Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Joshua Redman - Elastic


Coming fast on the heels of Redman's collaborative Yaya3 date with the same players (organist Sam Yahel and drummer Brian Blade), Elastic is more about pop/soul-funk than jazz, but it doesn't sacrifice any of Yaya3's organic feeling and improvisational focus. Here Yahel plays not only Hammond organ, but also Fender Rhodes, clavinet, and other assorted electric keys. Redman makes liberal use of overdubbing and signal processing, much of which is surprisingly subtle. The result is quite a lot of sound for three people, quite a lot of inspired blowing, and quite a lot of stylistic ground covered. Highlights include the agitated, over-the-top "Still Pushin' That Rock," the tight funk and involved lines of "Jazz Crimes" and "News from the Front," and the slow gospel of "Can a Good Thing Last Forever?" Redman seems fond of the Rhodes-soprano sax combination, particularly on mellower themes like "The Long Way Home" and "Unknowing." While one has to admire Redman's musical open-mindedness, his writing can take on a middle-of-the-road quality at times; on this record it surfaces on "Boogielastic". It says something that Yahel contributed the most alluring piece, a short-and-sweet song in five called "Oumou." - by David R. Adler, AMG

Joshua Redman appeared on the scene in the early 1990's, receiving much critical acclaim as a 'be-bop' revivalist of sorts. Jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny was amongst those who, early on, sang his praises (Metheny also wrote and performed on some of Redman's early records). Those early CDs revealed Joshua Redman to be an extraordinarily gifted (albeit somewhat imitative) tenor sax player with his feet firmly planted in the 'bop' tradition. But Redman's work of late has been evolving to some degree... which has some jazz critics (and some 'purists') crying foul. They say he has abandoned the straight-ahead 'be-bop' that characterised his first efforts. That may well be true; but to me this is a good thing. After a decade of making records (many of them highly praised) he has already proven he has the jazz 'chops'... so maybe he felt it was time to try something a little different. On his latest, 'Elastic' he is working with Sam Yahel (piano, keyboards, organ) and jazz drummer extraordinaire, Mr. Brian Blade. Brian Blade alone would be worth the price of admission here. His drumming on 'Elastic' is even more energetic and adventurous than on his own albums. He handles his drum kit like a gladiator... snare drums snap... cymbals sizzle... and the bass drum booms like THUNDER ! Brian Blade doesn't just play his drums... he actually makes them DANCE and SING! Meanwhile, Sam Yahel's groove-oriented Hammond organ playing keeps things moving along nicely... both on the slow, soulful ballads and also the more up-tempo funk numbers. As for Joshua Redman, he still displays the same dazzling technique and the rich 'earthy' tone he's become famous for. His saxophone swoops and swirls over the funky grooves laid down by his bandmates Yahel and Blade. He seems to be content to share the spotlight here... and he also genuinely seems to be enjoying himself within this trio setting. Joshua Redman fans who have not listened since his 'be-bop' days will be in for a little surprise on this one. But I do wish to emphasize that this new record is NOT a "smooth jazz" type of CD. There are no sequencers or other studio gimmicks here. And the music itself is far too sophisticated to be tossed in with the 'smooth jazz' crowd. Instead, what we have here are three jazz musicians who KNOW HOW TO PLAY making real live jazz music... but in a slightly skewered (and more listener-friendly) groove-oriented style. This one is great for music fans who like intelligent, yet funky & accessible jazz music. Excellent... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !! - by a customer, Amazon.com

Artist: Joshua Redman
Album: Elastic
Year: (2002)
Label: Warner
Runtime: 69:20

Tracks:
1.  Molten Soul 8:10
2.  Jazz Crimes 6:43
3.  The Long Way Home 5:43
4.  Oumou 3:42
5.  Still Pushin' That Rock 8:27
6.  Can A Good Thing Last Forever? 6:18
7.  Boogielastic 7:55
8.  Unknowing 3:28
9.  News Front The Front 5:57
10.  Letting Go 5:07
11.  The Birthday Song Intro 2:43
12.  The Birthday Song 5:01
All songs composed by Joshua Redman

Personnel:
Joshua Redman (Tenor, Alto and Soprano Saxophone)
Sam Yahel (Hammond Organ, Synthesizers, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet, Piano)
Brian Blade (Drums)
Bashiri Johnson (Tambourine, Shaker, Congas) - 1,2,6,7,9

4 comments:

  1. Yes, I shall give this a whirl....much respect

    ReplyDelete
  2. Master, sorry to tell you, but links don't work. If could reupload I would greatly appreciate it. A greeting.

    Maestro, siento decírselo, pero los enlaces no funcionan. Si pudiera resubirlo le estaría muy agradecido. Un saludo.

    ReplyDelete

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