Stylistic changes, musical experiments and idealistic tangents aside, saxophonist Joshua Redman
still possesses in his hands and heart enough promise and holds enough soul in the yet-to-be played notes that he requires, no, deserves
. He can swing it ("Salt Peanuts"), ride it in the pocket (check "Groove X"), play it understated and simmering (Stevie Wonder's "Make Sure You're Sure") and put a rock in a stinky place on the Funk tip (hear all his work with bassist Me'Shell Ndegécello). Redman will no doubt be one of those players --when he finally does age musically -- that will blindside us with a musical left, a contribution we all knew he always had in him but was himself unaware of or unprepared to offer up. Still, Redman, along with the Marsalis brothers, has proven that latter-day Jazz can be played to the masses. This is not just your parents' Jazz anymore. And whatever his recordings say (or don't) about his musical statements, when Redman plays live he proves himself to be a confident leader, an adventurous improviser and musically well read.
Joshua Redman plays The Greenwich Monday night.
-- kathy y. wilson