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Swinging to Beats in the Past and Present Tense

on April 29, 2007

By Ben Ratliff
The New York Times

"Back East" (Nonesuch) isn't a stopgap or an experiment for the saxophonist Joshua Redman; it's a record that scales back and takes inventory of his roots and strengths. It pulls vigorously toward the example of Sonny Rollins (the title is a play on Mr. Rollins's 1957 album "Way Out West") but also, to a lesser extent, toward John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and Mr. Redman's father, Dewey Redman, who died last year. Mostly, it's a no-nonsense saxophone-trio record - like "Way Out West" - using three rhythm sections, all of them first-rate.

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Joshua Redman: Back East

on April 28, 2007

By Dan Ouellette
Billboard

Arguably the brightest star of the new jazz generation of the '90s, Joshua Redman has consistently recorded top-drawer albums that have explored stratospheric altitudes of ensemble interplay and improvisation. But the saxophonist has outdone himself with his latest and most accomplished outing, "Back East." Largely a sax trio date (remarkably, Redman's first) with three different bass-drum rhythm sections, the CD is a milestone of melodic grace and majestic whimsy.

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Critic's Pick: Jazz

on April 27, 2007

The Lexington Herald Leader

After spearheading San Francisco's SFJazz Collective in recent years, along with records of groove-oriented R&B and soul, Redman has sought a move that is stylistic and somewhat geographical. Back East is largely an acoustic trio record ripe with thematically appropriate tunes (John Coltrane's India and the standard East of the Sun, West of the Moon) and guest appearances by jazz brethren, including famed New York sax giant Joe Lovano.

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Redman returns to his roots on 'Back East'

on April 27, 2007

By Siddhartha Mitter
The Boston Globe

In the early 1990s, when major record labels revived their flagging interest in jazz, the self-serving logic of industry hype dictated that the new artists in whom they invested be anointed saviors of the genre. Tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman was 24 when he released his two first albums on Warner Brothers in 1993, yet was celebrated as a near second coming of John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins. His career since then has been quiet only relative to the brouhaha made about him at the outset.

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Back East Review

on April 23, 2007

By Matt Collar
allmusic.com

Back East showcases saxophonist Joshua Redman as he leads a few different trios through a cerebral and muscular set of originals and standards. Redman has long evinced the influences of such similarly inclined legends like Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and John Coltrane and Back East is no exception. Which isn't to say its business as usual. Admittedly, while this is a straight-ahead acoustic jazz date, it is one ripe with creative energy that finds Redman's knack for deeply thoughtful improvisation and unexpected rhythmic interplay in full flower.

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