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
Album of the week — Universal Beings by Makaya McCraven
Freer than before, the looseness makes things better and more convincing than In The Moment. What’s changed?
Greater experience, better ideas — answers on a postcard puh-lease. Culled from NY-LON and Chi-town sessions the drummer composer is joined by among others harpist Brandee Younger, Ron Carter-esque bassist Dezron Douglas and Shabaka Hutchings on tenor saxophone. Released on 26 October. Think the 1990s sound of the Steve Coleman drummer Gene Lake as a rough signpost certainly in terms of technique and for the writing there is a gentle 1970s spiritual jazz feel to a lot of the sound moods. **** Stand out track: a cinch: the bass heavy ‘Black Lion’ on an album that on one level is an unstoppably nuanced rhythmical masterclass, by another yardstick an escapist slice of wide screen dreamery. McCraven plays the London Jazz Festival on 24 Nov.