I write songs but I don't sing.
My mission is to take you on an emotional journey through music.
I picked up a saxophone at age 13. Tried to compose tunes at the piano before I knew what notes were. Caught the performance bug from seeing Kenny G in concert, but soon fell in love with the sounds and styles of Stan Getz and Joshua Redman. Luck (or destiny) landed me a spot in a Florida performing arts high school.
Since age 17 I aspired to play saxophone as well as Chris Potter. (Impossible.)
I'm a child of the 80's with a soft spot for Sting, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Hornsby, Peter Cetera and Tears for Fears. But in some alternate universe I must have grown up listening to Marvin Gaye, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Al Green, because their sounds are a big part of the way I feel music.
For as long as I can remember, I've been fond of dramatic film music. Where else in our modern age does instrumental music take on such power and meaning? John Williams' theme to Jurassic Park is lodged as firmly in my mind as John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme". The soundtrack to 1991's "Backdraft" had both Hans Zimmer's heroic score and two awesome Bruce Hornsby songs. For years it was my favorite CD.
And don't get me started on the amazing, emotion-generating abilities of the masterful Thomas Newman (Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty).
After high school it was off to Berklee College of Music to chase dreams. Part of me wanted to set a course for the top of Hollywood film composer mountain, part of me wanted to be the next Joshua Redman. Neither came true. Yet.
College brought new inspirations: MeShell N'Degeocello, Radiohead, Steve Reich, Soundgarden, Pat Metheny, Kenny Garrett...D'Angelo…Kurt Rosenwinkel…the Brian Blade Fellowship.
I practiced a lot. I played with amazing musicians from around the world. I sat in on people's gigs. I jammed in classrooms late at night. I was fortunate to be both spectator and participant to Wally's Jazz Club in Boston in the late 90's, a haven for mind-boggling, soul-satisfying funk and jazz.
After graduating I moved to New York City for 8 years. My education continued, in life as much as in music.
There were sessions at musicians' apartments, hearing amazing players at night. More sitting in. I realized I hate most jazz jam sessions.
I did what I had to do to make ends meet and stay in the city. I worked temp jobs, played casuals (NY jargon for "wedding gigs on Long Island"). I worked for Red Bull energy drink. But the whole time, I was in a band and constantly striving to improve.
Years of rehearsing and touring with the Brooklyn-based Jonah Smith band helped me shed my "music school" shackles and develop my craft, my specific way of playing jazz inside rock and groove bands fronted by singers.
This came in handy when my old Berklee classmate, John Mayer, extended an invitation to join his band in late 2006.
In 2008 I left New York to try Los Angeles. I'm still here. The verdict is still out on how the west coast has influenced my music. I know I'm happy living here.
My music does not fit neatly in a box. You can't wrap it up in a word or genre and tell your friends "If you like jazz, you'll love Bob Reynolds." You can, of course, but I don't know that someone who *loves* Dave Brubeck would be interested in my style. Conversely, I whole-heartedly believe that someone who thinks they hate Jazz, might dig my music.
So there you go. I'm not going to make it easy for you. I've done my best to illuminate some of the characters that have influenced me, but the best I can tell you is that my music, the sound of Bob Reynolds, is somewhere in between.
Bob Reynolds - tenor and soprano saxophones, compositions
Oli Rockberger - piano, Fender Rhodes, organ
Janek Gwizdala - bass
Eric Harland - drums
John Shannon - guitars
Bashiri Johnson - percussion
with special guests
Aaron Parks - piano (1,3,5)
John Mayer - guitar, lap steel (2,3)
Produced by Matt Pierson
Recorded at Sear Sound, NYC, December 17 and 18, 2011.
Mixed by Fab Dupont at FLUX, NYC, January 2012
Mastered at Sterling Sound by Steve Fallone