Breathtaking debut from prolific drummer. Regarded as one of the greatest drummers to ever lay it down (according to collaborator Kieran Hebden - Four Tet - as well as Gilles Peterson), Nova is the debut album from New York born-and-bred drummer Steve Reid. Reid's career began when he was just 14, playing as a drummer at Motown for Martha and The Vandellas' "Heatwave". Growing up, he played in the house band at the Apollo Theatre backing James Brown, lived next to Coltrane, and worked in a department store with Ornette. He went onto play with an extraordinary cast of artists, a who's who of the greats, including Miles Davis, Sun Ra, Fela Kuti, Ornette Coleman, Lester Bowie, Jackie McLean, Archie Shepp, Gary Bartz, Horace Silver, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, among a host of others.
Reid was a staunch conscientious objector and in 1969, due to his beliefs, was sentenced to four years in prison for refusing to enlist in the Vietnam draft. After his release in 1974 he got straight down to business, formed the Legendary Master Brotherhood, started his own record label Mustevic Sound, and by 1976 had released his debut, Nova. It was the first in a series of stunning independent records he released throughout the late 70's, with originals of all three fetching pricey sums on the used market. The best way to describe the sound of Nova is "free-jazz-funk". Peep the title track or "Lions of Juda" for examples. At the turn of the century Reid paired up with Kieran (who refers to Reid as his "musical soul mate") and released a number of joint albums throughout the mid-2000's. I mean, with a career like that, even if you don't normally like some of the more "free" aspects of free-jazz, you'll dig this proper reissue just to have a piece of musical jazz-tory (and you won't have to shell out hundreds of dollars for an OG). Pressed in a limited run of 1,000 copies on orange vinyl, 5 tracks in all released by Soul Jazz Records. Not to be missed.
- orange vinyl pressing
- download code included
- limited edition of 1,000 copies
- music label: Soul Jazz Records 2019
reviewed by Roberto Pinstripe 3/2019