Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Joshua Redman 

Wednesday-Saturday, October 23-26; Jazz at the Bistro

Given the rather conservative booking policies at the Midtown club Jazz at the Bistro, the engagement of tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman and his Elastic Band represents a bit of a departure. It's true that when the Berkeley-bred, Harvard-educated Redman released his debut album in 1993, many critics and listeners lumped him in with the post-Marsalis neoconservative movement in jazz. And judging from his subsequent output -- eight albums of acoustic jazz featuring a mix of veterans such as Charlie Haden and the late Billy Higgins and younger musicians schooled in the bop tradition -- Redman would seem to be a seamless fit into the club's usual formula of hard bop, Latin jazz and vocalists mining the great American songbook.

But Redman's latest recorded effort marks a significant change in direction for the 33-year-old saxophonist. Part postmodern organ trio, part homage to the brand of '70s jazz fusion exemplified by Weather Report, Elastic features longtime Redman associate Brian Blade on drums and NYC keyboardist Sam Yahel on organ, Rhodes piano and synths. Though funky rhythms and electronic keyboard textures are everywhere, the trio manages to avoid smooth-jazz clichés, thanks in large part to Redman's Shorteresque economy and tunes that are more harmonically complex and formally challenging than much of today's electric jazz. With roots in informal jams that began in late-'90s NYC, the Elastic Band would seem to be a genuinely organic outgrowth of Redman's musical explorations rather than a cynical grab for radio airplay.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Latest in Critics' Picks

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 12, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2022 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation