A Moment With Joshua Redman
At The 2005 Newport Jazz Festival, August 14, 2005
Artist: Joshua Redman
Title: A Moment With Joshua Redman At The 2005 Newport Jazz Festival
Label: Nonesuch Records
Download: “Just a Moment”
Photo: Peter Hannert
After his forward-thinking and crowd-pleasing opening set at the 2005
Newport Jazz Festival, sax man Joshua Redman sat down with the press to
field some questions about his new and old sounds, his move to the left
coast, and how he felt about returning to the legendary Newport stage.
With charts in one hand for the upcoming tribute to octogenarian Roy Haynes
and his trucker-style ball cap in the other, Redman strolled into the artist
catering area and casually took a seat at a round table of awaiting
inquisitors, some of whom had been following the 36-year-old’s career since
his early days at Harvard. With his gently piercing eyes and warm, easy
smile, Redman made everyone feel comfortable right away, and the questions
soon began to fly.
"I just learned I was playing with Roy," Redman laughed, quickly gazing one
last time at the charts before putting them down to pay attention to the
And how do you feel about that, Joshua?
"I love playing here," Redman said, noting that he wished Newport offered
some after hours performance opportunities. "I have been fortunate to play
with my heroes and this is a great place to play! This is my fourth time and
it is always a good, relaxed atmosphere. Especially as I now live in
California, it is good to catch up with the New York Jazz community!"
While in California, Redman has been busy recording for Nonesuch and serving
as artistic director for the San Francisco Jazz Collaborative, a rotating
collection of composers who gather in workshops to perform and share music.
"It’s always changing," he said, recalling such past collaborators as Brian
Blade, Renee Rosnes, and many others, "and that keeps it interesting."
Not one to settle on any one kind of music, Redman is also playing
simultaneously with traditional and more technologically-advanced groups,
including his own Elastic Band (with whom he appeared this go-round at
"Elastic is not swing based," he explained. "It is more funk and rock based.
There are different instruments and a completely different repertoire."
Even so, Redman admitted, the musical approach is the same no matter who he
I splaying with.
"I try to take the same approach of being spontaneous and interactive," he
explained. "Those are the core values for me."
As a result, when he composes, Redman does not always know which band will
end up playing which pieces.
"I usually do not plan it," he said. "An idea comes, and hopefully I can
write it down. Sometimes, I compose for a particular group, but when I
started Elastic band, I had compositions written without a band to play
them, so the sound evolved as the band took ownership."
So is there any one guiding principle that drives your creative process,
"I try to trust the process," he replied. "Whatever feels musically right!"
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