Joshua Redman Elastic Band

Elastic

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Coming fast on the heels of Redman's collaborative Yaya3 date with the same players (organist Sam Yahel and drummer Brian Blade), Elastic is more about pop/soul-funk than jazz, but it doesn't sacrifice any of Yaya3's organic feeling and improvisational focus. Here Yahel plays not only Hammond organ, but also Fender Rhodes, clavinet, and other assorted electric keys. Redman makes liberal use of overdubbing and signal processing, much of which is surprisingly subtle. The result is quite a lot of sound for three people, quite a lot of inspired blowing, and quite a lot of stylistic ground covered. Highlights include the agitated, over-the-top "Still Pushin' That Rock," the tight funk and involved lines of "Jazz Crimes" and "News from the Front," and the slow gospel of "Can a Good Thing Last Forever?" Redman seems fond of the Rhodes-soprano sax combination, particularly on mellower themes like "The Long Way Home" and "Unknowing." While one has to admire Redman's musical open-mindedness, his writing can take on a middle-of-the-road quality at times; on this record it surfaces on "Boogielastic". It says something that Yahel contributed the most alluring piece, a short-and-sweet song in five called "Oumou."

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