Thursday, July 5, 2018

Album Review: Joshua Redman - Still Dreaming

Joshua Redman
Still Dreaming
*** out of *****

Joshua Redman's newest album is an ode to his father who was active in the jazz scene with the group Old and New Dreams. This album Still Dreaming is a direct tribute and envelopment of that bands style.

The original band were all sidemen to the free jazz legend Ornette Coleman and played a mix of Coleman classics and originals in the same vein. Active from 1976 to 1987 the group was consisted of Joshua's father tenor saxophone player Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden, cornet player Don Cherry and drummer Ed Blackwell.

While Joshua has made a fantastic name for himself in Jazz music, this is the first true adventure directly in line with his fathers influence on his playing. That feeling doesn't just end with the mans name who is on the label as all of the assembled players are fantastic in their own right. Joining Redman on this heartfelt tribute are Ron Miles on cornet, Scott Colley on bass and Brian Blade on drums. This dynamite lineup show their range and talent on Still Dreaming.

Opener "New Year" was written by Colley and is an dynamite beginning that is structured with early drum breaks for Blade before fluttering sax and coronet runs expertly elevate the track; this is a classic number that feels timeless. On Redman's "Unanimity" free jazz makes it's mark as the band increases the tempo and flies all over.

The record then dips into more laid back tracks as "Haze and Aspirations" is perfectly titled as the smokey song meanders, the bass lead on "It's Not The Same" kicks up the groove while "Blues For Charlie" is easy rolling cool. The three tracks in a row slow down the energy but still remain interesting.

Things pick up as the group covers Old and New Dreams with "Playing", a showcase for Miles horn and injects life into the album before the quartet tackle Coleman's "Comme Il Faut". The album ends with "The Rest" as Redman's eerie playing is augmented by echo effects closing the respectful album on a forward looking note. History, personal love and respect all mix together on Still Dreaming, proving a loving tribute and a valiant release in its own right.
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

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