|LIVING ON THE EDGE, recorded in 1990, shows Dewey Redman expanding on the premises of the avant-garde jazz he has been associated with since the late '60s. Joined here by bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Eddie Moore (whose martial-flavored solo on the opener, "Boo Boodoop," is particularly notable), Redman finds superb support for his explorations. The personnel also includes Geri Allen, a versatile and highly skilled pianist long associated with the M-Base collective. Allen plays in several modes, ranging from melodic lyricism to violently fractured lines spiked with dynamic shifts and classical flourishes, and these traits perfectly complement Redman's playing.
Less frenetic and aggressive than some of Redman's '70s recordings, LIVING ON THE EDGE still packs a punch. "Mirror Windows," which directly recalls Ornette Coleman, shows that Redman has lost none of his velocity, while "As One" reveals the sax player's skills in a ballad context. The fare here is quite varied, and includes the soul-jazz of "Blues for J.A.M." and a surprisingly traditional take on "If I Should Lose You." With excellent performances all around, this set is one of Redman's stronger late-period releases.