ALBUM of the WEEK Joshua Redman, Come What May, Nonesuch
It has been quite a while since this Joshua Redman Quartet configuration has issued an album, some 20 years or so in fact since Redman last teamed up with Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers and Gregory Hutchinson in the easy mainstream space that Redman has virtually made his own over the years.
Full of bittersweet elegiac melody this lands if you like right in the middle stylistically of where jazz is these days, neither smooth nor full of extravagant avant garde gesture. Redman brings with him nonetheless an encyclopedia of saxophone prowess and in some ways nothing really has changed since we were introduced to him back in the 1990s.
Full of original tunes there is plenty here for newcomers to jazz and old hands alike. For sure one thing that Redman never forgets is how to shape a melody and draw on his emotional side and with this band manages to underline his key approach so convincingly once again.
Photo: Arne Reimer
Facing the rising sun: Joey DeFrancesco album for March + club dates on the horizon
Joey DeFrancesco has long held an unassailable place in the Hammond organ dream team still doing it out there in the clubs and the studios. A stellar career built up over many years hearing him too many years ago to comfortably recall play with John McLaughlin was probably the best I have heard him either live or on record. But he has always been solid even on the under the radar albums he has often appeared on. The musical situations he creates lift the way the Hammond melds in a band situation. It is not all just groove, there is plenty of texture and great dynamics when you listen to DeFrancesco in full flow. Not fussed however about his trumpet playing when he rises from the organ for variety but still even I would admit that he probably plays better trumpet than many's a journeyman content to trot out the standards. Project Freedom is coming out in March on the Mack Avenue label. Listen above to an excerpted track, the album billed as his first in a quartet setting and featuring some of his own compositions and a version of James Weldon Johnson’s ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ (how we need to hear that classic especially post-Trump). Ronnie Scott’s appearance on the cards for 12/13 April. Venue link