Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

330

SF Jazz Collective: The Inaugural Season Live 2004

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
The SF Jazz Collective is an octet assembled by that former Young Lion and prize-winning saxophonist Joshua Redman, as part of his role as SF Jazz's Artistic Director. Each year, the Collective rehearses the music of a modern master selected by Redman, as well as original music from each band member. For their inaugural season, Redman chose Ornette Coleman. After three weeks of intensive rehearsal, the Collective went on tour, and the results were issued in this limited edition, three-CD set, available only from SF Jazz's web site. (The commercially available single CD on Nonesuch, recently reviewed by AAJ, is drawn from this set.)

I honestly believe Disc 1, with the Ornette tunes, to be one of the finest jazz albums of the past ten years, while Discs 2 and 3, with the originals, are not far behind. The structural innovations pioneered by Ornette Coleman during his Atlantic period are becoming part of the jazz mainstream, with these performances, sparked by Gil Goldstein's loving and witty arrangements, creating a template for those ideas. They center around unrestricted melody, with harmonic movement being relative to an ever-evolving melodic line, so that changes and bar lines may be subverted, even mutated, but never entirely destroyed. Listen to Zenon's blazing alto sax improvising on the very fast "School Work," or Redman's swashbuckling tenor engaging Blade's drums on "Happy House." Hear Rosnes finding a place for the piano in this music by investigating the changes. This is a bracing, happy, swinging seminar in what today's jazz can be.

If there is a new mainstream in jazz, as I believe there is, one of its core components is the use of compositional structure to challenge the improviser. On Disc 3, on Robert Hurst's "Fred Sanford Went To Spain To Siesta," the soloist is required to do an adroit dance between 4/4 and 3/4 meters. Joshua Redman uncoils long, unpredictable tenor sax lines while the rhythm section boils below. The composition, with its boppish accents held firm by a rousing riff, is a bristling extension of Charles Mingus' ideas.

On the other hand, consider Josh Roseman's "Overground (Invocation)," a deft piece of odd-meter funk that highlights SF Jazz Collective's commitment to music rather than ideology, and includes astonishingly good solos by Roseman and Nicholas Payton. The SF Jazz Collective is committed to jazz as a modern music, anchored in swing, but playing a living, breathing jazz, with challenging compositions giving rise to refreshing, inventive improvisation.

Finally, this album marks the rise of Joshua Redman into the ranks of the great ones. He's got his music together, with a personal, recognizable sound, and a flowing sense of swinging line. In addition, he put this band together. In its personnel, repertoire, outlook, and sound, this is Redman's baby. Long may he swing.


Track Listing: Disc One: School Work, Una Muy Bonita, Lonely Woman, When Will The Blues Leave, Peace, Happy House
Disc Two: Lingala, Rise And Fall, March Madness, From Darkness To Light
Disc Three: Of This Day's Journey, Wages, Overground (Invocation), Fred Sanford Went To Spain To Siesta

Personnel: Joshua Redman, tenor and soprano saxophone, Artistic Director; Nicholas Payton, trumpet; Josh Roseman, trombone; Miguel Zenon, alto saxophone, flute; Bobby Hutcherson, vibraphone, marimba; Renee Rosnes, piano; Robert Hurst, bass; Brian Blade, drums; Gil Goldstein, arranger

Title: The Inaugural Season Live 2004 | Year Released: 2005

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Anti-Hero" CD/LP/Track Review Anti-Hero
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Let Your Mind...Space Out" CD/LP/Track Review Let Your Mind...Space Out
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "Lantern" CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "The Catfish" CD/LP/Track Review The Catfish
by Chris Mosey
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Honest Woman" CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017