I was a bit skeptical upon first hearing of The Bad Plus Joshua Redman (Nonesuch). BP members Reid Anderson (bass), Ethan Iverson (piano), and Dave King (drums) have asserted in the past that their trio is a collaborative effort and that each of them strive to contribute equally as players, composers, and artist I wondered how Joshua Redman would change the dynamic of the tightly knit triumvirate who have been playing together for 15 years. When I think of Redman, I picture him as being featured out in front of a rhythm section, not blending within one. He attracts a lot of attention onstage and not only because of his musical prowess. He is an exciting performer who kicks up his knees and bobs up and down and… maybe I am wrong but I seem to remember a performance in Tokyo where he took his shirt off while playing a saxophone solo. The trio rarely invites musicians into their circle of trust and I questioned how Redman would handle the challenge of joining the cohesive, clearly defined unit that is The Bad Plus.
The Bad Plus is likely responsible for single-handedly changing my whole view of jazz music. Prior to discovering their revolutionary These Are the Vistas, I was stuck listening to a lot of hard bop, mostly from the Blue Note catalog. They opened my eyes to a fresh, new and exciting take on jazz music, which is one of the main reason this site was created in the first place. Thank you The Bad Plus. The same can be said for Joshua Redman, who since winning the Monk Competition in 1991, has had a prolific career. I remember listening to Elastic and Momentum ad nauseam. Same thing can be said of his most recent James Farm albums. So it’s only fitting that these two groundbreaking forces of jazz music would eventually collide. Catch a full set by The Bad Plus Joshua Redman filmed last year at the Detroit Jazz Festival below. Their collaborative self-titled album is scheduled to drop next week, but can be streamed on NPR’s First Listen until then. Enjoy!
The Bad Plus, the highly-lauded modern-day legendary trio of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer Dave King, continually push forward as artists, making music that always distinctly sounds like them while uncovering new places to take their sound. One of their compatriots is saxophonist Joshua Redman, who always compliments this group with a melodicism that he brings to everything else he touches. While Redman and TBP have played together before in live settings for various projects, it was only a matter of time before they all came together in earnest. This May finally brings this configuration together with The Bad Plus Joshua Redman on the Nonesuch label. Check out a stream of the old gem, "Dirty Blonde" (one of the only two TBP oldies you may know, the other seven tracks are new compositions), after the jump.
Here’s the second installment of Ben Wendel’s “The Seasons” project (click link for details), fresh off the press. This time Wendel teams up with saxophonist extraordinaire Joshua Redman for a compelling tenor duo. Catch the video after the break.
It's been four years since Joshua Redman has released an album as a leader, two years since the jazz collaborative James Farm's release (three years since Redman contributed in large part to Brad Mehldau's 2010 album Highway Rider, but more on that later). Clearly the desire for Redman to put out new work has been steadily growing, but patience is most certainly a virtue. All throughout Joshua Redman's new album, Walking Shadows, out today on the Nonesuch label, is the sense that this wait hasn't been arbitrary. This new album, featuring bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Brian Blade, and pianist & producer Brad Mehldau in the rhythm section, feels purposeful. The buildup to this release has been filled with acquired skills, learned tones, and strengthened bonds between contemporaries.