In 2011, The Bad Plus
invited saxophonist Joshua Redman to join them for a week of enthusiastically received performances at the Blue Note in New York City
. They then played a handful of dates before heading into the studio last year to record their debut album, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman
, which is out now on Nonesuch Records in North America (June 8 for the rest of the world). To pick up a copy now, head to your local music shop, iTunes, Amazon, or the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include a download of the complete album at checkout and the HD digital album is also available to purchase there.
Seven of the nine tracks on The Bad Plus Joshua Redman
are new compositions by the quartet members: Redman and The Bad Plus bassist Reid Anderson
, pianist Ethan Iverson
, and drummer David King
. The other two songs on the album, Dirty Blonde" and Silence Is the Question, are new arrangements of Bad Plus favorites.
Given what a rare combination of artists this project brings, As a chemistry experiment, the album is a knockout," exclaims the New York Times music critic Nate Chinen. And given how different Redman's style is from the trio's, it is impressive how much vital presence he brings to the Bad Plus without altering the band's dynamic." This proves true straight through the end of the album, Silence Is the Question." Beginning in a hush and slowly building to a roar, says Chinen, it's the album's closing track, for good reason: By the all-important metric of group cohesion, it couldn't be any more convincing." Read the complete review at nytimes.com.
The album is a roaring and beautiful summit meeting," says NPR's Tom Moon. The ideas are impressive by themselves, but become more powerful as Redman and the rhythm section go about developing them ... [T]he real triumph of The Bad Plus Joshua Redman: It exhibits genuinely fresh thinking." The album, he concludes, draws on a range of old ideas (as old as Chopin nocturnes and '60s rock) as fuel for a journey into the murky, terrifying, thrilling unknown."
Of a recent show in Great Barrington, MA, Albany's Metroland said, The newly christened Bad Plus Joshua Redman took the stage … and proceeded to raise the roof. In a word, the music the quartet produces is sublime. More than that, it's as though Redman is the long-lost fourth member of the group, just waiting to be snapped snugly into place." The quartet plays dates in North America including New York's Blue Note Jazz Festival (Highline Ballroom, June 10) and the Montreal International Jazz Festival (Théâtre Maisonneuve, June 26) before heading off to Europe.
The Bad Plus has almost exclusively performed as a trio for its nearly 20-year existence. Guests occasionally join the band in concert, but only one of their previous 10 albums has included a fourth member. Redman, however, has long enjoyed mixing his musical partners. He has collaborated with Brian Blade
, Christian McBride
, Brad Mehldau
, and Pat Metheny
, as well as with the SFJAZZ Collective
and his bandmates in James Farm
On the live gigs, Josh plays magnificent, long tenor solos which are very much in the jazz tradition, said Iverson. That's obviously not the focus when we play as The Bad Plus. It's fun to for us to enjoy that extended blowing territory, especially with someone as great as Josh. On the album, however, there is still a focus on composition."
Anderson told Minneapolis' Star Tribune: Josh is a professional of the highest order. He came in knowing our music to the point of memorizing it, with great, positive energy."
Redman adds, Playing with The Bad Plus has allowed me to explore a part of my playing, and my musical heritage, that I've never before accessed in quite the same way with any other group. The adventure with The Bad Plus pushes me toward the fringes and draws me into the core."