Joshua Redman (featuring Brad Mehldau): Summertime
Joshua Redman (with Brad Mehldau)
Timeless Tales (for Changing Times) (Warner Brothers 47052)
Composed by George Gershwin & DuBose Heyward.
Recorded: New York, no date given (CD released in 1998)
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Summertime . . . and the fish are jumpin' in 5/4 time. From Sidney Bechet to Kenny G, saxophonists have delighted in rebuilding Gershwin's plaintive lullaby into various jazz configurations. But this is perhaps the most ambitious transformation I have yet heard of the popular standard. Mehldau has proven in other settings how skilled he is at unusual time signatures, and this recording is no exception. Check out the close of his solo where he quotes Gershwin's melody in the lower register, while pushing an insistent figure in the treble -- a great example of jazz multitasking. And Redman shows once again why he is considered one of the best soloists on the current scene. Grenadier and Blade also shine.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia