LIVE REVIEW: Soaring Delight of Two Minds Playing As One

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Monday January 23, 2012


Soaring delight of two minds playing as one
By: Lynden Barber

To listen to two of the leading US musicians of their generation communicating on stage so miraculously is to wonder why the attractive format of piano and saxophone hasn’t been more commonplace in jazz.

These are two of the tradition’s key instruments, and the duo format is infinitely malleable. As pianist Brad Mehldau and saxophonist Joshua Redman demonstrate so clearly, it facilitates a huge dynamic range.

It’s easy for two players who are sufficiently in tune to move between a shriek and a whisper: there’s nothing else to get in the way. Yet oddly, this duo format is relatively thin on the ground.

Is it an ego thing, with saxophonists and pianists used to being trio or band leaders, but not to sharing the credit straight down the middle? What is clear is the mutual respect and absence of egotism in Mehldau and Redman’s live performance.

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