"Walking Shadows" by Joshua Redman on iTunes

12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

There’s a tradition of jazz-meets-strings albums that dates back to the early '50s, and saxophonist Joshua Redman’s Walking Shadows sits squarely in that line. One appeal of this kind of pairing is the blend of two forms of elegance: lyrical improvisation and lush arrangements that draw from classical and pop. Here, Redman leads a quartet featuring pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Brian Blade. Mehldau also serves as producer; the orchestral arrangements are by Mehldau, conductor Dan Coleman, and composer Patrick Zimmerli. (Only half of the tracks have strings; a few pieces are for trio, and one is a duet.) Kern and Hammerstein’s “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” opens with some nice back-and-forth between tenor sax and strings before the band joins in and the track fully blossoms. Redman and Grenadier bring great feeling to Bach’s “Adagio” as Blade adds subtle accompaniment on brushes. The drummer’s simple, steady beats lend a tone of gravity to a cover of Blonde Redhead’s “Doll Is Mine,” while Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes” features Redman's sinuous soprano sax.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There’s a tradition of jazz-meets-strings albums that dates back to the early '50s, and saxophonist Joshua Redman’s Walking Shadows sits squarely in that line. One appeal of this kind of pairing is the blend of two forms of elegance: lyrical improvisation and lush arrangements that draw from classical and pop. Here, Redman leads a quartet featuring pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Brian Blade. Mehldau also serves as producer; the orchestral arrangements are by Mehldau, conductor Dan Coleman, and composer Patrick Zimmerli. (Only half of the tracks have strings; a few pieces are for trio, and one is a duet.) Kern and Hammerstein’s “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” opens with some nice back-and-forth between tenor sax and strings before the band joins in and the track fully blossoms. Redman and Grenadier bring great feeling to Bach’s “Adagio” as Blade adds subtle accompaniment on brushes. The drummer’s simple, steady beats lend a tone of gravity to a cover of Blonde Redhead’s “Doll Is Mine,” while Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes” features Redman's sinuous soprano sax.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5

25 Ratings

Strings Attached

JazzReview,

Now-legendary Redman here astonishes with an album of tender ballads, the base quartet framed by orchestral strings a la Bird or Miles. Lovely Strayhorn to Lennon, lovingly laid tunes indeed. A Grammy nominee/winner for sure, and my favorite Redman album since his (classic) Moodswing.

bubblegum? NO WAY

legume1,

i don't know what realisticlistener was hearing, but it wasn't this album. let it be brought tears to my eyes......

About Joshua Redman

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

  • ORIGIN
    Berkeley, CA
  • BORN
    Feb 1, 1969

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