×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Joshua Redman

Jazz, like almost every form of music in the '90s, is in a state of waiting: tacitly acknowledging the shortage of memorable new music by reinterpreting creations of the past. Most purvey the standards of Tin Pan Alley; a handful try to bring songs from the folk and rock eras into play. Joshua Redman is pulling tunes from both sides.

With:
Band: Joshua Redman, Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers, Gregory Hutchinson.

Jazz, like almost every form of music in the ’90s, is in a state of waiting: tacitly acknowledging the shortage of memorable new music by reinterpreting creations of the past. Most purvey the standards of Tin Pan Alley; a handful try to bring songs from the folk and rock eras into play. Joshua Redman is pulling tunes from both sides — or, as he put it during his set at the Fonda, “mess them up in a creative way.”

It’s not a tactical retreat for Redman, since the 29-year-old saxman remains a prolific composer and included several of his tunes in the 100-minute-plus set (such as “Dialogue,” a showcase for bassist Reuben Rogers, and the dusky closing ballad, “Never End”).

But his focus — both on his new Warner Bros. album “Timeless Tales (for Changing Times)” and in the set — was on music by such diverse bedfellows as Joni Mitchell, Cole Porter, Lennon/McCartney and Jerome Kern.

Therein lies the problem: How to make rockers’ songs as adaptable to the conventions of neo-bop and soul-jazz as the old standards. Fortunately, after the mixed results on his new album, Redman is working on it.

For example, he is clearly more comfortable now with Mitchell’s “I Had a King” — playing sweetly on soprano sax, rolling off a great string of even, rapid notes in the course of a cogently organized solo. The 5/4-meter take on “Eleanor Rigby” was more thoughtful, searching and heated (though he ought to ditch that cliched ending of his.)

Interestingly, Redman’s most successful cover of a rock tune on the album was his broadly funky treatment of Prince’s “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore,” but a loud request for the song from the audience was politely overlooked.

The maturing Redman thankfully doesn’t resort to much cheap, high-note pandering to the crowd these days, and he remains an engaging, even boyish personality in his intros. His touring quartet is pitched at high levels of technique and internal empathy, with pianist Aaron Goldberg functioning well within a range of de rigeur mainstream styles (McCoy Tyner in particular) and drummer Greg Hutchinson capable of combustible interplay.

Joshua Redman

Henry Fonda Theatre, Hollywood; 863 seats; $30.50 top

Production: Presented by Warner Bros. Records. Reviewed Oct. 30, 1998.

Cast: Band: Joshua Redman, Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers, Gregory Hutchinson.

More Music

  • Editorial use only. No merchandising.Mandatory Credit:

    Lady Gaga Slams Government Shutdown, Mike Pence at Vegas Residency

    Lady Gaga took a short break from singing “Million Reasons” at her Saturday performance of “Enigma” in Las Vegas to slam the president for the continued government shutdown. While sitting at the piano for her performance, Gaga broke into a takedown of the government shutdown and Vice President Mike Pence, who has been in the [...]

  • maggie rogers

    Album Review: Maggie Rogers' 'Heard It in a Past Life'

    Maggie Rogers earned one of those very rare “Saturday Night Live” slots in which a musical guest is booked onto the show well in advance of her major label debut album’s release — two and a half months prior, in this case. And the scrutiny of such an appearance is not always pretty. Rogers’ “SNL” [...]

  • iHeartRadio Alter Ego Review

    Concert Review: Muse, Weezer, the Killers Rock iHeartRadio Alter Ego 2019

    iHeartRadio’s Alter Ego — a multi-band bill that serves to showcase some of the biggest names in alternative rock — is a relatively new creation, but clearly one that’s been embraced by radio listeners in the greater Los Angeles area who filled the Forum on a Saturday night. Twenty-One Pilots, the Revivalists, Rise Against, Bishop [...]

  • BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: (EDITORIAL

    Dax Shepard, Bobby Bones, 'Breakfast Club' Among iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Winners

    iHeartRadio launched its first ever Podcast Awards on Friday (January 18) in Los Angeles. Among the winners in 22 categories were “Whine Down with Jana Kramer” (Best Entertainment TV Podcast); “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (Breakout Podcast); “Bobbycast” (Music Podcast); and “The Breakfast Club” (Best Multicultural Podcast). The winners were determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Taking the top prize of Podcast [...]

  • Fyre Festival Caterer Receives Thousands in

    Unpaid Fyre Festival Caterer Raises Thousands in Donations on GoFundMe

    As two Fyre Festival documentaries hit the airwaves, a couple who say their credit was ruined due to the Fyre Festival’s lack of payment for their services have raised $54,381 at time of publication on GoFundMe. Elvis and Maryann Rolle wrote on their page that they catered “no less than 1000 meals per day” in [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content