -Art Lange, Point of Departure
A playful, pleasantly unclassifiable jaunt through Radding's compositional elasticity. - Earshot Jazz