Saturday, January 14, 2017

Joshua Redman - 1993 "Joshua Redman"

Nearly every once in a while, a musician encourages his or her art in any genre to embark on a bright and new direction without losing it's original power, while evolving full force with lasting results--and the same thing can be said about Joshua Redman.
For his highly acclaimed self-titled debut CD, this rising young tenor saxophonist had emerged as a young lion in 1993 who not only gave jazz another original new sound, but he was one of the few of his generation to bring the music to an encouraging and creative path while settling some arguments of where itself the music was headed at the time.
Heading a superb quartet that consists of pianist Kevin Hayes, rising young bassist Christian McBride and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, the sprawling track set features an outstanding set of original compositions like the lyrical Blues On Sunday, Echoes, Tribalism, Groove X (By Any Means Necessary) and Sublimation as well as classy takes on classic standards like Thelonious Monk's Trinkle Trinkle, a swift take on James Brown's I Got You (I Feel Good) and Body And Soul, as they demonstrate his knack for sophisticated improvisation and multi-dimensional composing skills.
As one of two blockbuster albums that he released in 1993, Redman would become an overnight sensation on the jazz scene after being discovered and signed by Warner Bros' Records and one of the new great jazz masters to have emerge in the 1990's.
Yet this is the self-titled debut album that caused the sensation that would give jazz another young icon and also gave the aspiring young tenor saxophonist- composer the commercial success he deserved and paved the way for a long mighty career.

This album was recorded and released by Warner Brothers not long after Joshua won the T. Monk jazz competition. I think it's an all around strong and entertaining 1st album. Joshua Redman is the bomb! He's so chill and watching him on the Ken Burns Jazz interviews he seems like a really cool dude. {I heard he got straight A's in school!} This self titled album also has another really bomb musician... Christian McBride on bass! My favorite numbers are the covers actually. Blues on Sunday I think is an original though. What an awesome song to stretch out on. It sounds alot like the solos on "Blue Train" from back in '57. Its so cool that these "young lion's" did James Brown's "I feel good" its so funky and joyus! {probably McBride's suggestion!} Their version of Dizzy's "Salt Peanuts" is just slammin! they really cook on that one! It makes me crack up when they shout it at the end "salt peanuts salt peanuts!" Redman plays a really pleasant duet with McBride during "On the sunny side of the street" These guys are some of the coolest cats in modern jazz! They can play very serious in a straight ahead manner. But they can get really funky and avant guard sounding as well! This Cd has it all standards, ballads, original compostions, blues, and funky old school RandB! What a great first album from a young and very gifted tenor saxaphonist!

 In the early to mid-'90s, no "Young Lion" was hyped to death by jazz critics more than Joshua Redman; to hear some critics tell it, he was as important a saxophonist as John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, or Sonny Rollins. The problem with such excessive hype is that it gives a young talent like Redman way too much to live up to at an early age; the tenor man was only 22 when this self-titled debut album was recorded, and he needed time to grow and develop. Nonetheless, Redman did show a lot of promise on this CD, which isn't in a class with Coltrane's A Love Supreme or Rollins' Saxophone Colossus (some critics really did have the audacity to make such claims) but showed Redman to be a swinging, expressive improviser who had impressive technique as well as versatility. Redman's playing is greatly influenced by funky, big-toned soul-jazz tenors like Eddie Harris, Gene Ammons, and Red Holloway, but his probing, searching qualities bring to mind Coltrane. Redman's gritty soul-jazz workout on James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)" demonstrates that he isn't a stuffy neo-conservative, while his enjoyable interpretations of "Body and Soul" and Thelonious Monk's "Trinkle Tinkle" illustrate his ability to play "in the tradition," as hard boppers are fond of saying. Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts" is pure bop, and Redman (whose acoustic support on this album includes pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson) gets into a Coltrane-influenced post-bop groove on his own "Sublimation." Joshua Redman isn't a masterpiece, but it let us know that he was certainly someone to keep an eye on.

Joshua Redman is one of the most prominent saxophonists in the world... a great interpreter, owner of great sound. Their performances are truly eloquent and "visceral". Here gives us beautiful songs like "Blues On Sunday," "I Got You" "Salt Peanuts" and "Sublimation"... of total surrender.
A cd of great quality, no doubt. Highly recommended!!!

Track listing

    "Blues on Sunday" (Joshua Redman)
    "Wish" (Joshua Redman)
    "Trinkle Tinkle" (Thelonious Monk)
    "Echoes" (Joshua Redman)
    "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (James Brown)
    "Body & Soul" (Heyman-Green-Sour)
    "Tribalism" (Joshua Redman)
    "Groove X (By Any Means Necessary)" (Joshua Redman)
    "Salt Peanuts" (Dizzy Gillespie)
    "On the Sunny Side of the Street" (McHugh-Fields)
    "Sublimation" (Joshua Redman)

Personnel

    Joshua Redman – Tenor saxophone
    Kevin Hays – Piano
    Christian McBride – Bass
    Gregory Hutchinson – Drums
    Mike LeDonne – Piano
    Paul LaDuca – Bass
    Kenny Washington – Drums
    Clarence Penn – Drums

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