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How Redman and Mehldau became dynamic duo

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Thursday September 29, 2016

From The Los Angeles Daily News

How Redman and Mehldau became dynamic duo
By: Erik Pedersen

Since they began releasing albums in the 1990s, jazz musicians Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau have played in seemingly every kind of musical permutation you can imagine, from jazz groups to jam bands and orchestras or all alone.

But when the two longtime collaborators — pianist Mehldau played in the saxophonist’s celebrated ’90s quartet before launching his own successful solo career — come to the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica on Oct. 2, it’ll be just the two of them.

Redman, speaking by phone from the Bay Area days before appearing as the 2016 Showcase Artist at the Monterey Jazz Festival, explained the appeal of playing in the unusual duo format of piano and saxophone, which the pair feature on a new album, “Nearness,” out this month on Nonesuch.

“Brad and I have always had a strong connection musically from the beginning. Something about the way we hear and feel music and our musical tastes and our musical values — especially when it comes to improvisation and jazz — I think they align in a lot of ways,” said Redman, who is affable and self-deprecating in conversation. “We discovered that fairly early on when we were playing in the quartet — a real conversational thing that we got into. For me, that’s really exciting.”

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