Joshua Redman / Joshua Redman Quartet

Come What May

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The band at the core of saxophonist Joshua Redman's warmly engaging 2019 album, Come What May, has played together in various configurations for almost 20 years. Featured are pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. They have worked as a quartet on 2000's Beyond, and 2001's Passage of Time, and as a pianoless trio (minus Goldberg) on 2014's Trio Live. Each musician has a wealth of experience and bring it to bear on their work here. In some ways, Come What May arrives as an intimate counterpoint to the saxophonist's more outré 2018 album Still Dreaming, in which he drew upon his father Dewey Redman's work with Ornette Coleman in the '70s and '80s. In contrast, Come What May feels looser, more off the cuff, like a relaxed meeting between old friends. There's a dance-like quality to many of the songs here, like the 3/4 "Circle of Life," which has a kaleidoscopic energy reminiscent of Dave Brubeck's work. Similarly, "Stagger Bear," with its bluesy piano, brings to mind the cabaret swagger of Bob Fosse. The humorously titled "DGAF" also has a kinetic sense of movement, as Redman propels himself through the song's contrapuntal, klezmer-esque design. However, it's during the album's more ruminative moments as on the wave-like "Vast" and the plaintively earthy title track, that Redman achieves a more restful apotheosis. In these moments, with his sax cradled in his band's empathetic embrace, Redman evokes the feeling of letting go and sinking into a soulful, late-afternoon reverie.

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