Redman, Mehldau Explore Possibilities of Sax-Piano Duo

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Monday April 02, 2012


Redman, Mehldau explore possibilities of sax-piano duo
By: Calvin Wilson

Two of the most esteemed artists in jazz, saxophonist Joshua Redman and pianist Brad Mehldau have often worked together since both began to get noticed in the 1990s. Early in his career, Mehldau spent time in Redman’s quartet and played on the saxophonist’s terrific 1994 album, “MoodSwing.” Redman performed on Mehldau’s well-regarded 2010 double album, “Highway Rider.”
But their current collaboration really gets down to basics.

At Jazz at the Bistro next weekend, Redman and Mehldau will explore the possibilities of a demanding jazz format: the piano-saxophone duo. In separate interviews, edited for clarity and length, they discussed the project ‘” Redman by phone, Mehldau by email.

What qualities do you bring out in each other as musicians?

Redman: In certain ways, we have very different sounds, and very different styles. But we like a lot of the same music ‘” in jazz, but also outside of jazz. And we’re really interested in having a musical dialogue. We really listen to not only what we’re playing, but to what the other musicians that we’re playing with are playing. That makes us very conversational and interactive players. So when we play together in this duo context, we really connect.

Mehldau: We are both diplomats ‘” we like to make other people feel good. But we are also communicators ‘” we want to get our points across. Heck, we could be politicians! No, just kidding.

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