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Redman, Mehldau Simply Excellent

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Tuesday June 28, 2011

From the Ottawa Citizen

Redman, Mehldau simply excellent
By Doug Fischer

Ah, at last. Jazz.

Sure, the Ottawa jazz festival’s first few days featured a few fine jazz shows – Kurt Elling, Brian Browne, Tania Gill – but it wasn’t until Day 5, the midway point, for a concert to reveal the full, unbridled beauty of the genre.

Performing the first of two intimate duo shows in the National Arts Centre Studio on Monday night, saxophonist Joshua Redman and pianist Brad Mehldau produced music of uncommon depth and simpatico.

It’s enough that the two musicians are among the towering figures of jazz over the past two decades. But they are also longtime friends, compatriots who share the musical ideals and sensibilities of their generation – Redman is 42, Mehldau, 40.

Over impressive solo careers, Mehldau and Redman have collaborated in a variety of settings over the years, and along the way developed a bag of duet strategies: listening and echoing, reflecting each other from a few beats away and then closing the gap, inserting detours into the music and challenging the other to follow.

Read the entire review here