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 studied music prodigiously throughout his school years, he ultimately graduated from Harvard with a degree in social studies. He had also been accepted at Yale Law School when he decided instead to move to New York City and pursue his musical interests.
In 1991, Redman won first place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and landed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Two years later, he made his solo debut with an eponymous effort, earning his first Grammy nomination in the process. He followed up with 1993's Wish, featuring guitarist Pat Metheny. He then recorded and toured with Chick Corea, after which he returned to his solo work with 1998's Timeless Tales (For Changing Times). Beyond appeared in 2000.
In 2001, Redman released Passage of Time, showcasing his quartet with pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. The following year, Elastic arrived in stores and found Redman exploring his electronica and experimental rock influences. In 2005, the saxophonist made the move to Nonesuch and released the Grammy-nominated Momentum, featuring keyboardist Sam Yahel, drummer Brian Blade, and others. Back East followed in 2007, with Compass arriving early in 2009.
Redman next appeared on the 2011 debut album from the jazz quartet James Farm. That album was followed in quick succession by his 2013 orchestral album, Walking Shadows, and his 2014 concert album, Trios Live, featuring tracks from two separate performances, one at N.Y.C.'s Jazz Standard and the other at Washington's Blues Alley.
A year later, he paired with maverick piano trio the Bad Plus on the collaborative effort The Bad Plus Joshua Redman. The album earned Redman a Grammy nomination for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for his performance on "Friend or Foe." In 2016, Redman joined pianist and longtime associate Brad Mehldau for the duo album Nearness. It earned them both a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. ~ Matt Collar