All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

444

Joshua Redman: Back East

By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Joshua Redman: Back East Saxophonist Joshua Redman's Back East is a multi-tiered concept album that simultaneously fêtes a person—Sonny Rollins; a place—the East—and a thing—the number three, while documenting the leader's continuing development as a saxophonist, composer and arranger. The date celebrates Rollins' classic Way Out West (OJC, 1957) somewhat ironically with its title and several songs associated with the tenor titan, while also paying tribute to the hemisphere with a series of compositions that commemorate nonwestern locales. The music therein is performed by three distinctive piano-less trios, which are augmented by three different guest saxophonists on three separate tracks.

The trio sans piano can be a challenging environment for any saxophonist, the absence of a harmonic underpinning creating a need to be more inventive melodically and rhythmically. Redman rises to the occasion mightily, using variations in time, tempo, tone and timbre to impart much variety within the program and often inside a single piece. Ably assisted by the three extremely capable bass and drum teams of Larry Grenadier and Ali Jackson, Christian McBride and Brian Blade and Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland, the leader shows himself to be an engaging melodist and motific improviser in the tradition of Rollins, particularly on the three songs associated with the saxophone colossus—"Surrey With The Fringe On Top," "I'm An Old Cowhand and "Wagon Wheels," as well as a Rollins-leaning "East Of The Sun among the 'eastern-oriented' tracks.

Redman displays his own increasingly personal voice—along with his impressive compositional skills—to great effect on his originals, particularly the title track, a lyrical "Zarafah and the meditative "Mantra #5 (on which he splits soprano duties with Chris Cheek). His abilities as an arranger come to the fore on a pair of two tenor tour de forces: Wayne Shorter's "Indian Song —sharing the front line with Joe Lovano—and Coltrane's "India," where he teams up with his father, Dewey, in what may be the master saxman's final studio outing. The leader bows out for the date's finale, "GJ," an original by the elder Redman on which the late saxophonist plays alto (the instrument he was often heard on in his Village Vanguard performances, when his young son would sit in on tenor), serving as a haunting epilogue to a stirring record.


Track Listing: The Surrey With the Fringe on Top; East of the Sun (and West of the Moon); Zarafah; Indian Song; Im an Old Cowhand; Wagon Wheels; Back East; Mantra #5; Indonesia; India; GJ.

Personnel: Joshua Redman: tenor saxophone (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10); soprano saxophone (3, 6, 8); Larry Grenadier: bass (1, 2, 8-11); Ali Jackson: drums (1, 2, 8-11); Christian McBride: bass (3, 4); Brian Blade: drums (3, 4); Reuben Rogers: bass (5-7); Eric Harland: drums (5-7); Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone (4); Chris Cheek: soprano saxophone (8); Dewey Redman: tenor saxophone (10), alto saxophone (11).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Nonesuch Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Bad Plus Joshua Redman
The Bad Plus Joshua...
Nonesuch Records
2015
buy
Trios Live
Trios Live
Nonesuch Records
2014
buy
Walking Shadows
Walking Shadows
Nonesuch Records
2013
buy
Compass
Compass
Nonesuch Records
2009
buy
Compass
Compass
Nonesuch Records
2008
buy
Back East
Back East
Nonesuch Records
2008
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
John Coltrane John Coltrane
saxophone
Wynton Marsalis Wynton Marsalis
trumpet
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
Kenny Garrett Kenny Garrett
sax, alto
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
trumpet
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.