Take Five With Carlos Redman

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Meet Carlos Redman: A Detroit native, Carlos Redman is one of a new breed of modern experimental trumpeters of the current generation.

Blending a sultry combination of hip-hop, R&B, rock, and classical in jazz genres, the young horn player continues to defy boundaries as he is often drawn in comparison to the great Donald Byrd.

Carlos Redman

At an early age encountering people such as Betty Carter, James Carter, and Donald Byrd his beginnings as a young performer in club venues and jazz festivals has blossomed into a career standing on stage with Jackie McLean, Sam Rivers, Fred Wesley, Aretha Franklin, Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, Hal Galper, Peter Martin, Clyde Kerr, and Aaliyah.

Traveling and encountering people from all over the world as a composer has grown him a reputation as a capable artist that fervently loves writing music that not only speaks to people in the mainstream, but also rooted in sultry Motor City soul


Trumpet, piano, vocals.

Teachers and/or influences? My teachers were William "Billy" Horner of Motown, Ronald Benko of the New Orleans Symphony, Ellis Marsalis and Wendell Brunious of New Orleans, Wee Kee Brody for composition, Demondre Thurman, Ernie Rodgers and Vergil Rodgers of RAPA, James Carter gave a few lessons...

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I knew I wanted to become a serious musician after meeting Wallace Roney, Geri Allen's husband. He gave me a nudge when I was about 16 years old to audition for a few colleges, and he helped me make some adult decisions about my budding career. Before that, I new I was a stand out player, but I never took it very seriously.

Your sound and approach to music: My sound is primarily influenced by Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Donald Byrd and Miles Davis. Dizzy was always fascinating to me, Louis has such an overwhelming sound, Donald was my local hero, and Miles had great phrasing.

Your teaching approach: Teaching is easy when you have a student that is eager to learn. Anyone can learn, but not everyone has the patience. Some people are naturally gifted, but lack the intestinal fortitude to make it in the business.

My philosophy is that if a student chooses to be a musician, they must also come with discipline.

Your dream band:

I would love to work with a great vocalist like Jill Scott or a great person that I dig, producer Norman Connors. I love playing behind an inspiring vocalist though. I like the way they phrase, it's almost like the sound I get with a Harmon mute. It's all about emotion, and less notes. More expressive and thoughtful...

Road story: Your best or worst experience: The craziest time I ever had on stage was playing at a club in New Orleans. I won't say any names because the owner was kind to me. But, the place was falling apart, and there was a bug problem. So during the second set, they decided to come out and enjoy the show too. I wanted to put my horn up, but because the owner was so nice, and a lot people paid for the door, we continued to play while stomping. I just played off of it, like I was dancing... My group still laughs about the gig...

Favorite venue:

My favorite places to play are Snug Harbor in New Orleans, and maybe Bert's or Bakers in Detroit. They always feel like a homecoming party. The pressure isn't there because I'm always amongst family and friends there. George was great human being at Snug, and when he passed away, the spirit of the place changed, but Detroit is home. Nothing like playing with a hot group at home...

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? Wow, that's tough to answer. I'm never satisfied with studio performances. So that's difficult to offer a reply. Playing live is where the good stuff comes from...

The first Jazz album I bought was: The first jazz album that I bought was a Duke Ellington album with Clark Terry and Cat Anderson killing the trumpet section. It still gives me chills thinking of those great solos and massive talent...

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? Freedom. I am and always will be a free thinker.

Because of that independence, my music has given other young people something besides what is constantly feed to them. It's always with a groove, or mood, but always free and creative, you dig?

Did you know...

Did you know that I started off playing cello? When my family stayed in southwest Detroit, a DSO member used to come from the concert hall to the ghetto and shine some light on a different aspect of music. So I would be sawing that thing in half, trying to be Vivaldi...

CDs you are listening to now:

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Anthem (Concord);
Corey Wilkes, Drop It (Delmark);

Maurice Brown, Hip to Bop (Soul'd U Out);

Nicholas Payton, Into the Blue (Blue Note)
; Russell Gunn, Gunn Fu (HighNote).

Desert Island picks:

Freddie Hubbard, First Light (CTI Records);
John Coltrane, Giant Steps (Atlantic);

Joshua Redman, Freedom In the Groove (Warner Bros.);

Nicholas Payton, Dear Louis (Verve);

Donald Byrd, Places and Spaces (Blue Note).

How would you describe the state of jazz today? Jazz is strong, but like the industry itself, it is re-inventing the approach to marketing to new listeners.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Change the connotation of "Contemporary" into a positive thing...

Welcome change...


What is in the near future? Right I'm promoting my two releases, Love Letters and Remix. While I'm doing that, I'll be finishing up my classical-influenced album, The Chocolates Suite and an R&B album called Chemistry for late 2009.

By Day:

By day I am writing great music, shedding, and giving the occasional clinic or lesson. By night, jamming...

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: An Attorney... Because I still get to be suave in my suit and still talk big sh*t...

About Carlos Redman
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