Back East

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: John Coltrane,Joshua Redman,Wayne Shorter
LABELS: Nonesuch
ALBUM TITLE: Joshua Redman
PERFORMER: Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano, Chris Cheek (sax), Larry Grenadier, Christian McBride (bass), Ali Jackson (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 7559-79993-8

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Admittedly it’s one of my favourite instrumental combinations but I really can’t fault this album at all. My liking for horn/bass/drums trios dates back to saxophonist Ornette Coleman’s recordings from Stockholm’s Golden Circle. I still find that the absence of a chordal instrument makes them sound as fresh as ever.

Only the most capable of musicians can both dispense with having a mattress of other notes to fall back on (we’ve all heard ‘solos’ so heavily propped up by the pianist that they barely qualify as such) and also turn the resulting music into a whole new sub-idiom of jazz.

Redman has done exactly this with this masterly disc. Here harmonies are implied rather than stated, and space and silence mean as much as sound.

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Musically and sonically immaculate (even down to the saxophonist’s sensitive restraint of his occasionally hard-edged tone), it’s an essential purchase.Roger Thomas