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.
Live performance from the Joshua Redman Quartet, recorded at Tokyo's Blue Note in 1998.
Every few years it seems as if the jazz media go out of their way to hype one young artist, overpraising him to such an extent that it is easy to tear him down when the next season arrives. In the early '90s, Joshua Redman briefly became a media darling, but in his case, he largely deserved the attention.
In the early to mid-'90s, no "Young Lion" was hyped to death by jazz critics more than Joshua Redman; to hear some critics tell it, he was as important a saxophonist as John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, or Sonny Rollins. The problem with such excessive hype is that it gives a young talent like Redman way too much to live up to at an early age; the tenor man was only 22 when this self-titled debut album was recorded, and he needed time to grow and develop.
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.
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).