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Showing posts from August, 2018

Beauty and Joy in Mehldau's Seymour Reads the Constitution

To say pianist Brad Mehldau is prolific would be an understatement. In his 27 years recording, he has amassed a catalogue of over 90 recordings with his name in the credits. His newest release on Nonesuch Records, Seymour Reads the Constitution , is his 35th as a leader, and ninth with the current iteration of his trio, and is one that best exemplifies the improvisational mastery of Mehldau, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Jeff Ballard.  In true Mehldau fashion, Seymour Reads the Constitution is a wonderful mix of original compositions and reinterpretations of pop and jazz recordings. In the past, Mehldau’s choices of pop tunes have been the stand-out; however, it is the three original compositions on Seymour… that really emphasize the mastery of Mehldau’s writing, as well as the cohesion of the trio with which he has played for the last 13 years. The recording opens with the two original pieces: “Spiral” and the title track, “Seymour Reads the Constitution.” The first i

Still Dreaming: Joshua Redman Walks the Tightrope of Free Jazz and Straight-Ahead

2018 marks the 25th year tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman has been recording. In that time, the son of avant-garde jazz musician Dewey Redman has made a solid name for himself and has presented a voice uniquely his own, through a vast body of recorded work—Still Dreaming is the 21st album released under Joshua’s name. Through beautiful collaborative pairings and some bold choices, Joshua Redman’s Still Dreaming continues to make his one-of-a-kind voice heard, while invoking spirits of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, his father, and other tenormen of yore. The choices Redman made with his quartet are brilliant; there is no piano player in this session, so all the rhythm work falls to bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade, while still allowing each of them to pursue melodic through lines. Redman’s pairings with trumpeter Ron Miles on “Unanimity” and “Haze and Aspirations” are reminiscent of the John Coltrane/Don Cherry pairings on Atlantic Records. Blade brings his impeccable bra