Dewey Redman | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Dewey Redman


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Tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman gained his greatest recognition from his mid-70s stints with Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett, and the fact that he could shine in both those contexts simultaneously says a lot about him. But the issue here goes deeper than stylistic versatility; in fact, Redman's tightly wound but nonetheless labyrinthine solos sounded strikingly similar whether they occurred within the romantic eclecticism of Jarrett's group or next to Ornette's abstract expressionism. The point is that Redman found a common ground between those musics, suggesting a valuable fusion that still bears exploration--as proved by his own richly swinging recordings with the quartet Old and New Dreams and with Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra. Redman brings Texas blues shouting, an individuated view of bebop, and the implicit optimism of free jazz under one stylistic roof; with a hale, bluff sound and his masterful integration of four decades' worth of developments, he's one of the guys the young bucks should be listening to, if only to figure out where they might go next. In Chicago, he'll present his son Joshua (another tenor-toting Redman); they'll be joined by bassist Harrison Bankhead and drummer Ajaramu and, for part of each set, by two more tenormen--Chicagoans Fred Anderson and E. Parker McDougal--who represent divergent points on the continuum of Redman's own style. This could get wild. Tonight, 9 PM, and Saturday, 10 PM, Hothouse, 1569 N. Milwaukee; 235-2334.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lauren Deutsch.

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