Nearness finds acclaimed jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and pianist Brad Mehldau teaming up for a set of loose yet heartfelt duo performances. Collaborators since they first began playing together in Redman's quartet in the early '90s, Mehldau and Redman have forged their own distinct solo careers. While they have continued to work together in various settings, the duo put a spotlight on their creative friendship with their 2011 tour. Nearness features live performances captured during the European leg of that tour, including tapings in Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway.
Trios Live was recorded during stands with two different trios: Redman and drummer Gregory Hutchinson with bassists Matt Penman (at Jazz Standard in NYC) and Reuben Rogers (at Blues Alley in Washington, DC). Trios Live features four original tunes by Redman and interpretations of three additional songs. Joshua Redman, one of the most technically accomplished saxists in jazz today, parades his powers on this live set," writes the Guardian's John Fordham. "Redman performs with a skill that sometimes justifies comparison with early Sonny Rollins—notably on the old Rollins vehicle 'Moritat (Mack the Knife),'" such that "the crowd goes wild.
This double CD gives one a definitive look at how the much-acclaimed tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman sounded in the mid-'90s. Joined by pianist Peter Martin, bassist Christopher Thomas, and drummer Brian Blade, Redman stretches from Gene Ammons (who is saluted on "Jig-a-Jug") to late period John Coltrane, showing off both his wide range and his lyricism. Redman is heard at his best on the four-minute cadenza that opens "St. Thomas," digging into "My One and Only Love" and playing almost outside on "Lyric." Of the 14 songs, nine are his originals and, although Redman was not at this point an innovator, he was well on his way to forming his own personal style. Recommended.
A superstar jazz matchup, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman features maverick trio the Bad Plus joined by acclaimed jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman. Recorded after the group's weeklong stint at New York's Blue Note jazz club in 2012, the album is an organic collaboration between Redman and Bad Plus members pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer Dave King. Largely known for their genre-bending compositional take on jazz, here the Bad Plus take a more improvisational, open-ended approach to group interplay.
With his seventh and latest Warner Bros. CD, Beyond, 31-year-old Joshua Redman offers further proof that he's dedicated to exploring new musical territory. "My career has been an adventure," he says. "But this album represents a new stage in the journey. It's definitely an extension of what I've done, but it's deeper, more patient, more mature, more personal than the other records." On Beyond, Redman unveils ten originals that are both compelling in their complexity (including odd time signatures and polymetric structures) and alluring in their unadorned beauty (from catchy grooves to indelible melodies).