Thursday, January 22, 2009

NY Times reviews Joshua Redman

Joshua Redman walked onstage at the Highline Ballroom on Tuesday, tenor saxophone in hand, and flashed a smile. “Sure does feel like a different world, doesn’t it?” he said simply, a moment before starting his opening tune. The afterglow of a presidential inauguration, and this one in particular, hardly required more acknowledgment than that.

The opener was “Identity Thief,” from Mr. Redman’s superb new album, “Compass” (Nonesuch), and it set a distinctly exploratory tone. Its slow, snakelike melody involved just saxophone, bass and drums. And at first Mr. Redman dug in with the bassist Larry Grenadier and the drummer Brian Blade, both stationed to his right. Then, with the next phrase, the center shifted, and suddenly he was playing with the bassist Reuben Rogers and the drummer Gregory Hutchinson, to his left. This cross-fade repeated, back and forth and back again, before the two sides converged on a groove. (more at