Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, & BrianBlade —
RoundAgain ... LP Nonesuch, 2020. New Copy ...
One of those rare cases where an all-star group is really worth the weight of its talent – as this quartet really sounds wonderful together, and make you know that you're in for a treat right from the very first note in the set! The best energy of the record might come from the rhythmic conception of drummer BrianBlade, and maybe a bit of the spirit of bassist Christian McBride – because pianist Brad Mehldau and tenorist Joshua Redman come off with all these really inventive, creative elements – very much structured around a sense of rhythm, although one that's nicely complex at most moments – a less-familiar sort of swing, and we mean that in the best way possible. Titles include "Father", "Floppy Diss", "Your Part To Play", ":Moe HOnk", "Right Back Round Again", and "Undertow". LP, Vinyl record album
An important Blue Note set from the end of the 90s – a record that marked a bit of a shift in the label's approach, and really set the scene for a more open ear to new sounds to come! BrianBlade's a drummer, but the set is definitely the work of a warm fellowship in jazz – a well-matched group of players that includes Myron Walden on alto, Melvin Butler on tenor and soprano, John Cowherd on acoustic piano and Wurlitzer, and Christopher Thomas on bass – all working through mostly original material by Blade that has this slow burn and soulful sparkle – often mellow, but without every being too laidback – and produced by Daniel Lanois with a really great overall sense of sound. Titles include "The Undertow", "In Spite Of Everything", "Folklore", "If You See Lurah", "Mohave", and "Red River Revel". LP, Vinyl record album
The Blue Note debut of cornet player Ron Miles – a musician with a great sense of phrasing, and maybe some of the strongest sense of color we've ever heard come from the instrument in recent years! The group here, though, is really a strong part of that sense of tone – as the lineup features Bill Frisell delivering some delicious elements on guitar, and Jason Moran fleshing things out on piano – while drummer BrianBlade works with his strong sense of spaciousness, often letting the silences between his drumbeats do as much as the percussion itself. Bassist Thomas Morgan wraps the whole thing together from the bottom up – and Miles delivers a strong set of original compositions for the record – including "Queen Of The South", "Like Those Who Dream", "The Rumor", "Custodian Of The New", "This Old Man", "Blinder", "A Kind Word", and "Rainbow Sign". LP, Vinyl record album