I’m going to post a few interviews this week that are hosted on Mel Martin’s great site. Here is a great, long interview with bassist and educator Rufus Reid by Bob Bernotas from Jazz Player Vol.5, No.1 in 1997. From the interview, Rufus talks about the beginnings of his career in Chicago:
You began your real professional career in Chicago.
Right. I finally went back to college when I was up in Seattle. I went to Olympic College, which was a two-year community college, and then I moved to Chicago in 1969 and I finished up at Northwestern, which was great because it was a heavy-duty music school. So I really had to bear down. And then in Chicago, I became kind of the house bass player for the Jazz Showcase. I was there about seven and a half years, and five of those years were pretty intense.
Who were some of the people you played with there?
Well, every week there was somebody-Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Kenny Dorham, Booker Ervin, Curtis Fuller. That’s where I met Kenny Burrell. That’s the first time I got to play with Dexter. Illinois Jacquet, James Moody. Moody and Gene Ammons used to do a lot of sparring together, so did Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons. And of course, Harold Land and Bobby Hutcherson. Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, I used to play with him a lot. Zoot Sims, Al Cohn. You know, anybody who came through town. So there was always something for me to get involved with.
Click here to read Rufus Reid in Jazz Player 1997
— Peter Blasevick