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Joshua Redman's 'Walking Shadows' is "Never Less Than Exceptionally Beautiful"

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Monday May 06, 2013

From The Buffalo News

Joshua Redman: Walking Shadows
By: Jeff Simon

Quick: What did Charlie Parker, Ben Webster and Stan Getz do that John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Lester Young never did?

Answer: record a classic jazz album with a string orchestra.

Just to make sure that he joined Bird, Ben and Getz on their side of the discography and not Coltrane, Sonny and Prez, Joshua Redman will release an album of ballads Tuesday which is sometimes exquisite and never less than exceptionally beautiful.

The saxophone-and-strings album is so perilous (they don’t always end up as towering jazz masterworks a la Getz’s “Focus” with Eddie Sauter) that a smart soloist needs all the close friends he can get around him. And that’s where Redman’s ballad disc is so much smarter than so many of his forebears. His producer – and pianist on the disc – is his old friend and combo-mate pianist Brad Mehldau.

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