Jazz Night In America: 'Still Dreaming'

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Thursday June 22, 2017


Jazz Night In America: Still Dreaming – Joshua Redman’s Tribute To A Tribute
By:Nate Chinen

When Joshua Redman blew onto the scene in the early 1990s ‘” a saxophonist brimming with intellect and energy, but refreshingly unhurried with his cadence ‘” one salient thing to know about him was that he came from a line of musical descent. His father, Dewey Redman, also played the saxophone (mainly tenor), and had come to prominence in the 1960s avant-garde, notably through an affiliation with Ornette Coleman.The younger Redman had been raised by his mother out in Berkeley, Calif., and didn’t know his father all that well. But they connected musically during his undergraduate years at Harvard, while he was pursuing jazz on the side. (In 1989, the summer before his senior year, he accepted his father’s invitation to sit in for a week at the Village Vanguard.) After Joshua won the 1991 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, setting off a major-label bidding war, patrilineage became a part of his narrative, one way of explaining his bounding talent.Dewey Redman died in 2006, at 75. His son played a stark and plaintive solo rumination at his memorial. He had no intention of organizing a larger tribute to his father at the time ‘” but when bassist Charlie Haden also died, not quite a decade later, something began to stir.“Charlie brought out the love in my father’s playing: a warmth, tenderness and honesty that few others brought out to the same degree,” Joshua Redman said at Haden’s memorial, his voice wobbling slightly. “In a strange way,” he added, “Charlie helped me to love my father.” It wasn’t long after this moment that Redman began to think about a lot about Old and New Dreams…

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