The Jazzcat

The Joshua Redman Trio at Bovard Auditorium on the campus of USC

by on Apr.23, 2006, under News


Slide Show

There is power in three. It is a force that generates the key

essential elements of jazz music. Traditionally, the trio setting usually consists

of piano, bass and drums, but tradition is only the foundation for musical ideology.

We live in a universe where the matter that matters is as expansive as the

limitations of our consciousness. When you open your mind, you open your eyes

and vision is the vehicle that advances us technically, spiritually and


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It is truly a blessing to experience three heavies of the

business come together to morph the boundaries of the music and expand the definition

of jazz. What is jazz, jazz is as vast and expansive as you can cognitively

imagine. Go to that line, jump off of the edge and come to know that which you

do not already know and you will find a musical journey is just the beginning of

a whole other realm. Joshua Redman, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland have gone to

that edge and have taken the plunge into that space which is full of silent

matter that can be processed to accent their talents individually, collectively

and act as viable entity of the music itself.


Information comes in many forms. Even though you may get it from

one source, it is perception that makes its meaning so vast. These cats produce

a sea of information. And in that body of water, information unites sonically through

the elements of time, space, travel and velocity, instilling its indelible

impressions on the earth’s inhabitants.  Cosmic?

Perhaps, but the balance of power in the solid lines of a triangle generate a

geometric force that locks in on the energy and uses it to create beauty in a

universe out side of its boundaries free of parametric limitations.

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Reuben lyrically dominates the language of the bass speaking

in tongues that are understood and well received globally. Eric ‘s subtle

percussive expressions are the layer of hip intellectualism under the solos.

When his voice is summoned to speak, so are the elements of Earth, Wind and

Fire. Joshua is an analytical technician, breaking down theorems, summations and

quadratic equations like a tenor and soprano savant.


These cats have barely scratched the surface in delving into

the depths of this music yet I am so very pleased to hear the diversity and

unity in each conversation. Individually, each player speaks with each other, to

the audience and has a personal conversation with God all at the same time. Universal,

three dimensional communication!

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These three have played together several times in the past

in many different situations but, this is the first time that their intention

has been focused together in a trio setting of this sort and certainly not the

last. Joshua mentioned that the Bovard Auditorium was the perfect place to

premier their performance. Since approaching this music and many new

compositions for the first time together, it is much like going to school. Only

this class is for the extremely gifted, somewhat applicable to this particular

institution of higher learning.

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Joshua’s soprano in the silence is such an audible and

visual focal point. In the trio fashion, each player must use the space in the

silence as a partner to duo with in their individual performances. Together, there

is support, swing, groove, texture, story and a foundation that is set in stone

yet not physically attached to the ground. The race they run is so smooth you don’t

even know that the baton was passed. The goal is not the checkered flag but, the

race itself.

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“Trinkle Tinkle” takes Monk’s notes and twists the Rubix

until all nine squares on the infinite sides of possibility are extremely colorfully

bright and solid! Sonny’ s “Way Out West”, “Angel Eyes”, “East of the Sun” and

many of Joshua’s new creations are dissected and surgically  operated on with great degree of accuracy and

success. When you take notes and place them into the universe, you have to go

out, get them and bring them back home. There are many ways to get from A to B,

and a straight line is the least of the approaches.

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The audience is breathing. Nodding heads, tapping feet,

closed eyes, white teeth along with expanding and collapsing chest cavities are

just a few of the indicators. Our bodies resonate so deep with Reuben, are

caressed with Eric’s cool percussive breezes and taken on a flight to the moon with

Joshua. There is much matter being produced and processed that the best of scientist

could not break it down if they tried.


There is only one cure and The Joshua Redman Trio has the

antidote! This is just the beginning of a tour that I am sure is going to

attract much attention and you can bet that the cats are going to hit the

studio hard with this one.  Experience

the music!


LeRoy Downs





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