Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman: Nearness

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Brad Mehldau,Joshua Redman
LABELS: Nonesuch
ALBUM TITLE: Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau
WORKS: Nearness
PERFORMER: Brad Mehldau (piano), Joshua Redman (saxophone)
CATALOGUE NO: 0075597945607  


This disc has been a long time coming. Mehldau and Redman are old friends and collaborators, but it’s their first duo album. A selection of duets recorded in concerts around Europe, the programme dovetails three deftly re-worked bebop standards and three originals.

The pair are so well matched. Both are extraordinary, scintillating improvisers bursting with energy, yet they have great ears for one another. Mehldau brings a musical architect’s touch to the structure of everything he works on. Redman, with his big, open, sometimes quizzical tone, is always ready to swing. The choruses of Monk’s ‘In Walked Bud’ are like an airy conversation about the tune, with the recurring motif of the original keeping the narrative on track. The gentle, warm discussion that takes place around Hoagy Carmichael’s ‘The Nearness of You’ could be taking place around the fireside, so relaxed is the interplay.


Garry Booth