Change in jazz, as with most endeavors, can often be a good thing. While purists may have a tough time getting around Joshua Redman's "creative" re-workings of the old and new, one must admire his ambition and considerable talents. Except for a number of original "interludes" that bridge the gap between tunes, the entire CD is comprised of compositions that Redman considers to be "timeless tales." Certainly, the Gershwin's Summertime, Irving Berlin's How Deep Is The Ocean and Cole Porter's Love For Sale would fit into that category. I'm not convinced that pop tunes by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell and Prince have yet acquired that exalted status. Time will tell. Nevertheless, there is no getting around the fact that Redman (tenor, alto and soprano saxophones), Brad Mehldau (piano), Larry Grenadier (bass) and Brian Blade (drums) make up one "hot" quartet. They have fashioned an album that may challenge your conception of what a "standard" is and how it should be performed. (***)
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.