Belltable Arts Centre
Joshua Redman – Saxophones
Reuben Rogers – Bass
Gregory Hutchinson – Drums
“Mr. Redman is a supremely affable and flowing improviser, at times a brilliant one, working in a glow of clarity.” The New York Times
Joshua Redman is considered to be among the new icons in jazz. One of the most acclaimed and charismatic artists to have emerged in the 1990s, Redman was at the vanguard of acoustic jazz together with contemporaries like Branford Marsalis and Brad Mehldau. He stands with one foot firmly grounded in the bebop tradition and the other facing the future, searching for a new sound. He has grown into an international audience favourite: a virtuoso on the sax with a strong stage personality. He always puts one hundred percent of himself into his performances and regularly surprises listeners with the new directions he takes. This tour is the Irish debut of one of jazz’s major international stars.
Redman was born in Berkeley, California as the son of a dancer and the legendary saxophone player Dewey Redman. He started playing the clarinet at age nine, but switched to what would become his primary instrument, the tenor saxophone, a year later. The young Joshua followed the jazz studies program at Berkeley High School and graduated from Harvard summa cum laude. In 1991, he was accepted by Yale Law School, but decided to postpone his entrance for a year to satisfy his desire for playing music. It turned out to be the right decision when four months later, he won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition.
He has toured and/or recorded with a string of distinguished names including his father, Charlie Haden, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Pat Metheny, Roy Haynes, Jack DeJohnette, Elvin Jones and Paul Motian. Redman has recorded over ten albums as a leader, several of which were nominated for a Grammy Award. 1983 saw the release of Wish, where Redman was joined by an all-star supporting cast of Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and the late Billy Higgins. His next recording, MoodSwing, introduced his first permanent band, which included three other young artists who have gone on to make their mark in the jazz world: pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Brian Blade. Over a series of celebrated recordings including Spirit of the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard, Freedom in the Groove, and Timeless Tales (for Changing Times), Redman established himself as one of the music’s most consistent and successful bandleaders, and added soprano and alto saxophones to his instrumental arsenal. His latest album, Compass, was released in 2009 on the Nonsuch label. Last year, the label also released a debut from James Farm, the collective Redman started with pianist Aaron Parks, bass player Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland.
“Redman seems a class apart for technique, invention and artistry” Evening Standard
“As matchless as he is in technique on these old melodies, Redman especially took flight on his own compositions. His sepia tones 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.” All About Jazz
“Right now he’s doing either the simplest or the hardest option, which is a saxophone-bass-drums trio, his song choices scaled back to standards and a few of his own sketches. He’s also coming to terms with a fairly serious and longstanding Sonny Rollins obsession, yet it doesn’t limit him; it frees him, somehow. We were hearing him do what he does best, without the shiny distractions. As he obeys the authority of his tempos and his phrase patterns – there’s a balanced, Bach-like, symmetrical feeling to it all.” New York Times
“Redman is adventurous without all the squeals and squawks of other players, adept at writing both lyrically and rhythmically, and knows when the twain should part, creating an episode of engaging storytelling on one tune, circling the head of the tune with just four or fine notes immediately after.” Variety