"Reginald Cyntje’s Healing is a fascinating addition to his steadily growing catalogue. Featuring the spare instrumentation of Cyntje on trombone and Allyn Johnson on piano, the nine tracks here are an exploration of the complex range of human emotions, as well as a contemplation of purposeful living and social justice.
These two jazz masters showcase their delightful musical synergy while supporting the album’s theme. Lush with complex key changes and conversational attitude, Cyntje and Johnson’s duo performance invites audiences to focus on the timeless, self-reflective messages of each composition." CapitalBop
"His latest album with pianist Allyn Johnson, “Healing,” is an appropriate return to uplifting sounds in these dire times of ours, and the duo format gives him space to explore and stretch out as an inventive lyricist." Jazz Avenues
“The compositions are impressively progressive; their tricky chord changes and substitutions alone are enough to keep the listener’s attention. Without a drummer, the piano fully assumes its role as percussion instrument, with Johnson keeping the groove throughout. Cyntje’s melodic playing raises the vibration, his clear and strong tone commanding the music and shaping it into completion.” CapitalBop
“Reginald is quite accomplished, which is one of the first things I think should be in education,” Yarborough said in a phone interview, referring to the trombonist’s thriving career as a bandleader. “I think the best players should be in education…. He has a lot of the characteristics that I think an educator should have.”
"In a series of splendid jazz albums, trombonist and composer Reginald Cyntje has been musically chronicling the range of human emotions, and providing a musical engagement with the human spirit, the soul, the cerebral self. An intelligent understanding of ourselves culminates in this new recording, Rise of the Protester, which documents the resistance of the “hue man” to bondage, to deprivation, to prejudice, and to injustice in both Caribbean and American spaces, reflecting Cyntje’s multiple heritages as a Dominican raised in the US Virgin Islands, and now living in the United States." - Caribbean Beat Magazine
"...Cyntje plays trombone, whose slide and big bore lend themselves to violent outburst as much as the subject matter does.
But no: Cyntje is an artist of philosophical musings and careful constructions, and he approaches his themes as such, even when the titles augur otherwise."
Washington City Paper
“Equal parts love and righteous force, ’Rise of the Protester’ is a powerful next step in the musical journey of one of D.C. jazz’s most highly respected bandleaders.” - Capitalbop
“...a cycle of protest songs called Rise of the Protestor. Between meditative ballads, second line-style dirges, and soft yet strong rallying cries, Cyntje gives color and voice to all of the paradoxes, conflicts, and complexities of life under our current political climate. But Cyntje and his music don’t exist solely to play politics. They are choruses of life affirming joy, anger and sadness, boldly and profoundly human”
Washington City Paper
"Cyntje builds his compositions on rich, Western harmonies and the rhythms of the Caribbean"
"Throughout the evening, the crowd swayed from side to side, exploded with cheers and jumped out of their seats to dance to the groovy rhythm that RCG brought to the stage."
St. Thomas Source
"He is passionate about his craft, committed to developing his skill, focused on his mission, and living his dream."
St. Thomas Source
"Reginald Cyntje is among the most prolific musicians working locally."
"TOP 5 BEST DC JAZZ ALBUMS OF 2015
On Spiritual Awakening, Cyntje redoubles the power and equipoise in his signature meld of Caribbean flow and modern jazz. This album’s dynamic skates up and down, from the rapid and modulating “Rejoice” to the supple, gently funky “Compassion.” But one journalistic cliché that won’t stick here is “wide-ranging:” With its breadth of sounds, its unhurried forward motion, its way of embracing the listener while still making its points known, the band doesn’t move laterally—at any moment it’s already as full and encompassing as it can be."
"BEST COMPOSER: Reginald Cyntje
Hearing the tunes on Cyntje’s Spiritual Awakening come together, first live and then on record, was an extraordinary peek into the creative process, but more than that it demonstrated what an imagination and craftsmanship the trombonist has been developing. Wait till you hear what he has planned for the next one."
WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio listed 'Rejoice' from "Spiritual Awakening" as one of Bandwidth’s 50 Favorite D.C. Songs Of 2015
“Between teaching at Montgomery College, running the Jegna School of Music, being featured on NPR’s Jazz Night in America, winning awards for being DC’s best trombonist, authoring a book Stepping Stones: 15 Studies in Improvisation and releasing his fourth album Spiritual Awakening he still found the time to chat with On Tap.” - On Tap Magazine
“With titles that evoke personal declarations that sometimes touch on the religious, “Atonement,” “Beatitudes,” “Prayer,” “Ritual,” this album of nine tunes should not be construed as instrumental gospel, but a refinement of the evolving journey of this Caribbean jazzman towards a sophisticated veneration. With the wordless singing by Christie Dashiell juxtaposing effectively, this album is also a spotlight for the instrumental brilliance of soloists Allyn Johnson on piano and Victor Provost on steelpan, and Cyntje himself, never completely abandoning that Caribbean-ness in the groove. Jazz in the islands has moved a step ahead.” – Caribbean Beat.com
"Spiritual Awakening is a beautiful enigma, with mystery in every corner of the album, from its melodies and harmonies to its texture and improv structure. It’s an unexpected turn from Cyntje’s previous work, but no less worthy."
"...has fashioned another winner with the recording, which builds naturally on his previous CDs, “Freedom’s Children,” “Love” and “Elements of Life,” ...Highlights include “Beatitudes,” led by Christie Dashiell’s vocal flights, and Settles’ sax work, and Rittenhouse on trumpet; “Atonement,” a subtly engaging, lilting yet urgently melodic work, driven masterfully by Burney’s bluesy bass and “Compassion,” another Burney showcase. “Ritual,” is an intriguing gem all its own, highlighted by Burney, Cyntje, Gumbs’ polyrhythmic drum weavings. And “Rejoice” is a vintage island rocker spurred by Provost’s steel pan melodies and Settles’ simpering, slicing sax riffs."
"As one of the most prominent composer-bandleaders of the mid-Atlantic, he's created three albums with his working band, and is about to record another."
"Cyntje has created not only a moving tribute to mother earth, but also a lasting musical journey worth revisiting."
"Cyntje’s compositions are clear and utilize the strengths of this writing through his adept ensemble. The music offers the listener a chance to hear many styles and variances of intensity and tempos. Cyntje's messaging comes through clearly through the music, which further adds to the overall experience. A highly recommended listen."
"There is a balance in the nature of Cyntje's music on Elements of Life. His compositions are clear and utilize the strengths of his capable ensemble. The music visits many styles and has a nice variance of intensity and tempos. Cyntje's focus on love and harmony comes through in the music, one is sure to find a message that encourages a person to go their own way, to listen to your heart, to have faith in the urgings from within and to follow them."
"If you can’t see bright blue vistas as you listen to the beauty of “Sky“, you’re bound to a life of regret – Reginald’s trombone is full of the wonderful spirit of jazz on this one & it will stay right up at the top of your playlists for months (if not years) to come!"
"When this trombonist sits down to write, he hasn't just songs in mind but panoramas, wide visio-sonic milieux to be committed to process and fleshed out as vividly as possible."
"Cyntje is playing at the top of his game on all levels and serving up enjoyable stuff accessible to all"
"has now covered all the bases in attempting to capture the essence of our most important emotional and physical environments"
"Cyntje is no less inspired by his native traditions than he once was; he just has a lot to say, which makes for complex, diverse creations."
Washington City Paper
“Reginald Cyntje is not 40 years old, but already he has found his sound”
Dominica News Online
“There’s insistence and comfort and generosity and demand, which complements the muscular sound of his trombone playing—intentional and concerted, like he’s trying to push a burlap bag out of a narrow berth.”
“Love is a thoughtful and passionate album from start to finish. It not only embodies the variety of musical influences that has helped to make Cyntie into the musician he is today but it also feels like a lot of passion and spirit was poured into Love.”
“This year promises no shortage of great local jazz releases, but Love might end up being the best of the lot…Each piece…is thoughtful and surpassingly gorgeous”
Washington City Paper
“embedded subliminally betwixt the notes, passages and progressions is a philosophy of life that promotes “commUNITY” and social empowerment across gender and age, constantly driving home the tenets of hope, aspiration, cultural integrity to the impressionable minds – the young at heart.”
Woodshed Entertainment Collective