Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

396

The Joshua Redman Trio

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Joshua Redman Trio
Indianpolis Jazz Festival
Indianapolis, Indiana
September 19, 2009

By the inner compass one finds one's direction, and Joshua Redman didn't fail to find his on the first night of the Indianapolis Jazz Festival at Clowes Memorial Hall. With Gregory Hutchinson on drums and Matt Penman on bass, they played a few classic covers, but also many songs from his new double-trio album, Compass (Nonesuch, 2008), another exquisite journey from the 40-year-old saxophonist.

Progeny of great musicians are not always prodigies, but as the son of saxophonist, Dewey Redman, Joshua Redman is a blazing exception to this caveat. A nuanced player, he not only demonstrated his grasp of the details on this lovely Indian summer night, but also his developing maturity in the 75-minute set. They began with the old Rodgers-Hammerstein warhorse, "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" from Oklahoma!, with more than enough sassy swing to keep it fresh. They followed with "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," with a winding bass line from Penman that kept it both improvised and rhythmic at the same time.

As matchless as he is in technique on these old melodies, Redman especially took flight on his own compositions. The musical direction is found in the notes—the sax is powered by the breath, though reflecting the heart of the player is neither simple or easy. But Redman has the incantations needed for the task—switching from alto to tenor sax, he played a series of songs from his new release, plus a couple from previous CDs. His sepia tones on "Soul Dance" and "Ghost" were reminiscent of shreds of half-forgotten memories and magical conversations from long ago. How much he reminds us through the very soul of jazz that this moment is all that lasts.

"Insomnomaniac"—dedicated to his son—and "Identity Thief"—dedicated to Bank of America (he was kidding), changed the direction of the set by 180 degrees. Both were unrelenting in their pulse, pulling the listener along whether one went willingly or not. His son must be quite a handful (it sounded like his Daddy has experienced many a sleepless night), and the song left the audience laughing. Penman and Hutchinson were fellow masters, the latter alternating between soft, empathetic then commanding, assertive roles when called on by Redman to join the laser-tight interchange. They came back for a medley—their first try according to Redman—of all of the Blackbird songs out there. It was the perfect cap for the evocative trio.

The opening act was the Dan Tepfer Trio, a fine complement to Redman's group, their mainstay being Tepfer on piano. A contemplative pianist, Tepfer brings to mind E.S.T., whose loss of Esbjörn Svensson in 2008 left a noticeable gap in trio ensemble jazz that Tepfer and his cohorts have the potential to fill.

The night was a brilliant start for the Indianapolis Jazz Festival; it continues on with jambands, Brazilian and Big Bands through September 27th. With the legacy of jazz in Indianapolis rivaling Chicago's and Kansas City's, the spirits of native sons Wes Montgomery and Freddie Hubbard must be happy indeed to see the city come back to its musical roots.




Joshua Redman at All About Jazz.

Visit Joshua Redman on the web.
Visit Indianapolis Jazz Festival on the web.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Vorcza at Nectar's Live Reviews Vorcza at Nectar's
by Doug Collette
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Rossano Sportiello Trio at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews Rossano Sportiello Trio at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms Live Reviews Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms
by Martin Longley
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest Live Reviews Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano Live Reviews Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano
by Keith Henry Brown
Published: January 13, 2018
Read Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café Live Reviews Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: January 2, 2018
Read "The Cookers at Nighttown" Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017
by Francesco Martinelli
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Robinson Morse's Sound of Mind Featuring Peter Apfelbaum at FlynnSpace" Live Reviews Robinson Morse's Sound of Mind Featuring Peter...
by Doug Collette
Published: December 23, 2017
Read "Vossajazz 2017" Live Reviews Vossajazz 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Antonio Sanchez Group at Jazz Standard" Live Reviews Antonio Sanchez Group at Jazz Standard
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan at the Iridium" Live Reviews Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan at the Iridium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: September 16, 2017