Joshua Redman Quartet (Philadelphia Weekly)

November 13, 2013

By Bill Chenevert


Joshua Redman is in the prime of his musical career (And to think: We almost lost him to law school). The dude is smart as hell—he's got a Phi Beta Kappa BA from Harvard and was accepted to Yale Law—but took a temporary leave from academia to destroy the jazz world. In 1991, Redman won theThelonius Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, and he's never looked back. It wasn't too long afterward that he was collaborating with the greats of New York City's thriving jazz scene and signing a recording contract with Warner Brothers, who released his self-titled debut 20 years ago, earning him his first Grammy nomination, the first of several awards and accolades. The thing about Redman is—and this is worth knowing about tonight—he's an extremely flexible saxophonist. In addition to having mastered tenor, alto and soprano horns, he's also perfected the art of bending his instrument to the genre. He's played with tons of jazz greats, but he first crossed my radar playing with one of my all-time favorite jazz-soul outfits, Soulive. Redman's also worked with folks like the Roots, Yo-Yo Ma, John Scofield, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Logic and Quincy Jones. At the Annenberg, though, you can expect him to be dwelling in his latest, a more classical effort, this year's Walking Shadows. And by bringing in friends to ably fulfill piano (Aaron Goldberg), bass (Reuben Rogers) and percussion duties (Gregory Hutchinson), Redman's sure to deliver yet another sophisticated, expertly executed jazz set.