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Joshua Redman Trio at Jazz at the Bistro, St Louis, October 7, 2010

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Joshua Redman Trio
Jazz at the Bistro Series
St Louis, MO
October 7, 2010

St. Louis' prime jazz venue again welcomed Joshua Redman. His partners for this outing were Reuben Rogers on acoustic bass and Gregory Hutchinson
Gregory Hutchinson
Gregory Hutchinson
b.1970
drums
on drums. Redman has always had strong preference for the trio format, with uncommon sidemen. In the era of Back East (Nonesuch, 2007) his saxophone was supported by several outstanding bass and drum teams including: FLY
FLY
FLY

band/orchestra
with Ali Jackson Jr.
Ali Jackson Jr.
Ali Jackson Jr.
b.1976
drums
, Christian McBride
Christian McBride
Christian McBride
b.1972
bass
with Brian Blade
Brian Blade
Brian Blade
b.1970
drums
, and Reuben Rogers with Eric Harland
Eric Harland
Eric Harland
b.1976
drums
, among others.

Redman had no trouble filling the gaps left vacant by the missing comping instrument. Like Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
b.1930
saxophone
, he seemed more comfortable and inventive without a piano or guitar limiting or restricting the harmonic choices. The triangle setup at the Bistro provided easy eye contact among the musicians. Redman, the obvious leader, embraced an approach which yielded front and center solo exposure for each instrument, rather than mere supportive roles for the rhythm section. The set seemed unrehearsed and fresh, drawn from the Redman book, as he glanced during each selection looking for the next, with no apparent set list.

"Surrey With the Fringe..." kicked off the first set. Redman changed keys repeatedly with each phrase, yielding an exciting new life for the old staple. He followed with "Extra Sauce," a Redman original. The third tune, also from the Back East collection was "Crisis" penned by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
1938 - 2008
trumpet
during his tenure with Art Blakey
Art Blakey
Art Blakey
1919 - 1990
drums
's Messengers, about 1960.

A stellar reading of "Stardust" slowed the pace, and provided a ballad. Redman stayed on tenor sax the whole set with only one excursion to soprano. The group concluded with a funky reading of a contemporary pop tune announced as coming from the Police (Sting or Andy Summers
Andy Summers
Andy Summers
b.1942
guitar
). This groovy exploration was reminiscent of Redman's Elastic (Warner Bros. Records, 2002) Band era.

The group obviously enjoyed the venue, the patrons and the warm St. Louis reception. With Redman, Hutchinson and Rodgers, the Bistro faithful were treated to improvisation and interchange at the high level for which Jazz at the Bistro is known, a level not all that common in today's live jazz.

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