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Joshua Redman is one of the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists to have emerged in the decade of the 1990s. The early influences of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley, and his father, Dewey Redman, as well as The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, Earth, Wind and Fire, Prince, The Police, and Led Zeppelin drew Joshua more deeply into music. Although he loved playing the saxophone, academics were always his first priority, and he never seriously considered becoming a professional musician. After graduating from Harvard College with a B.A. in Social Studies, he had already been accepted by Yale Law School, but deferred entrance for what he believed was only going to be one year to join friends in Brooklyn. Redman almost immediately he found himself immersed in the New York jazz scene. In November 1991, five months after moving to New York, Redman was named the winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition.
Joshua Redman Quartet featuring Gabrielle Cavassa | Where Are We
Joshua now turns his attention to his next project, Where Are We, which will be released in September of 2023. Where Are We marks the first time that Joshua has included a vocalist (Gabrielle Cavassa) on a record, and features Aaron Parks on piano, Joe Sanders on bass, and Brian Blade on drums; with special guests Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar), Peter Bernstein (guitar), and Joel Ross (vibes). Joshua notes that “the surface concept of WHERE ARE WE is rather simple: each of the songs on the album is about, or at least makes reference to, a specific geographical location (city or state or region) in the United States: Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia,” Count Basie’s “Going To Chicago,” Rodgers & Hart’s “Manhattan” and John Coltrane’s Alabama,” etc etc… So, on one level, this is an album “about” America — at once a celebration and a critique. But it is also, to varying degrees, a ballads album, a standards album, an album of romantic longing, an album of social reflection, an album of melodic invention, an album of improvisational adventure, an album of mashups (stylistic and titular), perhaps even a tribute album of sorts.”
Conceived and planned during the pandemic lockdown, states Joshua, “it was a dream come true to finally have a chance to connect Aaron, Joe, and Brian — 3 of the most sublimely lyrical and deeply grooving musicians on the planet, who, somehow, had never
before played together as a rhythm section. And it was a transformative experience to collaborate with Gabrielle — a vocalist of uncommon style, sincerity, and soul. This was my first time ever recording with a singer on one of my own projects, and I relished the challenge of discovering and inhabiting new musical roles for myself — not only as a featured soloist and “lead” but also as a supportive accompanist and interlocutor. The magic of this particular gathering of musicians was that we were able to come together from points afar, to converge (physically and creatively) in a particular place at a particular time, and to embrace, with the fullest imagination and without the slightest reservation, the ethic of “serving the songs.” In this sense, WHERE ARE WE is perhaps above all, a meditation on the power and importance of place — the unique human beauty created when we locate ourselves in shared physical spaces together with others; the loss, anomie, and angst suffered when we divide ourselves unnaturally and unjustly apart.”