REVIEW: The Bad Plus and Joshua Redman at Queen's Hall

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Wednesday July 25, 2012

from Herald Scotland

The Bad Plus & Joshua Redman, Queen’s Hall
By Rob Adams

One of these musicians was guesting with a trio of 11 years’ standing.

Yes, I know it’s obvious from the billing that it was Joshua Redman but if you’d arrived at the Queen’s Hall with no prior knowledge of the players involved, I suspect the impression would have been that this was a quartet that’s been working together for all of these 11 years and more.

The Bad Plus has always been a notably self-contained piano, bass and drums unit and it hasn’t toured with an extra player before, although it did memorably collaborate with some Scottish musicians a few years ago. Here, though, Redman’s tenor saxophone slotted into the quicksilver melodic lines, slippery changes of metre and controlled swell of the ensemble improvisations with an artistry that was truly heroic.

His unison set-piece playing with pianist Ethan Iverson, particularly on Iverson’s dedication to the late Paul Motian, sounded as if one brain was working 20 fingers and his extemporising in transforming bassist Reid Anderson’s lovely People Like You into a beseeching soul ballad was awesomely wholehearted.

And yet, it was the group effort of all four musicians, along with the strength of the compositions-cum-concepts that made this such a satisfying, exhilarating, everything happening in the moment experience.

Anderson’s opening Love is the Answer had the feel of a jazz adagio, gathering momentum through superb interaction, and hyperactive drummer Dave King’s Thriftstore Jewelry bristled and danced like a mad samba with gloriously fidgety percussive mischief and brilliant melodic twists before Anderson’s Silence is the Answer grew patiently from a purr to something approaching volcanic. Wow.

Read the full article here

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