Thursday, March 15, 2012
Joshua Redman: Moodswing
Read the full PopMatters review here: Joshua Redman: Moodswing
Moodswing is appealing, but not anything truly new or daring for a jazz quartet to pull off. And that is where any judgment of Moodswing probably has to land. It’s terrific music, but it is played over well-traveled territory. In jazz, that’s common and just fine, but it doesn’t really live up to Redman’s liner-note manifesto in emotional directness. As great as the band is, with a vintage that now spins our heads, in 1994, this was a young working band making its first recording. I’d call it lovely but not essential, incredibly fun but not ... moving. Not that it doesn’t make me feel something. Good jazz always does. If that’s not true for every music fan, I’m not inclined to lay it at the feet of a single saxophone player, particularly one with such range, tone, and ambition. Josh Redman was under no compunction to lead a movement. Moodswing shows how fine even a merely good date is by a strong player.