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Joshua Redman/Brad Mehldau: Nearness *

Track List

>Ornithology
>Always August
>In Walked Bud
>Mehlsancholy Mode
>Nearness of You, The
>Old West

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

Nonesuch Records releases saxophonist Joshua Redman and pianist Brad Mehldau's Nearness , a selection of duets recorded live during their recent European tour and the longtime friends' and collaborators' first duo album, on September 9, 2016. The vinyl edition of Nearness is on 2 140g LPs pressed at Record Industry in a single pocket jacket with insert and download card.

Album Notes

Personnel: Joshua Redman (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Brad Mehldau (piano).

Audio Mixer: Paul Boothe.

Recording information: All Blues Jazz Classics, Kultur Casino, Bern, Switzerla (07/07/2011); Alte Oper (Pro Arte Frankfurter Konzertdirektion), Fran (07/07/2011); Festival Internacional de Jazz de Madrid, Teatro Fernán (07/07/2011); Jazz Nights (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion), Tonhalle (07/07/2011); Kongsberg Church, Konsberg, Norway (07/07/2011); North Sea Jazz, De Oosterpoort, Groningen, Netherlands (07/07/2011); All Blues Jazz Classics, Kultur Casino, Bern, Switzerla (11/12/2011); Alte Oper (Pro Arte Frankfurter Konzertdirektion), Fran (11/12/2011); Festival Internacional de Jazz de Madrid, Teatro Fernán (11/12/2011); Jazz Nights (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion), Tonhalle (11/12/2011); Kongsberg Church, Konsberg, Norway (11/12/2011); North Sea Jazz, De Oosterpoort, Groningen, Netherlands (11/12/2011); All Blues Jazz Classics, Kultur Casino, Bern, Switzerla (11/14/2011); Alte Oper (Pro Arte Frankfurter Konzertdirektion), Fran (11/14/2011); Festival Internacional de Jazz de Madrid, Teatro Fernán (11/14/2011); Jazz Nights (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion), Tonhalle (11/14/2011); Kongsberg Church, Konsberg, Norway (11/14/2011); North Sea Jazz, De Oosterpoort, Groningen, Netherlands (11/14/2011); All Blues Jazz Classics, Kultur Casino, Bern, Switzerla (11/16/2011); Alte Oper (Pro Arte Frankfurter Konzertdirektion), Fran (11/16/2011); Festival Internacional de Jazz de Madrid, Teatro Fernán (11/16/2011); Jazz Nights (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion), Tonhalle (11/16/2011); Kongsberg Church, Konsberg, Norway (11/16/2011); North Sea Jazz, De Oosterpoort, Groningen, Netherlands (11/16/2011); All Blues Jazz Classics, Kultur Casino, Bern, Switzerla (11/23/2011); Alte Oper (Pro Arte Frankfurter Konzertdirektion), Fran (11/23/2011); Festival Internacional de Jazz de Madrid, Teatro Fernán (11/23/2011); Jazz Nights (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion), Tonhalle (11/23/2011); Kongsberg Church, Konsberg, Norway (11/23/2011); North Sea Jazz, De Oosterpoort, Groningen, Netherlands (11/23/2011); All Blues Jazz Classics, Kultur Casino, Bern, Switzerla (11/24/2011); Alte Oper (Pro Arte Frankfurter Konzertdirektion), Fran (11/24/2011); Festival Internacional de Jazz de Madrid, Teatro Fernán (11/24/2011); Jazz Nights (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion), Tonhalle (11/24/2011); Kongsberg Church, Konsberg, Norway (11/24/2011); North Sea Jazz, De Oosterpoort, Groningen, Netherlands (11/24/2011).

Editor: Brian Montgomery.

Photographer: Michael Wilson .

Nearness finds acclaimed jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and pianist Brad Mehldau teaming up for a set of loose yet heartfelt duo performances. Collaborators since they first began playing together in Redman's quartet in the early '90s, Mehldau and Redman have forged their own distinct solo careers. While they have continued to work together in various settings, the duo put a spotlight on their creative friendship with their 2011 tour. Nearness features live performances captured during the European leg of that tour, including tapings in Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway. These are dazzlingly collaborative performances that reveal Redman and Mehldau to be a highly intuitive and harmonically adroit team. While there are a handful of original compositions here, the pair also tackle several jazz standards, including a brisk, kinetic reading of Charlie Parker's "Ornithology" and a laid-back if no less invigorating take on Thelonious Monk's "In Walked Bud." Elsewhere, they take a similarly inventive approach on several originals, including Redman's warmly burnished "Mehlsancholy Mode" and Mehldau's skipping, bluesy "Old West." What makes these recordings so engaging is the way Mehldau and Redman play off each other, dancing around the melody, weaving in and out of the harmony like rambunctious birds sparring over scattered seed. It's a conversational style that comes off as both a game of hot potato and let's finish each other's sentences. Sometimes, as on "Ornithology," it almost sounds as if Redman starts a song one way and then Mehldau switches up the conversation, taking them down a wholly alternate route. Other times, as in Mehldau's poignantly rendered "Always August," they build a detailed musical architecture, their nuanced improvisational lines forming ascending and descending stairways, grandly domed halls, and hidden dulcet nooks. ~ Matt Collar



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