Saxophonist Joshua Redman's third album as a leader is cause for celebration, because here's a young jazzman gifted with all manner of technical gifts, yet he places a premium on feeling and communication. MOODSWING is just that, a series of ... Full Descriptionchanges, alternating between the cool and the hot--each arrangement depicting some aspect of Redman's wide-ranging musical personality.
So it comes to pass that a long jump tune such as "Rejoice" (the centerpiece of MOODSWING) celebrates the gospel aspects of jazz in the tried and true manner of the original Jazz Messengers, even as a low-key "Faith" derives its inspiration from quieter forms of devotion, while "Dialogue" manages to combine both as Redman expounds on a quiet Aylerish hymn with escalating intensity.
As with his previous recordings, listeners are left with the sense that young Joshua Redman is mature beyond his years. On a cool, swinging minor blues vamp such as "Chill," the ease with which he manipulates the timbres of his saxophone recall old-time tenor kings from the swing era. And yet, Redman is very much the contemporary thinker, as his funky closing tune "Headin' Home" illustrates. Whether playing R&B or hard bop, ballads or swing, blues or latin, it's the total conviction Joshua Redman brings to every note that makes MOODSWING a joy.
Recorded at Power Station, New York on March 8-10, 1994. Includes liner notes by Joshua Redman.