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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

CD Review: Joshua Redman - Walking Shadows

Joshua Redman (ten/sop); Brad Meldhau (pno); Larry Greanadier (bs); Brian Blade (dms) + orchestra conducted by Dan Coleman.
(Review by Lance).
I suppose it's the jazz musicians equivalent of the comedian who wants to play Hamlet but, eventually, just about all the big names get around to it - recording with strings. Bird, Chet, Clifford Brown, Bobby Hackett, Stan Getz have all had a crack at it and, by and large, the results have been better than the often derogatory reviews by the critics would suggest. At their worst, they are still pleasant and easy to listen to. At their best (e.g. Parker's Just Friends; Getz's Focus album) they add to the artists' pension pot.
Joshua Redman's Walking Shadows falls into the latter category.
A mix of quartet and orchestral settings, Joshua produces the magic that inspired the late Chris Yates to vote for Redman's appearance at the 2009 GIJF as his gig of the year.
A beautiful choice of material ranging from tried and tested standards such as The Folks Who Live on the Hill; Lush Life; Easy Living and Stardust. Contemporary material viz Shorter's Infant Eyes; Beatles' Let it Be; Stop This Train (John Mayer) plus originals by Redman and Meldhau and Adagio by a chap who goes by the name of J.S.Bach.
As well as playing piano - very much in the background - Meldhau produced the album and also did some arranging. The other arrangers were Dan Coleman, Patrick Zimmerli and Redman.
This is such a lovely album, you could use it as a background to seduction although the other person would have to be something special to entice you away from the beautiful sound Redman gets from both tenor and soprano. Best bet is to listen to it without distraction - tell the boy/girl friend to come round tomorrow, or maybe next week or maybe never. That's how good it is!
Joshua Redman - Walking Shadows is released by Nonesuch on May 6, 2013.
Redman can also be heard at Wigmore Hall, London, on May 11 in a duo recital with bassist Christian McBride.
Lance.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

maybe next week or maybe never - that's quite a statement. he'd better have something to offer on his album to justify suggestions like this.
and about that duo recital, are there any chances for tickets to come up? seems like none for sale

Lance said...

I've checked the Wigmore Hall site out and returns are the only hope. Ring 01207 9352141.
And yes, I like the album very much!

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