Monday, December 8, 2014

STEVE REID – Odyssey Of The Oblong Square (LP-1977)

Label: Mustevic Sound - MS 4001
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1977
Style: Soul-Jazz, Free Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Recorded "live" January 1977 New York City on WKCR FM's "Jazz Alternatives" show hosted by Peter Low.
Artwork – Vee Alexander
Liner Notes – Neyeswah Abiku
Engineer – John Dorn, Taylor Storer
Producer By – Steve Reid

A1 - Odyssey Theme . . . . . 0:57
A2 - Deacon's Son . . . . . 19:17
B1 - Odyssey Sweet . . . . . 5:05
         a) Sanctum Sanctorium
         b) The Oblong Square
         c) Panic Of '76
B2 - Ginsamseng . . . . . 16:17

(All songs composed by Steve Reid)

STEVE REID – drums, percussion
DAVID WERTMAN – acoustic bass
CHARLES TYLER – alto saxophone, maracas
ARTHUR BLYTHE – alto saxophone, percussion
AHMED ABDULLAH – trumpet, percussion
MOHAMMAD ABDULLAH – congas, ballophone, African prcussion

A bold odyssey from Steve Reid – his Odyssey Of The Oblong Square – a jawdropping session recorded in 1977 for a NYC radio show that's as rhythmically feverish and avant garde funky as the legendary drummer's other underground soul jazz classics of the 70s! If anything, the percussion is even more outstanding on Odyssey as it is on the great Nova and Rhythmatism sets for Mustevic – with Reid leading the charge on drums, and most of the other players contributing percussion on one way or another, for an all around frenetic sound, that's still unwaveringly in a groove. Mohammad Abdullah is on congas, ballophone and African percussion, with Ahmed Abdullah on trumpet, Arthur Blythe and Charles Tyler on alto sax – the horns all really kill on this set – and David Wertman keeping an unpredicable acoustic bass groove. Includes 4 long pieces, including the 3 part "Odyssey Sweet", "Odyssey Theme", "Deacon's Son" and "Ginsamseng" – all Reid originals. Amazing! 
(Dusty Groove, Inc.)

Released as a self produced album in small quantities from a 1977 radio studio performance "Odyssey Of The Oblong Square", master drummer Steve Reid's loft jazz masterpiece is here in front of you. On this album he is joined by David Wertman on bass, Mohammad Abdullah on percussion, Ahmed Abdullah on trumpet and Arthur Blythe and Charles Tyler on alto saxophone. Rhythm and groove are the primary elements of the music, with the bass, drums and percussion locking together to produce a massive groove that propels the horns ever onward. "Odyssey Theme" fades in to the band already in full flight, with a punchy theme for horns and hand percussion. The lengthy "Deacon's Son" has a probing start for alto and trumpet, with a solid bass and percussion groove. Nice extended saxophone solo spools out over hypnotic percussion. Abdulla takes things to a higher level with a lively trumpet solo, picking the pace up to a high level fast and exciting but still well controlled. "Odyssey Sweet" has a fast Ornette-ish full band improvisation, free-bopping over a slinky groove. "Ginsamseng" begins with a fast, full band improvisation, and M. Abdullah's hand percussion anchoring the searching horns. The horns scale back and Wertman's bass comes to the forefront, deep and strong, acting as a pivot point for the music. Bass, drums and percussion lock into an epic groove that slowly builds in intensity, scaled by hot sounding trumpet. This was taught and exciting music powered by a wall of percussion, and is an excellent example of the kind of "loft jazz" that was being made in the late 1970's.
_ By Tim Niland

If you find it, buy this album!


  1. STEVE REID – Odyssey Of The Oblong Square (LP-1977)
    Vinyl Rip-FLAC/MP3+Artwork


  2. Thanks for all these Steve Reid recordings.. much appreciated...another unsung master...

  3. Many thanks, Vitko! Awesome album!

  4. Just noticed that I never thanked you for it. Thank you, Vitko!

  5. Any chance of a fresh link, anyone? Thanks so much