Saxophonist and composer Joshua Redman is joined by drummer Brian Blade, bassist Scott Colley, and cornetist Ron Miles for Still Dreaming—an album inspired by his father Dewey Redman's 1976–1987 band, Old and New Dreams.
Along with the senior Redman, Old and New Dreams featured an all-star lineup of Ornette Coleman collaborators—cornetist Don Cherry, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Ed Blackwell—who continued pushing musical boundaries as they had with Coleman even after their former bandleader moved in a new direction. Still Dreaming features six new compositions by the new band as well as one tune by Haden and one from Coleman.
"It all makes for a jazz adventure that begs for repeated listening," says Lexington Herald-Leader music critic Walter Tunis. "The more you tune in, the more you hear the present day curators of a sublime jazz legacy forging its music into something unmistakably new." The Still Dreaming ensemble performed a series of critically praised international dates last year. The Columbus Dispatch said, "Whether exploring the limits of improvisation or establishing an emotional tone, the group … relied on a dialogue based on listening, respect, and generosity … Its emotional travel was the result of the intuition shared by all four musicians. That dialogue, after all, was at the center of Coleman's innovations."
As Redman told NPR's Jazz Night in America: "I envisioned this band with myself and Ron Miles and Scott Colley and Brian Blade … Each of us has a kind of special relationship to the corresponding instrumentalist in Old and New Dreams." Blade, like Blackwell, is from Louisiana; Colley was a student of Haden's; and Miles has long been influenced by Cherry's playing.
Redman told the Boston Globe that Old and New Dreams "were able to play very free, and at times abstract, thorny music. But at the same time there was a folk quality—whether a connection to the blues, or with African music, or with very powerful, simple melodies. Their music had a vulnerability and a poignant lyricism. That balance was something very special." He continued, "It's not our mission to go back and rediscover some Golden Age. I'm hoping this is a band that has a lot of future ahead."
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