Joshua Redman is one of the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists to have emerged in the decade of the 1990s. Born in Berkeley, California, he is the son of legendary saxophonist Dewey Redman and dancer Renee Shedroff. At an early age he was exposed to a variety of musics (jazz, classical, rock, soul, Indian, Indonesian, Middle-Eastern, African) and instruments (recorder, piano, guitar, gatham, gamelan), and began playing clarinet at age nine before settling on his primary instrument, the tenor saxophone. The early influence of his father and other jazz luminaries such as John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley, but also The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, Earth, Wind and Fire, Prince, The Police and Led Zeppelin, drew Joshua more deeply into music.
After graduating from Harvard College in 1991, Joshua moved to New York for what was going to be a short visit, but immediately found himself immersed in the jazz scene. He began jamming and gigging regularly with some of the leading jazz musicians of his generation, and after only five months won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. Joshua them toured and recorded with jazz masters such as Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Elvin Jones, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Paul Motian, and Clark Terry. His first self-titled album was released in 1993, earning him his first Grammy nomination. That was followed by Wish, on which he was joined by the all-star cast of Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins.
His next recording, MoodSwing, was released in 1994, and it introduced his first permanent band, which included three other young musicians who have gone on to become some of the most important and influential artists in modern jazz: pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. A later edition of this ensemble included guitarist Peter Bernstein, pianist Peter Martin, and bassist Chris Thomas. Over a series of celebrated recordings, Redman established himself as one of the music’s most consistent and successful bandleaders.
Joshua’s second acclaimed quartet, featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, was formed in 1998 and made its recorded debut on the 2000 album Beyond. The dynamic interplay and uncommon rapport of this group inspired Redman to write and record his first long-form composition, Passage of Time, released in 2001. A year later, Redman began to channel his jazz sensibilities through new instrumentation and formed The Elastic Band, a flexible, electrified, groove-based trio built on an ongoing collaboration with keyboardist Sam Yahel and drummer Brian Blade. Drummer Jeff Ballard began to play regularly with the Elastic Band later that year, and he (along with Blade and Yahel) played a central role in their next recording, the Grammy-nominated Momentum, released in 2005 to inaugurate Redman’s affiliation with Nonesuch Records.
In 2007, Nonesuch released Redman’s first ever piano-less trio record, Back East, featuring Joshua alongside three stellar bass and drum rhythm sections (Larry Grenadier & Ali Jackson, Christian McBride & Brian Blade, Reuben Rogers & Eric Harland) and three very special guest saxophonists (Chris Cheek, Joe Lovano and Dewey Redman). On Compass, released in January 2009 (Nonesuch), Joshua continues to explore the expansive trio format with a group of equally intrepid collaborators – bassists Larry Grenadier and Rueben Rogers, and drummers Brian Blade and Gregory Hutchinson. He literally and figuratively stretches the shape of the trio approach, and on the most audacious of these tunes he performs with the entire lineup in a double-trio setting.
In late 2009, Joshua began performing with a new collaborative band called James Farm, featuring pianist Aaron Parks, drummer Eric Harland, and our own Matt Penman (formerly of Alan Brown's Blue Train here in Auckland). The band infuses traditional acoustic jazz quartet instrumentation with a progressive attitude and modern sound, creating music that is rhythmically and technically complex and at the same time harmonically rich, melodically satisfying, and emotionally compelling.
In addition to his own projects, Redman has recorded and performed with a host of renowned jazz lumineries including Ray Brown, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, The Dave Matthews Band, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, Aaron Goldberg, Larry Goldings, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Roy Haynes, Billie Higgins, Milt Jackson, Elvin Jones, Quincy Jones, Big Daddy Kane, Geoff Keezer, B.B. King, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, DJ Logic, Joe Lovano, Yo Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride, John Medeski, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, Paul Motian, MeShell Ndegeocello, Leon Parker, Nicholas Payton, Simon Rattle, Dewey Redman, Dianne Reeves, Melvin Rhyne, The Rolling Stones, The Roots, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Scofield, Soulive, String Cheese Incident, Clark Terry, Toots Thielemans, The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Mark Turner, McCoy Tyner, Umphrey’s McGee, US3, Bugge Wesseltoft, Cedar Walton, Stevie Wonder, Sam Yahel, and of course our own John Psathas on View From Olympus.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 September 2012 20:51