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
PLAYING THE MELANCHOLY BLUES 80 years of Blue Note records
Another very auspicious anniversary. 2019 is one of those years. 60 years since Ronnie Scott’s opened, 50 since ECM was founded.
Albert Ammons and Meade “Lux” Lewis 80 years ago were booked into a studio by Alfred Lion for his new at that time unnamed label Blue Note on 6 January 1939 at the radio station WMGM in New York. Lewis four years earlier had been found by producer John Hammond working at a car wash and soon placed Lewis and his earlier song ‘Honky Tonk Train Blues’ at the heart of a craze for boogie-woogie.
Lion provided whiskey and tunes included ‘Boogie Woogie Stomp’ and Ammons and Lewis played 19 takes in all.
In March Blue Note 1 came out featuring two of those takes: Lewis playing ‘Melancholy Blues’ and ‘Solitude’. Blue Note 2 issued at the same time had Ammons playing ‘Boogie Woogie Stomp’ and ‘Boogie Woogie Blues’. Only 25 of each 10-inch disc were made and they were sold by mail order.