I was a bit skeptical upon first hearing of The Bad Plus Joshua Redman (Nonesuch). BP members Reid Anderson (bass), Ethan Iverson (piano), and Dave King (drums) have asserted in the past that their trio is a collaborative effort and that each of them strive to contribute equally as players, composers, and artist I wondered how Joshua Redman would change the dynamic of the tightly knit triumvirate who have been playing together for 15 years. When I think of Redman, I picture him as being featured out in front of a rhythm section, not blending within one. He attracts a lot of attention onstage and not only because of his musical prowess. He is an exciting performer who kicks up his knees and bobs up and down and… maybe I am wrong but I seem to remember a performance in Tokyo where he took his shirt off while playing a saxophone solo. The trio rarely invites musicians into their circle of trust and I questioned how Redman would handle the challenge of joining the cohesive, clearly defined unit that is The Bad Plus.
Monk Award winning trumpeter Marquis Hill has been dazzling for quite some time. Each release of his keeps pushing boundaries and making for inspiring work. His latest work, Modern Flows EP, Vol 1, from last year is a chill affair that keeps that Chicago sound of his going. Recently, Hill put out a video for the song "Love My Life" Legendmane on vocals and shot by Phil Jordan. Check it out after the jump.
I was deeply saddened on Tuesday to hear about the passing of former Blue Note president and CEO Bruce Lundvall, who helmed the legendary label for 25 years from its revival in 1984. I was fortunate enough to meet the man in 2009 when he received the inaugural Bruce Lundvall Award given since then by the Montreal International Jazz Festival to a prominent non-musician who has left a mark on the world of jazz or contributed to its development, whether through the media, concert or record industry. Don’t ask me how but Justin, Nextbop’s other co-founder, somehow managed to get us an audience with Mr. Lundvall. I will always remember how polite he was and how interested in our naive aspirations he remained giving us tidbits of advice on how to proceed with our website, which we had just launched a few days earlier. I couldn’t believe that the revered president of Blue Note Records took time, in all humility, to sit down with a pair of 23 year old dreamers and truly treated them as equals. “Bruce was a one-of-a-kind, larger-than-life human being,” said Don Was, current Blue Note President. “His Joie de Vivre was equaled only by his love for music, impeccable taste and kind heart. He will be sorely missed by all of us who loved and admired him but his spirit will live forever in the music of Blue Note Records”. Mr. Lundvall, our deepest most sincere condolences go to your family and friends and we truly thank you for the remarkable and unprecedented legacy you have left behind, contributing to making jazz the exciting music it is today. This week’s Sounds For Sunday playlist was curated in you honor featuring music produced during your time overseeing Blue Note. Hear tracks by Norah Jones, Aaron Parks, Robert Glasper, Jacky Terrasson, Michel Petrucciani, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Stanley Jordan, Bobby McFerrin & Chick Corea, Joe Lovano, Terence Blanchard, Jason Moran and Madlib after the break. In lieu of flowers, Bruce’s family requests that a donation be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The Bad Plus is likely responsible for single-handedly changing my whole view of jazz music. Prior to discovering their revolutionary These Are the Vistas, I was stuck listening to a lot of hard bop, mostly from the Blue Note catalog. They opened my eyes to a fresh, new and exciting take on jazz music, which is one of the main reason this site was created in the first place. Thank you The Bad Plus. The same can be said for Joshua Redman, who since winning the Monk Competition in 1991, has had a prolific career. I remember listening to Elastic and Momentum ad nauseam. Same thing can be said of his most recent James Farm albums. So it’s only fitting that these two groundbreaking forces of jazz music would eventually collide. Catch a full set by The Bad Plus Joshua Redman filmed last year at the Detroit Jazz Festival below. Their collaborative self-titled album is scheduled to drop next week, but can be streamed on NPR’s First Listen until then. Enjoy!