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Joshua Redman @ Yoshi's

Joshua Redman came up through a legendary music program at Berkeley High School in California.

Joshua Redman. Photo by Peter Hannert.

At Harvard, he earned his bachelor's degree -- not in music, but he did play in the big band, encouraged by the great tenor saxophonist and Artist-in-Residence Illinois Jacquet.

Redman graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and seriously contemplated law school. But in the meantime he won the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, launched his career as a performer and recording artist, and now he's one of the most charismatic and successful artists in jazz. His success is deserved, and it's keeping him busy.

There's the SF Jazz Collective, eight artists plus leader Redman playing the music of Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and compositions by the Collective's own members. There is the annual SFJAZZ Spring Season, which he artistically directs. And then there's the stretch-out-and-play Elastic Band with Sam Yahel on organ and Brian Blade on drums. "In the Elastic Band, there's no trade-off between grooving and improvising," Redman says. "We're playing funk and swing at the same time."

Organist Yahel got this band going at after-hours jam sessions at a jazz incubator called Small's in Greenwich Village. Sam and Brian and guitarist Peter Bernstein were the originals, and when Joshua was in town, he would join them. Now they have two CDs and -- we hope -- more to come.

This JazzSet features the Joshua Redman Elastic Band -- trio style -- at Yoshi's in Oakland on New Year's Eve. It's a party and it's a serious set. Josh is the MC and adapts "Auld Lang Syne" to the elastic sound at midnight.

The current CD by the band is Momentum, from Nonesuch.

"Gambit" by Yahel
"Sweet Nasty" by Redman
"And Then Some/Auld Lang Syne" by Redman
"Lonely Woman" by Ornette Coleman
"Greasy G" by Redman
"Moon and Sand" by Alec Wilder, William Engvick, Mortimer Palitz

Joshua Redman

Sam Yahel

Brian Blade


Yoshi's in Oakland

Thanks to Peter Williams and all at Yoshi's
Field Producer Joshua Jackson
Recording and remix by Phil Edwards of PER
Dee Dee Bridgewater's recording engineer is Ginger Bruner, KUNV, Las Vegas
Technical Director Duke Markos
Producer Becca Pulliam
Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe III

Copyright 2007 NPR