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Compass CD


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Compass
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Audio CD, CD, January 13, 2009
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 13, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B001L5J5CM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,309 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Uncharted
2. Faraway
3. Indentity Thief
4. Just Like You
5. Hutchhiker's Guide
6. Ghost
7. Insomnomaniac
8. Moonlight
9. Un Peu Fou
10. March
11. Round Reuben
12. Little Ditty
13. Through The Valley

Editorial Reviews

While touring in support of his 2007 release, Back East, Redman decided he wanted to continue exploring sax/bass/drums trio format and started to compose new material with that often challenging configuration in mind. The result is Compass, a disc that Redman describes as 'a journey for me...an expansion on, and an extension of Back East.' Compass goes in an entirely new direction for Redman; its an exhilarating leap into uncharted territory. Compass is nothing short of mesmerizing, its conceptual risks paying off for musician and listener alike.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By starschaser on January 15, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Inspired by Sonny Rollins's "Way Out West", he first explored the saxophone-bass-drums trio format on "Back East" in 2007, but goes a step further here on a set that features bassists Larry Grenadier and Reuben Rogers, and drummers Gregory Hutchinson and Brian Blade, in combinations that include regular trio (six tracks), a quartet with two basses (two tracks), and all five players (five tracks).
As Redman himself says, "Common sense was telling me to stay away, that it had the makings of a big mess. All that bass and drums could end up sounding muddy, clumsy, directionless, unfocused.
But my imagination kept leading me back to this idea, and, at a certain point, I decided it was worth a try".
According to Joshua Eedman, his new album is "a further exploration of the trio format... an expansion on, and an extension of Back East".
And he's not wrong. At times, it is a dazzling album of considerable artistry. With an experienced supporting team, he stretches the players ever further, fronting both rhythm sections and, on five of the tracks here, performing with the entire line-up in a double-trio configuration.
The resulting album is possibly Redman's best to date.
It is the most spontaneous of Redman's recordings, with a disciplined but freewheeling sense of adventurous interaction that is sometimes missing on his more carefully structured earlier projects.
It's certainly his most natural and relaxed-sounding, an outcome explained by his determination, pre-recording, to "embrace ... the unfamiliar" by eschewing careful preparation and rigid planning and telling himself just to "get in the studio and see how it goes".
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pika Pika on January 23, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I just heard these 5 men play most of this album live, and let me tell you, it was absolutely fabulous. To say that these guys are virtuosos, masters at the craft would not tell you enough about how deep these tunes go. They've enveloped generations of tradition and made something wholly unique. This is the kind of meta-syncopated expression that a die-hard fan lives for. Granted, it's not for everybody -- most Jazz isn't -- but that's really not the point. It's for me, and for many others. The ovation at the show was astounding. This is what they played.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Heavy Theta on February 6, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The formal reviews of this album generally don't fail to mention a comparison to Sonny Rollins' leaner recordings of the 50's. Maybe so, but what first struck me were the subtle composition, careful interplay and, especially, the haunting sonics that for the world give the impression of the classic early ECM catalogue. This is moody rather than rapturous stuff, even for all it's show of virtuoso blowing, but mainly truly excellent. Quietly adventurous, and not the least derivitive, Joshua seems to be looking forward, not back.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karl Moosmann on March 22, 2009
Format: Audio CD
With the purchase of his 1996 release, "Freedom in the groove", I came across Joshua Redman. Having been impressed by his virtuosity and the groovy, swinging style of the Saxophone he plays I kept on purchasing his works - meanwhile I own 5 CD's. So far my favourite has been "Passage of Time" for it carries a youthful "why bother" kind of attitude that appeals in an optimistic and positive way. Maybe I should also mention that I had a chance to see him perform some of the songs from this album live during a saxophone night at the Zeltfestival in Freiburg - which was just a great experience.

With "Compass" there is a real challenge for the number 1 position. Maybe because of Redmans co - musicians Hutchison and Rogers, who also play on "Passage of time". The harmonies here are just overwhelming. For one Redmans playing seems to have somewhat immensely matured. His virtuousity shines bright as ever, the optimistic undertone is still there but emotionally there is a new quality. The harmonies are awesome in places and in pieces like "Ghost" they appear philosophical, if not melancholical. Melodies on this CD range from almost majestic / archaic in "Insomnomaniac" crossing serene / thoughtful in "Unchartered" to swinging playfulness in "Faraway".

Although with the first listen, I tended to miss the piano / keyboards, the concept of having two bass lines and two drum sets playing enriches some of the pieces of music immensely, especially noticeable with "Identity thief" and "March".

All in all the album is a true Joshua Redman set of works. Yet it carries a variability that to me seems to be a new quality in his musical works. Not just at the level of musicianship but at the emotional level, that drives his playing. To me this is not just as good as "Passage of time" - it is the graduation ceremony after a long journey through various musical landscapes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen on July 30, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I wonder if the people that are hating on this album also don't like Coltrane's "A Love Supreme."
It appears that the Marsalis family has contaminated so much of the opinions of jazz folk today. They approach listening to jazz like listening to a symphony or concerto.
The best option is to be able to hear this double trio live. However, for those that are not able this is an acceptable substitute. The tunes on this disc are good and the interplay between the members is interesting.
I wouldn't say this should be your first Redman disc, but for those that enjoy his playing I would say it is a must have.
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