February 28, 2007
Spool LINE 27
Regrettably Dewey Redman, who died in September at 75, was more recognized for his progeny (Young Lion son Joshua) and associates (members of Ornette Colemans quartet) than for his own considerable talents. Someone who tempered the tough Texas tenor saxophone tradition with cerebral resourcefulness and considered note placement, Redmans mature style is attractively showcased on this live CD, recorded in Quebec City in 1999.
Here the transplanted Texan is integrated into the Québécois trio of alto saxophonist François Carrier, drummer Michel Lambert, and Ron Séguin or Michel Donato alternating on bass on three long improvisations. Integrated is the proper term, since Redmans Tranesque cadences and foghorn-like squalls are no more prominent than Carriers higher-pitched line decorations, the steady clipping snare beats and pops from Lambert or the percussive textural patterning of the individual bassists.
Notwithstanding the CDs title, there are few open spaces in this intense improvisatory cauldron. One highpoint is Séguins masterful pumps and guitar-like arpeggios convincingly complementing Redmans fluttering double tonguing.
Fittingly, however, the definite climax is reached during the last few minutes of With the Flow, the final tune. Drawing on the interplay theyre exhibited earlier on, and buoyed by Lamberts ferocious rolls and rebounds, the two saxophonists make definite contrapuntal statements during chase choruses. With the tenor saxophonists chunky overblowing contrasting nicely with the alto saxophonists writhing lyricism, the mixture assures reasoned improvised invention along with dollops of raw excitement.
CODA Issue 331