Nearness finds acclaimed jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and pianist Brad Mehldau teaming up for a set of loose yet heartfelt duo performances. Collaborators since they first began playing together in Redman's quartet in the early '90s, Mehldau and Redman have forged their own distinct solo careers. While they have continued to work together in various settings, the duo put a spotlight on their creative friendship with their 2011 tour. Nearness features live performances captured during the European leg of that tour, including tapings in Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway.
Walking Shadows is the highly anticipated new album by acclaimed saxophonist, Joshua Redman. The album, comprising twelve ballads, is Redman’s first recording to include an orchestra ensemble. Produced by Brad Mehldau, the recording features the core quartet of Brad Mehldau, Larry Grenadier and Brian Blade. Walking Shadows includes original tunes from Redman and Mehldau along with works by a wide range of composers such as John Mayer and Pino Palladino; Kern and Hammerstein; and Lennon and McCartney.
The Brad Mehldau Trio, featuring Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums, returns with Ode, an album of 11 previously unreleased songs composed by Mehldau. The record, which is the first from the trio since 2008’s Live Village Vanguard disc and the first studio trio recording since 2005’s Day Is Done, is out this week in the UK and this coming Tuesday in North America. Many of the songs on the new album were written as tributes, or “odes,” to real and fictional people, such as the late saxophonist Michael Brecker (“M.B.”), a character from the film Easy Rider (“Wyatt’s Eulogy for George Hanson”), and the guitarist Kurt Ronsenwinkel (“Kurt Vibe”).
With this recording, Joshua Redman attempts a long-form composition for the first time, a series of eight numbers that form a cycle of sorts. The promotional buzz claimed that Redman was taking stock of his music ten years after winning the Thelonious Monk competition, the event that had the effect of launching him full-blown into the big time. Whether or not that's true, there is a predominantly reflective, thoughtful tone about this quartet session, split between written-out passages and flat-out improvisations.
Saxophonist Joshua Redman's third album as a leader is cause for celebration, because here's a young jazzman gifted with all manner of technical gifts, yet he places a premium on feeling and communication. MOODSWING is just that, a series of changes, alternating between the cool and the hot–each arrangement depicting some aspect of Redman's wide-ranging musical personality.