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Joshua Redman Quartet at Musical Instrument Museum

Patricia Myers By

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Joshua Redman Quartet
Musical Instrument Museum
Phoenix, Arizona
April 3, 2014

Saxophonist Joshua Redman played tribute to past tenor greats, putting his personal imprint on each chart, from Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes" to Joe Henderson's "Tetragon" and the sax standard, "Oleo" by Sonny Rollins. Performing with the quartet he formed in 1998—pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson—Redman verified his nearly three-decade command of the tenor in boisterous exuberance and lyrical elegance.

Redman opened his second show of the evening with his original," Disco Years," the tall, slender 45-year-old leader playing mainly in the treble register, exuding energy in sound and sight via knee lifts and leg kicks. A change of pace and tone came on the Shorter piece, delivered sensually in the full horn-range with intricate triplets that Goldberg picked up and expanded, followed by a beautifully crafted solo by Rogers. The Henderson chart was played hard and at top speed, accented by Hutchinson's stylish percussion solo.

Redman offered a sparkling solo soliloquy to open "Oleo," followed by supple bebop moves that Goldberg applied to his keyboard, as Rogers and Hutchison further fueled the chart. A change-up to Johann Sebastian Bach's lively "Adagio" gave Rogers the opening solo spot as Hutchinson tapped toms and cymbals.

To close the evening, Redman chose "Obsession" from his Moodswing album (Warner Brothers, 1994), an intense chart that showcased his propulsive power and marathon blowing, Goldberg matching the intensity, the result highly reminiscent of John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner. The audience urged an encore that became a fun and funky mix of minor moves accented by low staccato pops from Redman.

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