Bob Reynolds

Bob Reynolds
Birth name
Bob Reynolds
Born
29 September 1973
Birthplace
Morristown, NJ
Genres
Jazz
Main Instrument
Saxophone
Years active
1996 - present

Bob Reynolds Biography

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Born in Morristown, New Jersey, his family moved to Jacksonville, Florida. He started playing saxophone at age 13 and attended high school at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts with a well-known jazz band. After graduating, he traveled to Boston to begin taking classes at Berklee College of Music where he studied with George Garzone and Hal Crook. Reynolds 2006 release of the album “Can’t Wait For Perfect” was voted Best Debut in the Village Voice’s jazz poll. Bob Reynolds is prolific, with 4 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer awards and Berklee’s Billboard Magazine Endowed Scholarship. He has worked with musicians including Brian Blade, Aaron Goldberg, Gregory Hutchinson, and Tom Harrell. He lives in Los Angeles and tours with guitarist John Mayer.

Bob has recently released his new album “A Live Life” which is a Live Jazz Album. Source Wikipedia

Videos

The Best of Bob Reynolds

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Quotes

“Some of the freshest, most compelling, and most soulful music I have heard recently. Bob Reynolds is an amazing musician, with something very exciting and original to say.”
Joshua Redman, Grammy-nominated saxophonist

“A self-assured saxophonist and an unassuming yet effective composer…”
THE NEW YORK TIMES
“…Reynolds flexes an assured hand with melding hip-swiveling jazz and funk as a bandleader.”
LA TIMES

Bob Reynolds (in his own words)

Source: http://bobreynoldsmusic.com/about/

I picked up a saxophone at age 13. Started trying 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.

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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. Playing in John’s band over the course of 5 years was an amazing experience.

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.

Interview with Bob Reynolds

The following is from an interview with Bob Reynolds for the Brazilian John Mayer fan site johnmayerbr.com.

When did you start playing the saxophone, and why did you choose it?

I was thirteen and a neighbor gave me her daughter’s old alto saxophone.

Between the ages of ten and twelve I was obsessed with filmmaking. I wanted to be the next Steven Spielberg and I spent all my free time making home movies with my mom’s early VHS camcorder. Eventually, I started writing scripts and forcing my younger brother, and neighborhood kids, to act in my productions. I was doing everything myself: writing, directing, shooting, acting, editing…the only thing I couldn’t do was compose my own soundtracks.

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I spent hours sitting at my grandfather’s piano trying to “write” music. I had no idea what I was doing, but I definitely heard music in my head. Often it was a mood or moment from one of my movies that I was trying to capture through music. I was frustrated; unable to find those hidden sounds taunting me from the other side of the piano keys.

I didn’t take lessons because I had no desire to be a piano player–or waste time learning how to read other people’s music; I wanted to write my own.

So I signed up for band in seventh grade, and when a neighbor offered me her daughter’s old alto saxophone, I took it.

My first time playing it was in the bathroom (natural reverb). I opened the case, put it together and started making things up. It was my first taste of improvising.

Who are your biggest influences?

Kenny G was my gateway drug. When I was thirteen and fourteen he was all over the radio and VH1. But soon I discovered Stan Getz and fell in love with his tone. Over the next few years the list got long: Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon, Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, Charlie Parker, Stanley Turrentine, Michael Brecker, Kenny Garrett, Branford Marsalis, Bob Mintzer, Kirk Whalum, Eric Alexander, Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Mark Turner, Seamus Blake…

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Around age sixteen I discovered Joshua Redman and Chris Potter (two living legends on the saxophone) and I was hooked. They became my biggest influences. Redman’s first four albums are partially responsible for me pursuing the saxophone and playing jazz.

Speaking of jazz…

There are a hundred subsets of jazz. When people ask what kind of music I play I always struggle to find the words. If I answer “jazz” they might imagine Kenny G or Louis Armstrong. Miles Davis or Gato Barbieri. And if I reference Joshua Redman or Chris Potter, they most likely won’t know who I’m talking about. It’s a challenge finding accurate reference points to position what I do for someone who’s never heard me.

When did you meet John Mayer?

We met in February, 1997, as freshmen at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

A mutual friend named Clay Cook (co-author of “No Such Thing” and now a guitarist with the Zac Brown Band) asked me to do a late-night recording session for a class assignment. The session didn’t start until 2:30 AM and I almost said no. We recorded an instrumental funk jam, written by Clay and John, called “Depends”. John seemed nice, and had a good groove, but he also was just another freshman guitar player in a school flooded with guitarists. I’m not sure he sang or wrote lyrics yet.

When did you join the band and how did it happen?

I joined the band in January, 2007, at the start of the Continuum tour.

In the fall of 2006, about a week after returning to New York from my honeymoon, I visited John’s website to hear some of the new album; I saw he had a show that week at Webster Hall. It had been a few years since we last saw each other, so I reached out to see about grabbing a drink while he was in town. He responded by inviting me to the show and asking what I was doing “next year”.

I surprised my wife (a JM fan) by taking her to the show, and when I introduced them afterward, John said, “Nice to meet you. Do you mind if I borrow your husband next year?” She responded, “Not at all…will you sign my CD?”

What are your favorite moments from touring with John?

There are so many.

First of all, coming from the world of small jazz clubs, it was exhilarating walking onto arena stages every night. Playing Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks, Giant’s Stadium and the Hollywood Bowl were all special. But one night that stands out is my first concert with John, the first show of the tour: it was in my hometown of Jacksonville, FL. What are the chances? John graciously featured me on “Wheel”, which was thrilling because I had a lot of friends and family in the audience.

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John and I share an affinity for the music of Sting, particularly in the 80′s when Branford Marsalis played saxophone in the band. I used to dream of playing with Sting, but looking back, working with John basically was that experience, that same context. John’s an extraordinary songwriter, a serious musician, and he assembles phenomenal bands.

Songs like “Vultures”, “Wheel”, “Do You Know Me?”, “Stitched Up”, and “I Don’t Need No Doctor” became regular features for me, and occasionally he’d entrust me with “Gravity” or “Covered in Rain”. I was grateful for all of it; I’m a big fan of his music and love playing in that sophisticated pop-rock-blues setting.

Author: Paul Thomson