Joshua Redman: Alone in the Morning


Alone in the Morning


Joshua Redman (tenor sax)


Moodswing (Warner 45643-2)

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Joshua Redman (tenor sax), Brad Mehldau (piano), Christian McBride (bass), Brian Blade (drums).

Composed by Joshua Redman


Recorded: New York, March 8-10, 1994


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Joshua Redman's third CD found him heading up what might be assumed to have been an all-star lineup assembled just for this studio date, yet this was indeed his working group at the time, and maybe the best he has ever led. Mehldau and McBride were just starting to record under their own names, and Blade would soon follow. Redman's liner note essay emphasizing the expressive nature of jazz, as opposed to "the popular perception of jazz as an intellectual exercise," fully applies to the inviting Moodswing, especially with such able and compatible "sidemen" as these.

Redman skillfully composed all the diverse tracks on the CD, and "Alone in the Morning" is a lilting bossa nova that Stan Getz would probably have turned into a hit back in the day. The floating, pleasurable theme is enhanced by Redman's bright, slightly grainy tone, and is played over Blade's expertly delivered rhythm. Redman's solo has all the characteristics that made his playing so appealing and kept his popularity on a steady rise: structural detail, fresh phrasing, vibrant runs, and a prevailing warm and welcoming essence. Mehldau succeeds him with a lightly intoned solo that features glistening runs and effectively sparse left-hand accents. When Redman once again lithely performs the melody, it sounds like a classic Brazilian creation by Jobim. If this is how Redman felt "alone in the morning" when he wrote this piece, then he definitely got up on the right side of the bed.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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