Monday June 17, 2013
Hot music: Laura Marling, Joshua Redman, Steve Martin/Edie Brickell
Nine Volt Heart Reviews
By: Richard Wagamese
…Joshua Redman steps away from his hard bop, Coltrane fixated leanings and hands things over to pianist/producer Brad Mehldau. In this lush collection of ballads, surrounded by an orchestra, saxophone colossus Redman allows the rain to fall gently on his shoulders. The orchestra doesn’t overwhelm. It simply acts as the backdrop like the surface of the water of a pool dappled by raindrops.
It’s no Charlie Parker With Strings or anything Miles Davis did with Gil Evans but it does hold a throwback sound to vinyl and that’s a good thing. Because the commitment to ballads gets somewhat too cozy and it’s the ambient gloss that holds it together. There’s a languid Bach ‘Adagio’, Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Lush Life’, and Hoagy Carmichael’s ‘Stardust’ before the breaking into John Mayer’s ‘Stop This Train’, Redman’s own “Let Me Down Easy’, and Mehldau’s ‘Last Glimpse of Gotham’. It’s non-jazz jazz that’s epitomized by an effervescent take on the Beatles’ ‘Let It Be.’
Jazz ballads with violins. At 57 minutes it’s like watching rain – the act of it compelling, soothing and wondrous every time.
Laid back, sumptuous and joyful.
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