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Swinging to Beats in the Past and Present Tense

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  • April. 29, 2007
    Swinging to Beats in the Past and Present Tense

    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. A few songs include Dewey Redman, Chris Cheek or Joe Lovano on second saxophone. (On "GJ," the last track, the elder Redman plays a short piece with one of the rhythm sections, Larry Grenadier on bass and Ali Jackson on drums; the younger Mr. Redman doesn't even appear.) Mr. Redman has been a flexible record maker since he emerged, almost 15 years ago; he can play with almost anyone, and with almost any stylistic intent. But here his simplest record is also his least facile and his clearest of purpose.

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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. A few songs include Dewey Redman, Chris Cheek or Joe Lovano on second saxophone. (On "GJ," the last track, the elder Redman plays a short piece with one of the rhythm sections, Larry Grenadier on bass and Ali Jackson on drums; the younger Mr. Redman doesn't even appear.) Mr. Redman has been a flexible record maker since he emerged, almost 15 years ago; he can play with almost anyone, and with almost any stylistic intent. But here his simplest record is also his least facile and his clearest of purpose.

Music Enitity Reference: 
Back East
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