Joshua Redman | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Joshua Redman Recommended All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sun., March 1, 6 & 8:30 p.m. 2009

On his previous album, 2007’s Back East, saxophonist Joshua Redman embraced as a model the classic 1957 Sonny Rollins trio record Way Out West. He played in a trio, of course (actually two different trios), but more important he drew on the unadorned postbop that first inspired him in the early 90s. For years Redman had been making albums according to plan—a collection of pop songs, an ambitious thematically organized suite, a couple discs of self-consciously futuristic electrified grooves—but the only thing premeditated on Back East seemed to be the format, and it was his loosest and most natural-sounding disc to date. For the excellent new Compass (Nonesuch) he upped the ante, going into the studio with two bassists (Larry Grenadier and Reuben Rogers) and two drummers (Brian Blade and Gregory Hutchinson). They started playing without a clear road map, trying out various combinations but mostly coming together in a sort of “double trio” with both rhythm sections—on those songs the bassists and drummers are clearly having a blast figuring out how to complement and contrast each other’s styles and find room for everyone inside the grooves, and their heightened interactions tremendously enhance the leader’s solos. Redman appears here with only Rogers and Hutchinson, but I don’t expect the small group to hamper his playing—he’s on a roll, liberated from the fussiness that stunted some of his earlier projects and riding high on the sort of breakthrough that transforms careers. —Peter Margasak

Price: $30, $28 members, $26 seniors and children

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