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Joshua Redman Elastic Band at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA

Joshua Redman

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Joshua Redman came up through a nationally respected music program at Berkeley High School in California in the 1980s. At Harvard, he earned a bachelor's degree, but not in music. He did play in the big band, though -- 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 and launched his career as a performing artist, and now he's one of the most charismatic and successful artists in jazz, whether playing acoustic or with electronics, in a minimal setting or a bigger band.

On Redman's new CD, Back East from the Nonesuch label, he leads an acoustic trio inspired by the Sonny Rollins classic Way Out West.

Back East comes out at a pivotal moment. In a recent cover story in Jazz Times, Redman talks about two major events in his life that recently came one after the other recently. His father, saxophonist Dewey Redman -- who plays with his son on the album -- died. And Joshua Redman's son, Jadon, was born. It's been a season of condolences and graduations.

On JazzSet, we step back for the stretch-out swinging funk of the Joshua Redman Elastic Band with Sam Yahel on organ and Brian Blade on drums. Organist Yahel got this band going at after-hours jam sessions at Small's in Greenwich Village. Guitarist Peter Bernstein was a regular as well. When Redman was in town, he joined Yahel and Blade to jam. Redman says, "In the Elastic Band, there's no trade-off between grooving and improvising. We're playing funk and swing at the same time." Check it out at Yoshi's in Oakland, Calif., New Year's Eve 2005, on JazzSet.


"Gambit" by Yahel
"Sweet Nasty" by Redman
"Molten Soul" by Redman
"Moon and Sand" by Alec Wilder, William Engvick, Mortimer Palitz


Joshua Redman
Nonesuch Records
Sam Yahel
Brian Blade

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