Walking Shadows - Joshua Redman
Walking Shadows Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The saxophonist is backed by producer/pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Brian Blade on this jazz orchestral release.
  • Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Genre(s): Jazz, Jazz Instrument, Modern Creative, Post-Bop, Straight-Ahead Jazz, Saxophone Jazz, Orchestral Jazz
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. May 17, 2013
    80
    At that point, Walking Shadows might be one of your top jazz picks of 2013. And astonishingly enough, it feels much shorter than it’s 57-minute-plus running time.
  2. May 7, 2013
    80
    As long as you come in solely expecting to be treated to top-notch instrumentation and heartened by the (sometimes-vague) familiarity of your favorite tunes, Walking Shadows will prove to be one of the year’s most satisfying jazz listens.
  3. May 7, 2013
    80
    Ultimately, Walking Shadows is a mature, sophisticated album that can stand head to head with the best orchestral jazz albums of any decade.
  4. May 7, 2013
    60
    It's a beautifully played project, but perhaps a shade on the tasteful side for some jazzers.
  5. This is a very capable attempt to update that swoonable sound, and the arrangements do offer a few contemporary touches.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. May 15, 2013
    6
    From Charlie Parker to Duke Ellington to Wynton and Branford Marsalis, from Stan Getz and George Benson to Michel Petrucciani, even Sonny Rollins so many jazz soloists of genius or near-genius seem to put together an obligatory album in which they are accompanied by a kind of violin soup. And this is Redman's. It's in many ways sublime: Redman is one of the most accomplished and most American of jazz artists; his inventiveness seems unlimited. Not only that but his many albums demonstrate a technique that makes it possible to hear in his melodic lines the influence of so many great 20th century artists from the 60s onwards but to hear them absorbed, reworked, re-examined in a way that is totally 21st century and totally progressive. Seeing him in concert is a complete joy. He plays standards and originals and Beatles tunes with the same brilliance, the same panache, the same originality.

    Thus he can never make a bad album. But the lush backing arrangements on this one (over which he plays some completely peerless lines, for example on Billy Strayhorn's beautiful sequence, Lush Life) are reminiscent of the overblown arrangements on 50s versions such as that of Nat King Cole or the Buddy RIch Big Band. But did he really need to join the easy-listening brigade? Possibly. Royalties from 'background music' (I never understood that phrase: what is music? Wallpaper?) in Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Starbucks? Certainly. Brilliant? Definitely. Timely and tasteful? Hmmm, not sure.
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