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Redman, Joshua

Joshua Redman

Saxophone

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Ever since saxophonist Joshua Redman burst onto the jazz scene in 1991, he has displayed the maturity and skill of a veteran, earning immediate recognition from critics and colleagues alike. As the winner of a prestigious talent competition in his early twenties, this young lion astounded listeners with a richness and technical precision, and has honed his ability over the years to become more soulful as well. His first album, Joshua Redman, was released on the Warner Brothers label in 1993, and since then, his output has continued to bring accolades. One of the so-called New Emotionalists, Redmans works aim to convey a raw power rather than an intellectual experience. Music doesnt come from music, music comes from life, he outlined to Jim Macnie in Down Beat. That means taking walks, hanging out, going to parties, reading, playing sports... the list is endless, right? Redmans approach has helped to popularize jazz to a wider audience. But not only is Redman an outstanding musician, he has a fascinating background, too. He had won a full scholarship to Harvard, graduated summa cum laude, and was set to enter law school when he decided to defer his education in order to concentrate on music for a while. Jazz became his permanent career, and he went on to release a number of albums as a leader, as well as appearing as a sideman on others. In 1998, he released his sixth major effort, Timeless Tales (For Changing Times).

Redman was born on February 1, 1969, in Berkeley, California. His mother, Renee Shedroff, is the daughter of Eastern European Orthodox Jewish immigrants. She was an amateur dancer and artists model who now works as a librarian. His father is Dewey Redman, a jazz saxophonist who worked with experimental jazz legend Ornette Coleman. His parents met in San Francisco during the mid-1960s and never married. Redmans father, who quit his job as a teacher in Texas to play jazz, was already working in New York with Coleman when his son was conceived on a visit from Shedroff. In fact, he had moved east in 1967 with another woman, but Shedroff was intent on having a child with him. After Redman was born, she left her modeling job in order to raise him, surviving on welfare in a one-bedroom apartment in Berkeley. Redmans mother passed along her passion for music, and her son showed talent from a young age. When Redman was just two-and-a-half years old, his mom took him to a concert featuring an Indian instrument called the gamelan, and when they returned home, he mimicked it by lining up pots and pans in order of the tones they produced. He also could play the recorder and clarinet.

When Redman was ten, he began playing tenor saxophone, thanks to a school program that loaned

For the Record

Born Joshua Shedroff, February 1, 1969, in Berkeley, CA; son of Dewey Redman (a jazz saxophonist) and Renee Shedroff (an artists model, dancer, and librarian); married, 1997. Education: Harvard University, degree in urban studies, 1991.

Began playing tenor sax, age ten; member of Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble, 1983-86; performed with Harvard Universitys jazz band and participated in informal jam sessions in the Boston area, 1986-91; moved to Brooklyn, NY and began performing in clubs; signed with Warner Brothers, 1992; released debut album, Joshua Redman, 1993; performed with President Bill Clinton on the White House lawn, 1993; toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, 1994.

Awards: The lonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, first place, 1991; Jazz Times best new artist, 1992; Rolling Stone hot jazz artist 1993; Down Beat critics poll, named number one tenor saxophonist (talent deserving of wider recognition), 1993; Down Beat readers poll, jazz artist of the year, 1994, and album of the year, 1994, for Wish; Rolling Stone critics poll, best jazz artist, 1994 and 1995.

Addresses: Record company Warner Brothers, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020.

instruments to low-income students. He was influenced by his mothers extensive record collection featuring the likes of Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Cannonball Adderly. In addition, he went with his mother to see his father play in concert about once a year when he came to town, although he has noted that he was not emulating his father by taking up the sax. His father was not involved in his upbringing, but Redman harbors no ill will. He told Stephen J. Dubner in New York, I have a good relationship with my dadits just not a father-son relationship. Its more of a buddy relationship, a mentor-student relationship. In fact, Redman took note of his fathers relative obscurity in the music industry and decided from a young age that he would pursue other roads. I wanted to make sure that even if I ended up in music, I would never be forced to do something that runs counter to my artistic instincts in orderto put food on the table, Redman explained to Zan Stewart in Down Beat.

Though Redman became a soloist with the prestigious Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble, he never wavered from his scholarly pursuits. After graduating as valedictorian of his class in 1986, he won a full scholarship to Harvard University, where he considered becoming a doctor before majoring in urban studies, planning on a career in law. I was very interested in addressing the social problems of the citypoverty, racism, homelessness, Remand related to Dan Ouellette in Down Beat. I thought being a lawyer would give me the best background to make a difference. As a respite from his studies, Redman continued to enjoy music, joining the jazz band at Harvard and playing gigs during his summers off from school. In 1989, in fact, he performed at the Village Vanguard in Manhattan with his father. After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1991 with a grade point average of 3.87, he took his law school entrance exams and received a perfect score. He was accepted at Harvard and Stanford as well as his first choice, Yale, but decided to take a one-year hiatus from academia in order to play music full-time.

After moving to New York, Redman rented a place with four friends in Brooklyn, not far from where his father lived, and they began seeing each other regularly for the first time and collaborating. They performed together and after about a year, released an album, Choices, for a small label out of Europe called enja. Becoming weary of the confusion surrounding why he and his father did not share a surname, Redman changed his last name. In 1991, after some prodding from his friends, he entered the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Instrumental Competition in Washington, D.C. The respected event was judged by big names Benny Carter, Branford Marsalis, Jackie McLean, Jimmy Heath, and Frank Wess, and offered a first prize of $10,000. Redman won it with his renditions of Jerry Valentines Second Balcony Jump, the ballad Soul Eyes by Mal Waldron, and Monks Evidence. As Dan Ouellette put it in Down Beat, He blew the rest of the saxophonists off the stage.

Initially skeptical of the idea of a competition, Redman felt music was too subjective to be ranked, but later he was pleased to have had the opportunity to showcase his talent. He remarked to Geoffrey Himes in the Washington Post that competitions are great for the cause of jazz, because Americans love competition, and that hook will get the public interested in young musicians they might never listen to otherwise. Winning the competition sparked Redmans career. He began receiving calls from luminaries like Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden; he was given the chance to work with people he respected. And, as part of his first prize, he was the featured performer at the Blues Alley club. Soon, record companies were dashing to sign him. A scout for Warner Brothers had seen him play at the Vanguard and again at the Monk competition, and knew he had found a gem. Warner Brothers signed Redman in 1992, and in 1993, after just a four-hour recording session, he released Joshua Redman. The album contained six original tunes and some covers of classic hits like Salt Peanuts, Body and Soul, and I Got You (I Feel Good).

Overall, critics were amazed that such a young, new musician could have such talent. Jazz is about improvisation, Redman told Paul Keegan in GQ. When I practice, I just pick up the horn and play through a song, taking the song to different keys, trying different improvisational ideas, experimenting with it. His approach worked, winning him comparisons to much more seasoned musicians, such as Sonny Rollins, and an outpouring of admiration. Stewart noted in Down Beat, Listening to the album, youre grabbed by Redmans sound. Its rich, weighty, and deep. And this fellow makes the music move, creating heat and interest, be it on a sultry blues or a come-hither ballad. Gene Seymour in Newsday remarked that Joshua Redman is simply the most startlingly assured debut album by a young jazz artist in memory. In Time, David E. Thigpen commented, Its been a long time since jazz produced a saxophonist with Redmans fearless improvisational skill and mature melodic sense. Some critics were somewhat less enthusiastic, claiming that Redmans style was a bit too reserved, but overall, praise was universal. The album sold more than 30,000 copies during its first four monthsa remarkable amount for a jazz recordingand was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Once word got out, other musicians desired Redman as a sideman. He played with veteran traditionalists such as Milt Jackson and Joe Williams, while also winning respect from eclectic players like Pat Metheny. He even performed in June of 1993 on the White House lawn with Illinois Jacquet and President Bill Clinton. In August of that year, he was a standout at a jam session at the Lincoln Center, showing up jazz greats like David Murray and George Coleman, then toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in 1994. In the meantime, he was collecting a slew of awards, being named the best new artist by the Jazz Times, 1992, hot jazz artist by Rolling Stone, 1993, and number one tenor saxophonist (talent deserving of wider recognition) in the Down Beaf critics poll, 1993.

Redmans second release, Wish, released in September of 1993, was recorded live and featured an all-star lineup including Metheny on guitar, Charlie Haden on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. The foursome rehearsed for only a few hours in order to capture that spontaneity that Redman cherished, and again, it was a success. Wish sold more than 90,000 copies in the United States and won the Down Beat readers poll for album of the year in 1994; Redman also won jazz artist of the year honors and narrowly missed being named best tenor sax player (Joe Henderson squeaked past). Still, some observers pointed out that Redman had not yet developed a distinctive style, one that would identify him by his unique sound. However, this was not held against him, especially in light of the fact that his talent, charisma, and attractiveness seemed to be welcoming a wider audience to the world of jazz. Another facet that endeared him to wider audiences was his use of popular songs remade as jazz tunes, such as Eric Claptons Tears in Heaven and Stevie Wonders Make Sure Youre Sure. Redmans next effort, Mood Swing, 1994, captured even more listeners, selling 104,000 copies. Some critics found it to be his finest work up to that point.

The mid-1990s found Redman on the road more than at home. In 1995, he released another album, but not from the studio. The double-CD set Spirit of the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard included originals and covers, and infused a bluesy feel that popularized Redmans music even more. He later expounded to Macnie in Down Beat, People have found my music to be accessible, and thats been both a blessing and a curse.... Some have said that because my music is accessible, I must be compromising itconforming it: to appeal to people. Implicitly that means it lacks substance.... I am who I am and I play the way I play, and the way I play has been and will be honest and from my soul.... To a lot of people, theres a natural opposition between great art and success. Thats a dangerous mindset.

As Redmans star rose, his reputation only blossomed. Britt Robson in the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote, that although there are moments when Redman still can fall prey to crowd-pleasing gimmickry, he deserves credit for refusing to rest on his laurels, showing constant improvement over the past four years. His trademark has become clipped phrases that are deftly strung together to create irresistibly swinging songs, brimming with tonal variation and creative turns. In 1996, Redman released Freedom in the Groove, which also proved to be fast-seller, and in 1998, he came out with Timeless Tales (For Changing Times). This collection boasted an interesting melange of pop tunes, including the Beatles Eleanor Rigby, Bob Dylans The Times They Are AChangirí, and other songs by artists ranging from Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and the Gershwins to Prince, Joni Mitchell, and Stevie Wonder.

Redman was married in 1997 and moved from his midtown Manhattan home to a New York City suburb. He enjoys reading and going to art museums, and likes the television show Star Trek. He was the first jazz musician to have a clothes designerDonna Karanas a corporate sponsor. Redman also appeared in director Robert Altmans 1996 film Kansas City, about the rise of the jazz scene there, as well as the criminal and political arenas, during the 1930s. As for Redmans outlook on the future of jazz, he responded that he has no idea what to expect: Thats what makes it exciting, Redman remarked to Martin Gayford in the Daily Telegraph. If I knew what it was going to look like, I wouldnt be so excited to be a part of it. Jazz is a music of surprise; its a music of spontaneity. I think jazz musicians liveI know I dofor being surprised and not knowing whats going to come next.

Selected discography

Joshua Redman, Warner Bros., 1993.

Wish, Warner Bros., 1993.

Mood Swing, Warner Bros., 1994.

Spirit of the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard, Warner Bros., 1995.

Freedom in the Groove, Warner Bros., 1996.

Timeless Tales (For Changing Times), Warner Bros., 1998.

Contributor

Dewey Redman, Choices, enja, 1992.

John Hicks, Friends Old and New, RCA, 1992.

Bob Thiele Collective, Louis Satchmo, Red Baron, 1992.

Danny Gatton and Bobby Watson, New York Stories, Blue Note, 1992.

Elvin Jones, Youngblood, enja, 1992.

Sources

Books

Contemporary Musicians, volume 12, Gale Research, 1994.

Periodicals

Daily Telegraph, October 31, 1998, p. 8.

Dallas Morning News, February 28, 1997, p. 30.

Down Beat, June 1993, p. 26; December 1994, p. 28; January 1996, p. 10; May 1996, p. 16; January 1999, p. 24.

Economist, January 22, 1994, p. 94.

Entertainment Weekly, September 30, 1994, p. 59; September 15, 1995, p. 106.

Essence, November 1994, p. 64.

GQ, June 1994, p. 93.

Los Angeles Times, November 1, 1997, p. F12.

Newsday, April 1, 1993, p. 67; October 7, 1993, p. 84; September 14, 1994, p. B7.

New York, January 24, 1994, p. 36.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), May 7, 1995, p. 1F; February 7, 1996, p. 1E; February 8, 1996, p. 4B.

Time, November 22, 1993, p. 76; November 30, 1998, p. 128.

Toronto Star, October 8, 1998.

Washington Post, December 3, 1993, p. N25.

Online

Joshua Redman, Yahoo! Music, http://musicfinder.yahoo.com (February 4, 1999).

Geri Speace

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Redman, Joshua 1969–

Joshua Redman 1969

Saxophonist

Picked Up Sax at Age Ten

Won Prestigious Competition

Jammed with President Clinton

Appeared in Altman Film

Selected discography

Sources

When saxophonist Joshua Redman arrived on the jazz scene in 1991, he astounded listeners with a richness and technical precision, earning immediate accolades from critics and colleagues alike. Redmans music has consistently conveyed a sense of raw power. His approach is emotional, rather than intellectual. Music doesnt come from music, music comes from life, he told Down Beat. That means taking walks, hanging out, going to parties, reading, playing sports the list is endless, right? Redmans approach has helped bring jazz to a wider audience.

Redman was born Joshua Shedroff on February 1, 1969, in Berkeley, California. His father, Dewey Redman, was a jazz saxophonist who worked with jazz legend Ornette Coleman. His mother, Renee Shedroff, was the daughter of Eastern European Orthodox Jewish immigrants who worked as an amateur dancer and artists model, but later became a librarian. The couple met in San Francisco during the mid-1960s and never married. Redmans father, who quit his job as a teacher in Texas to play jazz, moved east in 1967 with another woman, but Shedroff was intent on having a child with him. He was already working in New York with Coleman when his son was conceived during a visit from Shedroff. After Redman was born, his mother left her modeling job, surviving on welfare in a one-bedroom apartment in Berkeley, California. Although his father was not involved in his upbringing, Redman harbored no animosity. I have a good relationship with my dadits just not a father-son relationship, he told New York. Its more of a buddy relationship, a mentorstudent relationship.

Redmans mother had a passion for music, which she passed on to her son. Indeed, Redman showed talent from a young age. When he was just two-and-a-half years old, his mother took him to a concert which featured an Indian instrument called the gamelan. When they returned home, Redman began mimicking the gamelan by lining up pots and pans according to the tones they produced. He had also learned to play the recorder and the clarinet.

Picked Up Sax at Age Ten

Thanks to a school program that loaned instruments to low-income students, Redman began learning the tenor saxophone when he was ten years old. Influenced by his mothers extensive record collection, which included Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane,

At a Glance

Born Joshua Shedroff on February 1, 1969, in Berkeley, CA; son of Dewey Redman (a jazz saxophonist) and Renee Shedroff (an artists model, dancer, and librarian); married, 1997, Education: Harvard University, degree in urban studies, 1991.

Career: Saxophonist. Performed with Harvard Universitys jazz band and participated in informal jam sessions in the Boston Brothers, 1992; performed with President Bill Clinton on the White House lawn, 1993; toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, 1994; albums include: Joshua Redman, 1993; Wish, 1993; Mood Swing, 1994; Spirit of the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard, 1995; Freedom in the Groove, 1996; Timeless Tales (For Changing Times), 1998; Beyond, 2000; Passage of Time, 2001.

Awards: Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, first place, 1991; Jazz Times best new artist, 1992; Rolling Stone hot jazz artist 1993; Down Beat critics poll, named Number One Tenor Saxophonist (talent deserving of wider recognition), 1993; Down Beat readers poll, Jazz Artist of the Year, 1994; Down Beat readers poll, Album of the Year, 1994, for Wish; Rolling Stone critics poll, Best Jazz Artist, 1994 and 1995.

Addresses: Record company Warner Brothers, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020.

and Cannonball Adderly, he also went with his mother to see his father play in concert about once a year. However, Redman has noted that he did not take up the saxophone to emulate his father. However, Redman did take note of his fathers relative obscurity in the music industry and decided at a young age that he would pursue other avenues. I wanted to make sure that even if I ended up in music, I would never be forced to do something that runs counter to my artistic instincts in order to put food on the table, Redman explained in Down Beat.

In high school Redman was a soloist with Berkeley High Schools prestigious Jazz Ensemble. He graduated as valedictorian of his class in 1986, and won a full scholarship to Harvard University. He considered becoming a doctor, but decided to major in urban studies, planning on a law career. I was very interested in addressing the social problems of the citypoverty, racism, homelessness, Redman said in Down Beat. I thought being a lawyer would give me the best background to make a difference.

Redman joined Harvards jazz band and played gigs during his summers breaks. In 1989 he performed with his father at Manhattans Village Vanguard. After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1991, Redman passed his law school entrance exams, receiving a perfect score. He was accepted into the law schools of Harvard and Stanford as well as his first choice, Yale, but decided to take a year off in order to play music full-time.

Redman then moved to New York, renting a place with four friends in Brooklyn. Since he was now quite close to where his father lived, they began seeing each other regularly. They performed together and after about a year, released an album, Choices, for enja, a small label out of Europe. Previously known as Joshua Shedroff, the young musician changed his last name to Redman in order to avoid questions about why he did not have the same last name as his father.

Won Prestigious Competition

In 1991, after some prodding from his friends, he entered the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Instrumental Competition in Washington, D.C. The respected event, which offered a first prize of $10,000, was judged by Benny Carter, Branford Marsalis, Jackie McLean, Jimmy Heath, and Frank Wess. Redman competed and won with his renditions of Jerry Valentines Second Balcony Jump, the ballad Soul Eyes by Mai Waldron, and Monks Evidence. As Dan Ouellette put it in Down Beat, He blew the rest of the saxophonists off the stage. Although Redman was initially skeptical of the idea of a competitionhe felt music was too subjective to be rankedhe was pleased to have had the opportunity to showcase his talent. He remarked in the Washington Post that competitions are great for the cause of jazz, because Americans love competition, and that hook will get the public interested in young musicians they might never listen to otherwise.

Winning the competition ignited Redmans career. As part of his first prize, he appeared as the featured performer at the Blues Alley club. He soon began receiving calls from luminaries like Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden and he was given the chance to work with musicians he respected. Record companies were soon scrambling to sign him. Redman signed with Warner Brothers in 1992. The following year, after just a four-hour recording session, his first album, Joshua Redman, was ready for release. The album contained six original tunes and some covers of classic hits, including Body and Soul, Salt Peanuts, and I Got You (I Feel Good).

Critics were amazed by his talent. Zan Stewart noted in Down Beat, Listening to the album, youre grabbed by Redmans sound. Its rich, weighty, and deep. And this fellow makes the music move, creating heat and interest, be it on a sultry blues or a come-hither ballad. Gene Seymour of Newsday remarked that Joshua Redman is simply the most startlingly assured debut album by a young jazz artist in memory. In Time David E. Thigpen commented, Its been a long time since jazz produced a saxophonist with Redmans fearless improvisational skill and mature melodic sense. However, the album did also meet with somewhat less enthusiastic critics who claimed that Redmans style was a bit too reserved. It received a Grammy Award nomination.

Jammed with President Clinton

With his first album generating so much positive feedback, other musicians wanted to work with Redman. He played with veteran traditionalists Milt Jackson and Joe Williams, while at the same time winning respect from eclectic players like Pat Metheny. He even performed on the White House lawn with Illinois Jacquet and President Bill Clinton in June of 1993. In August of that year, he appeared at a jam session at the Lincoln Center, outshining jazz greats like David Murray and George Coleman. Redman then toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in 1994. In the meantime, he won numerous awards, including being named Best New Artist by the Jazz Times in 1992, and named Hot Jazz Artist by Rolling Stone in 1993. He was also named Number One Tenor Saxophonist (talent deserving of wider recognition) in the Down Beat 1993 critics poll.

Redmans second album, Wish, was released in September of 1993. Recorded live, the album featured an all-star lineup, including Pat Metheny on guitar, Charlie Haden on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. The foursome rehearsed for only a few hours before recording in order to capture the spontaneity that Redman valued. Wish sold more than 90,000 copies in the United States and won the Down Beat readers poll for Jazz Album of the Year in 1994. Redman also won Jazz Artist of the Year honors.

Still, some critics felt that Redman had not yet developed a distinctive style. However, this was not held against him, especially in light of the fact that his talent, not to mention his charisma and handsome features, seemed to attract more people to the world of jazz. Another facet that appealed to wider audiences was his use of popular songs, such as Eric Claptons Tears in Heaven and Stevie Wonders Make Sure Youre Sure, remade as jazz tunes. Redmans next effort, Mood Swing (1994), captured even more listeners, selling 104,000 copies.

In 1995 he released another album, but not from the studio. The double-CD set, Spirit of the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard, included originals and covers, and infused a bluesy feel that popularized Redmans music even more. He later commented in Down Beat, People have found my music to be accessible, and thats been both a blessing and a curse. Some have said that because my music is accessible, I must be compromising it-conforming it: to appeal to people. Implicitly that means it lacks substance I am who I am and I play the way I play, and the way I play has been and will be honest and from my soul. To a lot of people, theres a natural opposition between great art and success. Thats a dangerous mindset.

Appeared in Altman Film

As Redmans star rose, his reputation only blossomed. Britt Robson in the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote, that although there are moments when Redman still can fall prey to crowd-pleasing gimmickry, he deserves credit for refusing to rest on his laurels, showing constant improvement over the past four years. His trademark has become clipped phrases that are deftly strung together to create irresistibly swinging songs, brimming with tonal variation and creative turns. Redman appeared in director Robert Altmans 1996 film Kansas City, about the rise of the jazz scene there, as well as the criminal and political arenas, during the 1930s. In 1996 Redman released Freedom in the Groove, which also proved to be a fast-seller, and in 1998, he released Timeless Tales (For Changing Times). This collection boasted an interesting melange of pop tunes, including the Beatles Eleanor Rigby, Bob Dylans The Times They Are A-Changin, and other songs by artists ranging from Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hammerstein, to Prince, Joni Mitchell, and Stevie Wonder.

In 2000 Redman released his seventh album, Beyond, which featured all original compositions. For these compositions, Redman experimented with uneven time signatures and, in The Last Rites of Rock n Roll, Redman launched into an Eastern-sounding solo which, according to Andrea Lewis in The Progressive, may have listeners wondering if hes actually playing a saxophone. Although Redman enjoyed experimenting, he did not consider experimentation the most important aspect of music. The value lies in the emotionthe soul and the spirit of the music. he told The Progressive. The best grooves dont make you count. They just make you feel.

Passage of Time, an album which, according to Down Beats John McDonough, had ambition written all over it, was released in 2001. The album was presented as a continuous piece, intended to be digested whole, rather than track by track. However, Down Beat found this presentation far from ambitious, noting that, while the tracks were programmed continuously, the album was still essentially a series of pieces.

Redman was married in 1997 and moved to a New York City suburb. When asked what he thought the future of jazz might hold, he responded that he had no idea. Thats what makes it exciting, Redman told the Daily Telegraph. If I knew what it was going to look like, I wouldnt be so excited to be a part of it. Jazz is a music of surprise; its a music of spontaneity. I think jazz musicians liveI know I dofor being surprised and not knowing whats going to come next.

Selected discography

Joshua Redman, Warner Bros., 1993.

Wish, Warner Bros., 1993.

Mood Swing, Warner Bros., 1994.

Spirit of the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard, Warner Bros., 1995.

Freedom in the Groove, Warner Bros., 1996.

Timeless Tales (For Changing Times), Warner Bros., 1998.

Beyond, Warner Bros., 2000.

Passage of Time, Warner Bros., 2001.

Sources

Books

Contemporary Musicians, Volume 25, Gale, 1999.

Periodicals

Daily Telegraph, October 31, 1998, p. 8.

Dallas Morning News, February 28, 1997, p. 30.

Down Beat, June 1993, p. 26; December 1994, p. 28; January 1996, p. 10; May 1996, p. 16; January 1999, p. 24; June 2001, p. 65.

Economist, January 22, 1994, p. 94.

Entertainment Weekly, September 30, 1994, p. 59; September 15, 1995, p. 106.

Essence, November 1994, p. 64.

GQ, June 1994, p. 93.

Los Angeles Times, November 1, 1997, p. F12.

Newsday, April 1, 1993, p. 67; October 7, 1993, p. 84; September 14, 1994, p. B7.

New York, January 24, 1994, p. 36.

The Progressive, October 2000, p. 40.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), May 7, 1995, p. IF; February 7, 1996, p. IE; February 8, 1996, p. 4B.

Time, November 22, 1993, p. 76; November 30, 1998, p. 128.

Toronto Star, October 8, 1998.

Washington Post, December 3, 1993, p. N25.

Online

All Music Guide, http://www.allmusicguide.com (August 6, 2001).

Yahoo! Music, http://musicfinder.yahoo.com (February 4, 1999).

Geri Speace and Jennifer M. York

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Redman, Joshua

Joshua Redman

Saxophonist

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

In the spring of 1991 Joshua Redman was finishing up an undergraduate degree at Harvard University and jamming informally with friends in the Boston area. Two years later he was performing alongside fellow saxophonists Illinois Jacquet and U.S. President Bill Clinton on the White House lawn. Rarely has a jazz musician gone from obscurity to international stardom in such a brief span of time. By age 24 Redman had appeared onstage and on recordings with some of the greatest names in jazz, made two critically acclaimed albums under his own name, and toured nationally with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. With his stunning instrumental technique, intellectual prowess, and handsome appearance, Redman was by the spring of 1994 one of the most talked-about people in music.

Much like an earlier jazz wunderkind, Wynton Marsalis, who by the age of 19 was playing with Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers, Redman has received a great deal of attention because of his youth. Bassist Charlie Haden, for example, who appeared on Redmans second solo album, Wish, described the saxophonistto Down Beats Zan Stewart as very mature and very deepway ahead for his age. Yet Redman himself has seemed largely unimpressed with the hype. Im not a great jazz musician, he insisted to New Yorks Stephen J. Dubner. Im a beginner. Ive been playing this music seriously for two years. And, as he told James T. Jones IV of USA Today, Youth is not going to sell the music now. People are looking for substance.

It is that quest for substance in his own work that has prompted Redman to work extensively with veteran musicians. On Wish, for example, he was joined by guitarist Pat Metheny and drummer Billy Higgins in addition to Haden. It was a music lesson, he told Down Beats Pat Cole. It was a chance to learn from three of my idols. When he signed his recording contract with Warner Bros., he insisted that he be allowed to work as a sideman as well as a leader. Thats going to be an ongoing part of my career, he told Cole. Its very, very important for me to continue to play with master musicians.

Redmans musical education began at an early age. He was born in Berkeley, California, and was raised by his mother, Renee Shedroff, an artists model, dancer, and librarian with an Orthodox Jewish background. Shedroff observed her sons musical interests almost immediately; she related to Stewart of Down Beat, Even as a baby, I noticed he would perk up to any kind of musical sound. Id take Joshua to gamelan [percussion orchestra] concerts, and hed come home and line up pots and pans and dishes in sequence according to tone. When her son was only five, Shedroff enrolled Redman in music classes at Berkeleys Center for

For the Record

Born February 1, 1969, in Berkeley, CA; son of Dewey Redman (a jazz saxophonist) and Renee Shedroff (an artists model, dancer, and librarian). Education: Graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University, 1991.

Enrolled in music classes at Berkeleys Center for World Music at age five; after experimenting with recorder, guitar, and piano, began playing tenor saxophone at age 10; member of a jazz band at Berkeley High School, 1983-86; performed with Harvard Universitys jazz band and participated in informal jam sessions in the Boston area, 1986-91; moved to Brooklyn and began performing and recording with such jazz artists as drummers Elvin Jones and Jack DeJohnette, bassist Charlie Haden, and guitarist Pat Metheny; signed with Warner Bros., 1992, and released debut album, Joshua Redman, 1993; performed on the White House lawn with President Bill Clinton ,1993; performed extensively with his own quartet and toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, 1994.

Awards: First place award, Thelonius Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, 1991; named Best New Artist by Jazz Times, 1992, and Hot Jazz Artist of 1993 by Rolling Stone and #1 Tenor Saxophonist (Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition) by a Down Beat critics poll, both 1993.

Addresses: Record company Warner Bros., 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, 91505.

World Music and later encouraged his experimentations on recorder, piano, and guitar.

Shedroff also influenced Redman through her extensive record collection, which included discs by saxophonists John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderly, as well as Joshuas father, Dewey Redman, a well-respected and influential artist who played with fellow saxophonist Ornette Coleman for many years. During his youth, Joshua saw his father only once a year; nevertheless, as Redman pointed out to Herb Boyd of Detroits Metro Times, He still had a huge influence on my life. Ive listened to his records quite a bit over the years.

Even though Joshua later achieved the kind of commercial and critical success that had largely eluded his father, the younger Redman maintained cordial ties with his father. As he commented to New York writer Dubner, I have a good relationship with my dadits just not a father-son relationship. Its more of a buddy relationship, a mentor-student relationship.

Redman began performing on the tenor saxophone when he was ten. As he told Peoples David Grogan, he was drawn to the sound of the instrument, so commanding, yet at the same time so compassionate. He quickly became a proficient player and, after entering Berkeley High School in 1983, joined the schools big band. Yet he also made the important decision that academics would take precedence over music. As he told Down Beat contributor Stewart, I wanted to make sure that even if I ended up in music, I would never be forced to do something that runs counter to my artistic instincts in order to put food on the table. Redmans hard work paid off; he was valedictorian of his class and was accepted to Harvard on a full scholarship.

While at Harvard, Redman spent time with musicians at Bostons Berklee School of Music and participated in a few informal jam sessions, yet his focus remained mainly on his education. He graduated summa cum laude in 1991 and was accepted to Yale Universitys law school. The young saxophonist, however, decided to move to New York City and explore the music scene there before continuing his studies.

Redmans performing career shifted into high gear after he won first prize at the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, judged by such jazz luminaries as Benny Carter, Jackie McLean, and Branford Marsalis. Soon he was receiving offers to perform and record with some of the most important figures in jazz. In 1992 Warner Bros. Records Matt Pierson, who had been profoundly moved by Redmans performance at the competition, signed the saxophonist to a major contract.

Gary Giddins of the Village voicecalled Redmansself-titled first album for Warner Bros. one of the most impressive debut albums Ive ever heard and praised the conviction of the saxophonists performances as well as the sense of balance and architecture in his solos. The second album, Wish, was equally well received; Jim Fusilli of the Wall Street Journal called it jazz with a small combo at its best and commented that Redman displays a style that is respectful of the tradition but not overly bound by it. Wish featured an intriguing blend of repertory, including Ornette Colemans quirky blues Turnaround, several pieces by Redman himself, and a touching version of Eric Claptons Tears in Heaven, performed as a duet with Pat Metheny. A phenomenal commercial success, the album placed near the top of the jazz charts and within a week of its release became the most-played jazz album on radio stations nationwide, according to the Gavin Report.

Early 1994 saw Redman continuing to build an international reputation. He performed extensively with his own quartet, which featured the brilliant young bassist Christian McBride. On tour with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, he re-created Paul Gonsalvess famous 1956 solo on Duke Ellingtons Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue, though with an interpretation all his own. What the future holds for the young musician is uncertain, but there are undoubtedly many more peaks for Joshua Redman to climb.

Selected discography

Joshua Redman, Warner Bros., 1993.
Wish, Warner Bros., 1993.

Contributor to Dewey Redman, Choices, enja, 1992; John Hicks, Friends Old and New, RCA, 1992; Bob Thiele Collective, Louis Satchmo, Red Baron, 1992; Danny Gatton and Bobby Watson, New York Stories, Blue Note, 1992; Elvin Jones, Youngblood, enja, 1992; Kenny Drew, Jr., A Look Inside, Antilles, 1993; Eric Felten and Jimmy Knepper, T-Bop, Soul Note, 1993.

Sources

Billboard, July 3, 1993.

Down Beat, June 1993; December 1993; February 1994.

Metro Times, October 13, 1993.

New York, January 24, 1994.

New York Post, June 21, 1993.

New York Times, June 24, 1993.

People, May 10, 1993.

Time, November 22, 1993.

USA Today, November 22, 1993.

Vibe, November 1993.

Village Voice, April 13, 1993.

Wall Street Journal, November 15, 1993.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Warner Bros. Records, Inc., 1993.

Jeffrey Taylor

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Redman, Joshua

JOSHUA REDMAN

Born: Berkeley, California, 1 February 1969

Genre: Jazz


Jazz writers in the early 1990s called tenor saxophone player Joshua Redman the most important musician to emerge in the genre since trumpet legend Wynton Marsalis. Redman's string of popular albums and well-received tours have lived up to the hype. He has received some criticism for the cloying, traditional acoustic jazz sound of his early albums. Redman's twenty-first century recordings, however, such as Passage of Time (2001) and Elastic (2002), find him exploring new musical terrain and leaving his somewhat conservative be-bop image behind.

The son of the distinguished saxophonist Dewy Redman, Joshua was raised in New York City. His mother, Renee Shedroff, a Russian/Jewish dancer, encouraged his musical leanings by enrolling him in world music classes at the Center for World Music. As a child he also heard recordings by his father and master sax players such as Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane. At age ten, he began playing tenor sax.

Redman was a distinguished student. He graduated first in his high school class. He then went on to Harvard University, from which he graduated summa cum laude in 1991. While at Harvard he played with the university jazz band and spent his summers jamming with musicians from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, but his earliest intentions were to study medicine and then law.

Although he was accepted to Yale Law School, Redman began devoting himself to music after graduation and moved to New York City. In 1991 he won the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition and landed a recording contract. A year later he was voted Best New Artist in the 1992 Jazz Times readers' poll. His self-titled debut, Joshua Redman (1992), is a collection of Redman originals and jazz standards such as "Salt Peanuts," "Body and Soul," and "Tinkle Tinkle." Seemingly aware that some critics might find his acoustic style of jazz too staid, Redman asked in liner notes that his listeners "do not attempt to place it in a camp to which it does not belong, in the midst of a battlefield which should not exist." The album was a hit with critics and listeners, garnering Redman Rolling Stone 's Hot Jazz Artist Award of 1993 and the 1993 Downbeat Critics Poll for Number One Tenor Saxophonist (Talent Deserving Wider Recognition).

Redman's recordings following his debut tended to tread familiar ground. Wish (1994) is notable because it includes some startling songs with guitarist Pat Metheny and two live tracks recorded with Metheny at the Village Vanguard. Timeless Tales (1998), a collection of American popular music culled from legends such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell, marked a new phase in Redman's recording career. Later albums such as Passage of Time (2001) experiment with loosely organized conceptual songs. YaYa3 (2002), a side project Redman completed with drummer Brian Blade and keyboardist Sam Yahel, documents Redman's less ambitious but looser style and his adept soprano sax playing. Elastic (2003) is his most ambitious recording, incorporating a variety of electric sounds and an eclectic list of contemporary influences such as Björk, Radiohead, Weather Report, and Prince.

Redman's new moves on Yaya3 and Elastic suggest he has moved past the pressures of his early acclaim. Drawing on new influences and working in new settings, Redman is poised to become one of jazz's great mainstream innovators.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Joshua Redman (Warner Bros., 1992); Wish (Warner Bros., 1994); Moodswing (Warner Bros., 1994); Spirit of the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard (Warner Bros., 1995); Freedom in the Groove (Warner Bros., 1996); Timeless Tales (Warner Bros., 1998); Beyond (Warner Bros., 2000); Passage of Time (Warner Bros., 2001); Yaya3 (Loma, 2002); Elastic (Warner Bros., 2002).

WEBSITE:

www.joshuaredman.com.

shawn gillen

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"Redman, Joshua." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Redman, Joshua." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/redman-joshua