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REVIEW Joshua Redman @ Grace Cathedral (San Francisco)

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Saturday February 27, 2010

(from Mercury News)

By RICHARD SCHEININ
Published: February 27, 2010

Saxophonist Joshua Redman began his solo concert at Grace Cathedral on Friday by playing long, velvety tones at the back of the great Gothic church. As the notes echoed through the vaulted spaces, they sounded like the lonesome song of a humpback whale. Then, slowly, as Redman walked up the center aisle toward the altar, his tenor saxophone song settled somewhere between a Gregorian chant and a Coltrane spiritual.

A moment later, it revealed itself as Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood—” played, it seemed, by two saxophonists. I’ve never heard anything like it: Redman was using the church’s seven-second reverberation as a second instrument, working with the echoes and overtones to create the illusion of a duet. He was a billowing, harmonizing, one-man spirit band in the darkened church, where Ellington gave a famous concert of sacred music in 1965.

Read the entire review online here