Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau CD reviewed

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Sunday September 25, 2016

From The Ottawa Citizen

Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau CD reviewed
By: Peter Hum

The next time you see Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau, check if the two elite jazz musicians have signs of special antennae implanted in their skulls. Based on their duo playing on their new album, Nearness, you would think that the two forty-somethings use some kind of cyborg bio-tech to enable their mind-melding rapport.

The analogy that’s often invoked for a jazz duo is that the musicians’ performance is like a dialogue, and there’s no mistaking the brilliance and eloquence of Redman and Mehldau when they ‘speak.’ But what’s just as important, as is vital in meaningful conversations, is the level of their listening. Both men have incredible ears, plus the musical reflexes to act on what they’re hearing so that they can echo, amplify, elaborate and build upon what came before.

These skills explain the riveting music that Nearness presents over six long tracks. The album, released two weeks ago, consists of pieces cherry-picked from the duo’s run of concerts in Europe in 2011. It makes sense that it took the presence of an audience to bring Redman and Mehldau’s abilities into such sharp focus, and to spur them on to prolong their efforts on every song.

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