COMPOSERS: Joshua Redman
ALBUM TITLE: Joshua Redman: Trios Live
WORKS: Trios Live
PERFORMER: Joshua Redman (saxophone), Gregory Hutchinson (drums), Matt Penman, Reuben Rogers (bass)
CATALOGUE NO: 7559795617
‘Trios’ plural because this CD covers two different trio dates, with Penman on bass duty at one live gig and Rogers at the other. It’s a contrast to the saxist’s last recording, which was a more panoramic studio work with strings. In among the seven intense numbers here, Redman and the guys roughly pull ‘Mack The Knife’ apart; they brood over the 1950s ballad ‘Never Let Me Go’ and galumph through Monk’s ‘Trinkle Tinkle’.
The leader’s athletic, exuberant and all consuming extemporisation will draw comparisons with Sonny Rollins (the odd choice of a Led Zeppelin tune is very Rollins). But though Redman displays all the wailing, wayward firepower of the ‘saxophone colossus’, he’s a more inclusive player, drums and bass going far beyond acting as reference points for the listener. This could be a demanding hour’s listening, but the ‘live’ energy and audience reaction combine to produce a thrill-a-minute set.