Joshua Redman

Tenor sax, composer.
b. Berkeley, Calfornia, 1 Feb 1969.

The son of saxophonist Dewey Redman and a Russian/Jewish dancer, Joshua Redman graduated summa cum laude from Harvard and turned down a chance to study law at Yale in order to become a professional musician. After winning the saxophone prize in the 1991 Thelonius Monk competition he embarked on a hectic but much-lauded recording binge, making albums with trombonists Eric Fetten and Jimmy Knepper, drummers Elvin Jones and Paul Motian (in his Electric Bebop Band), organist Melvin Rhyne, pianists Kenny Drew Jnr, John Hicks and Mike LeDonne, and fellow tenormen Joe Lovano and Dewey Redman. Much praised for his clear musical affiliation with swing masters as well as with later saxophonists, he cites Sonny Rollins as his main influence, but also admires Dexter Gordon, Coltrane, Stanley Turrentine and Illinois Jacquet. He is as likely to bring his infectiously enthusiastic, grainy sound to pop tunes by the likes of Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton as to more jazz-based fare, and has a refreshingly modest and likeable onstage demeanour.

[Chris Parker]

CD Joshua Redman (1192; Warner). Covering ground from James Brown through Monk to standards, this debut caused something of a sensation in the jazz world; sidemen include Mike LeDonne and bassist Christian McBride.

CD Wish (1993; Warner). A stellar band - Pat Metheny, Chalrie Haden and Billie Higgins - help Redman swing enjoyably through Stevie Wonder's "Make Sure You're Sure" to Ornette Coleman's "Turnaround", plus a number of band-member originals. Another high-profile, big-selling album.

CD MoodSwing (1994; Warner). Redman leads his own young quartet - Brad Mehldau (piano), Christian McBride (bass) and Brian Blade (drums) - through a set of pithy self-penned material - a cogent, intelligent and lively programme.