Feb 2, 2011
When I spoke with bassist Reuben Rogers, he was staring out the window of his Virgin Islands home at the ocean. New England had been blessed with a foot of snow the previous day, and he was more than happy to be far away from the road that would being him to the northern US the next week,
Rogers has been the bassist of choice of for some of the top jazz musicians of the past twenty-five years, including Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, Marcus Roberts, Nicolas Payton, Mulgrew Miller, and Dianne Reeves. He is currently touring as a member of the Charles Lloyd New Quartet, which includes Jason Moran on piano and long-time collaborator Eric Harland on drums. Once that band takes a hiatus, he’ll be with two trios, one led by Aaron Goldberg and the other by Redman’s for most of February.
Rogers has begun a solo career as well, releasing the star-studded The Thing I Am in 2006. We talked about playing with the legendary Lloyd, how his Caribbean roots influence his playing, and where he plans to go from here in Podcast 205, which features music from:
Charles Lloyd Quartet - "Booker's Garden" from Rabo de Nube. A live recording of a Lloyd original, dedicated to his friend Booker Ervin, with the kind of lilt and sway Rogers brings to his ensemble playing. Lloyd is on saxophone and flute, Jason Moran on piano, and Eric Harland on drums.
Charles Lloyd Quartet - "Lift Every Voice and Sing" from Mirror. A spiritual sometimes referred to as the "African-American National Anthem", the tune gets a freer, improvised treatment in the hands of the quartet.
Joshua Redman - Title Track from Back East. When Redman decided to make his first trio recordings, he worked with a number of rhythm sections, but none more effectively than Rogers and Harland. This one is as close as Redman has ever gotten to sounding like his idol, Sonny Rollins.
Nicholas Payton - "Blues in the Night" from Dear Louis. Rogers is a key player in the New Orleans trumpeter's tribute to one of the founding fathers of jazz, Louis Armstrong. Dr. John, one of the newest members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, lends a vocal.
Donald Harrison -
"Little Flowers" from Nouveau Swing. A mid-tempo
tune written by and featuring Harrison on sax. Albert Wonsely, who
sets the mood with a lengthy intro is on piano, Rogers on bass and
Dion Parson is on drums. completing the