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Album Review

In his short career, Joshua Redman has been praised for his technical abilities and criticized for his lack of innovation — not surprising responses to the work of a talented young artist. On Beyond, his seventh album which was recorded a few months after his 30th birthday, he attempts, as the title suggests, to try some new things. Employing an all new group consisting of pianist Aaron Goldberg, bass player Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, he presents an album of original tunes to follow Timeless Tales (For Changing Times), an album of cover material. Eschewing the pat jazz formula of a head followed by improvisations, he adopts a more free-flowing structure for his compositions in which anyone can start and the tune can develop in an open-ended fashion. He also experiments with time signatures: "A Life?," the closing track, is in 5/4 time; "Stoic Revolutions" is in 6/4; "Belonging (Lopsided Lullaby)" is in 9/4; "Suspended Emanations" is in 10/4; and the lead-off track, "Courage (Asymmetric Aria)," is in 13/4. While no doubt hard to play, the tunes don' t sound all that complicated, perhaps because Redman's saxophone floats over the rhythm section, taking its time to make its statements. As the song titles imply, this is a contemplative album full of small, introspective pleasures, such as the exploratory "Leap of Faith," on which Redman and Mark Turner engage in a tenor conversation. It's not clear that the technical challenges Redman presents himself and his sidemen with ultimately force them to do anything new, but Beyond represents a gifted musician tinkering with his musical approach with often satisfying results.

Customer Reviews

My favorite of the Redman albums

I love the way Redman solos on all of his albums. I think he is first class in his improvisations ... not too intense, always inventive, always compelling. But I am not always a fan of his song selections. The standards on some of his other albums don't always work for me. A little too "classic". Which is why I like this album. Great tracks, most of them written by him. Courage and Stoic Revolutions have got great pace. Suspended, A Life, and Nevermind are very moving slower pieces. If you like Redman, the whole album is a must have. If you follow Redman as an evolving artist, then this is probably the high-point in the discography. I gave the album a 4 instead of a 5 only because I think this could have been even more compelling if Redman had teamed with a guitarist, but that is just a personal preference. Highly recommended. In fact, how many albums by any other leading jazz artist today have put together such a complete and evolved vision? Not many ....


Redman and his trio shine on this release - an essential for anyone who enjoys well executed, passionate and creative jazz saxophone. It's very listenable, yet challenging enough to keep you awake and in touch with the vibrations that resonate throughout. The musicianship from this young performer is astounding, as is his work with tone and vibrato. Redman is a fine wine, and will mature and age beautifully in his career. This work will be one of his seminal pieces. Enjoy!


I would have never guessed this album to be an "undiscovered gem." Joshua Redman has so many great albums, but this one takes it to another level, both technically and in terms of listenability. (It is one of the few jazz albums my wife will listen to with me.) In my mind, it is the best of jazz -- innovative and leaves us humming the melodies after the album ends. Try it. You will like it. I guarantee....


Born: February 1, 1969 in Berkeley, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A gifted tenor saxophonist, Joshua Redman is a thoughtful, forward-thinking jazz artist whose robust improvisational style balances a love of the bop tradition with an ear for advanced harmony and playful exploration. Born in Berkeley, California in 1969, Redman grew up in a musical family as the son of respected tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman. Exposed to a wide variety of music from a young age, he first started out playing clarinet before switching to tenor saxophone around age ten. Although he...
Full Bio
Beyond, Joshua Redman
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Apr 04, 2000

Customer Ratings