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Joshua Redman Live at Yoshis

Residing as I do in San Francisco, I’ve long had connected the surname "Redman" with jazz. Joshua’s late father, Dewey, was a well known jazz musician, and I was aware from him through his dates with Ornette Coleman, his membership in the band Old and New Dreams, and his occasional gigs here.

Dewey’s star has been eclipsed by his son, Joshua, who is something of an unintentional jazz star. Born in 1969, Joshua Redman was raised as Joshua Shedroff in Berkeley, California by his mother, elementary-school librarian Renee Shedroff. His mother introduced him to the saxophone at age 10 and then supplemented this with introductions Indian and Indonesian music. Joshua went on to graduate summa cum laude from Harvard University (with a B.A. in Social Studies in 1991) and planned to attend Yale Law School but took a year off to pursue music. That year proved eventful, as he won first place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and thus had found his path. Joshua went on to record CDs and become the first artistic director of the SFJAZZ Collective in San Francisco (2002 2007).

On this particular Sunday evening, Joshua and his trio take the stage at Yoshis in Oakland. Tall and with shaven head, Redman launches into the first number "Hutchhiker’s Guide," fingering his tenor fluidly. The tune is named after drummer Greg Hutchinson, who has backed Red Rodney and Betty Carter, and Hutchinson soon launches into a solo. Then, Joshua introduces the poignant "Zarafah," a tune dedicated to his mother, which he played on soprano saxophone. He then sits and finger pops through a bass solo, before playing another penetrating solo. Next, it’s "Identity Thief" followed by a funky "Hey Mama" during which Joshua honks on his horn. Bassist Matt Pennman -who hails from Auckland, New Zealand and currently plays with the SFJAZZ Collective - solos. The set concludes with "Angel Eyes." The band leaves the stage, but the ringing applause brings them back. Joshua’s signature tune, "Back East", has all eyes riveted on the man and his horn. A pleased audience exits - enriched and fulfilled.

Joshua Redman's latest recording is Compass.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Joshua Redman
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