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
Donald Harrison debuts with the Cookers
here’s a new album on the way from The Cookers, the no-nonsense veterans, who, in recent years, have set high standards in consolidating heritage hard bop, and driving acoustic jazz.
They’ve been around some seven years, and Time and Time Again, their new Motéma release due in mid-September in the US, is their fourth album.
Billy Harper, tenor saxophone, Eddie Henderson, trumpet, David Weiss, trumpet, Donald Harrison, alto sax, recording with the Cookers for the first time, George Cables, piano, Cecil McBee, bass, and Billy Hart, drums, make up the band this time around playing originals by Harper, Cables, McBee, Hart, and Weiss.
Tracks include a tender farewell to the late Mulgrew Miller, led off by a gently undulating, lightly gospelised, Cables piano line met with aching horn ensemble response (the track also featured on recent Cables trio album Icons and Influences), and there’s a new version of Billy Harper tune ‘Sir Galahad’ that dates back to the saxophonist’s 1973 debut, Capra Black.
The Cookers are over playing some European dates next month with gigs at the Marciac festival in France on 12 August, the Oslo Jazz Festival in Norway on 13 August, Nisville jazz festival in Serbia on 14 August, and La Petite Pierre Jazz Festival in France on 15 August. SG