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Dewey REDMAN – African Venus 1994

Posted in Dewey REDMAN, JAZZ on November 26, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Dewey REDMAN – African Venus 1994


By the time African Venus was recorded in 1992, Dewey Redman was combining the fire of his earlier playing with a gentler, melodic approach. On “Satin Doll,” “Mr. Sandman,” and “Take the ‘A’ Train,” Redman glides along in a more traditional bop vein, while the title track and Ornette Coleman’s “Turnaround” sound more like the fiery Redman of Look for the Black Star or Tarik. Joining Redman on this date are Charles Eubanks (piano), Anthony Cox (bass), Carl Allen (drums), Danny Sadownick (percussion), and Joshua Redman (tenor saxophone), on three tracks. Not an essential disc, but far from a throwaway.
By Al Campbell, All Music Guide.
The late Dewey Redman spent very little time with his son Joshua, who started his jazz development at Berkeley High School. It’s interesting to consider the dynamics of this collaboration: the duet cuts are by far the most exciting, and Dewey seems to be stretching his improvisational energy to the maximum, either to compete with or to encourage his son. Tenor sax duets have produced outstanding jazz before. My favorite live-session recordings of all time are of Wardell Gray and Dexter Gordon (The Hunt, The Chase). Dewey and Joshua don’t interpenetrate each other’s improv like that; they just take turns answering each other’s solos, but they have different things to say. The only track on the album that falls short is the first, the title track, on which Dewey plays a musette of some sort without much skill.
By  Giordano Bruno.
In the 1990s, legendary avant-garde saxophonist Dewey Redman began incorporating his challenging brand of free-jazz playing into more traditional contexts. AFRICAN VENUS (recorded in late ’92) typified this trend, as heard on his surprisingly straight interpretations of “Mr. Sandman” and two Duke Ellington standards–“Satin Doll” and “Take the ‘A’ Train.” Flanked by a fine cast of session musicians, including his son, tenor sax player Joshua Redman (who contributes a smooth, swing-inflected solo on “Satin Doll”), Redman plays with a confidence born of a career in experimentation. It is this quality that allows him to sound so vital in a more traditional, post-bop vein.

Redman’s own compositions, however, recall his less conventional roots. The title track, with its North African flavor and Middle Eastern scales (Redman plays the musette, an instrument that resembles the bagpipe), is evocative of Saharan expanses. “Venus and Mars,” though highly melodic, moves smoothly in a free-bop mode with plenty of room for the soloists to play slightly left-of-center. The ballad “Echo Prayer” showcases Redman at his most expressive, and the cover of Ornette Coleman’s “Turnaround,” which closes the album, is a nod to one of Redman’s most important mentors and associates.
Dewey Redman (Musette, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone);
Joshua Redman (Tenor saxophone);
Charles Eubanks (Piano);
Anthony Cox- Bass;
Carl Allen- (Drums);
Daniel Sadownick- (Percussion).
01. African Venus 9:27
02. Venus and Mars 7:48
03. Mr. Sandman 6:54
04. Echo Prayer 5:53
05. Satin Doll 8:23
06. Take the “A” Train 7:41
07  Turnaround 6:25

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