Monday, August 6, 2012

Joshua Redman - Freedom in the Groove


As the title suggests, Joshua Redman explores new rhythmic territory on Freedom in the Groove. Abandoning the traditional hard bop that has dominated his past recordings, Redman attempts to work himself into hip-hop and urban dance rhythms, which results in an occasionally intriguing but often frustrating album. Occasionally, the fusions work, with Redman contributing sympathetic, graceful licks to the gently insistent rhythms. Too often, the record sounds forced and stilted, which is unfortunate, since jazz/hip-hop fusion need a musician of Redman's caliber to make it credible in the jazz world. - by Leo Stanley, AMG

I've recently read a couple critics who actually use terms such as "rather disappointing" and "bland" in reference to this CD. I have to wonder exactly what these critics are listening for as they reach these conclusions; to me, Redman, backed up by an absolutely phenomenal rhythm section, offers forth an intense display of energy and musicianship. I don't see how it is possible that somebody could listen to this CD with open ears and not notice how incredibly exciting the music is. Anybody who can't hear raw creativity and energy on "Freedom in the Groove" is thinking too much, in my humble opinion. I don't remember if it was Pops, Miles, or Duke that said, "If it sounds good, it is good." But this music is very, very good. It should be noted that the rhythm section is rock solid throughout, and the entire quintet really meshes nicely during solos and so forth. Certainly, some of Redman's later music is brilliant as well. But this album shouldn't be overlooked in the least. - by Thomas Hoberg, AMG

Artist: Joshua Redman
Album: Freedom in the Groovy
Year: 1996
Label: Warner
Runtime: 69:10

Tracks:
1.  Hide and Seek 5:36
2.  One Shining Soul 8:13
3.  Streams of Consciousness 8:53
4.  When the Sun Comes Down 7:15
5.  Home Fries 4:44
6.  Invocation 10:00
7.  Dare I Ask? 6:03
8.  Cat Battles 5:40
9.  Pantomime 7:27
10.  Can't Dance 5:13
All compositions by Joshua Redman 

Personnel:
Joshua Redman (Tenor, Alto and Soprano Saxophone)
Peter Bernstein (Guitar)
Peter Martin (Piano)
Christopher Thomas (Bass Guitar)
Brian Blade (Drums)

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