Back in the early '90s, Joshua Redman was one of the most hyped musicians in jazz history not named Marsalis. Sure, the saxophonist was young, handsome, and knew how to wear a sharp suit. But longtime jazz listeners were frequently left wondering where the mainstream media were when his father, longtime Ornette Coleman collaborator Dewey Redman, was making avant-garde history.
Fortunately, the young man quickly proved two things: 1) He was well worth all that attention. 2) He had great taste in collaborators. Pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Brian Blade, for example, sound great on Redman discs like Moodswing and Spirit of the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard.
Sadly, Dewey died last year, and his final studio performance appears on his son's latest album, Back East. It's a trio album, with explicit nods to Sonny Rollins' Way Out West in both title and track selections.
Redman is currently on the road with bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, stripping his music down in emulation of legends like Rollins, Branford Marsalis, and yes, Ornette Coleman. Trio dates always spotlight a horn player's musical thought processes, so this is a show well worth catching.
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