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Mood Swing

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Composer Joshua Redman has led a wide range of adventurous combos, from the large-scale, classic repertoire-oriented SFJAZZ Collective to his funk-oriented trio, Elastic Band. In the new, collaborative quartet James Farm, the prodigious other members - pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, drummer Eric Harland - share equal billing with Redman. As he has explained,
"Everybody in this band is a composer and all the decisions are made collectively. The sound of the band, the direction that each performance takes, the set list; they're all determined equally by us as band members."

Though younger than Redman, his band mates boast equally impressive resumes, having played individually with such artists as Terence Blanchard, Dave Holland, Betty Carter, McCoy Tyner, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Charles Lloyd, and are among the most in-demand players in jazz right now. Penman and Harland were part of the SFJAZZ Collective and both appeared on Parks' acclaimed 2007 Blue Note solo debut, Invisible Cinema, which caught the ear of Redman and in part led to the formation of this new group.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: September 13, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000002MS1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,498 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This recording in my opinion is the freshest and finest work that Joshua Redman has produced. Considering that the band make-up of Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride and Brian Blade are three of the baddest young jazz musicians today, they have also become major band leaders in their own right. I think this was the recording that set them all on their way. The songs vary from melodic to sonically intense. McBride and Blade blaze a rhythmic trail followed by the creative yet subtle piano stylings of Mehldau, all giving way to the superior improvisational skills of Redman. The songs seem almost lyrical in their expression. Whether you are a Joshua Redman fan, or someone who has never experienced his music before, this is the beginning (although he had two prior quality releases prior) of the spectacular career of one of the finest tenor sax players of these times...
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By A Customer on July 5, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride and Brian Blade. Anyone who likes contemporary jazz should hear these four. Each song makes from this disc one of Redman's best. "Rejoice" and "Headin' Home" are, perhaps, great examples of Redman's creativity and unique improvisations. Four virtuosos playing together to make from Moodswing an example of good jazz.
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By A Customer on April 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Kind of Blue by Miles Davis is often referred to as the definitive jazz record.Of course,it can never be duplicated and any sort of comparison would be impossible.But musicians,critics and fans agree (which doesn't happen often)that Joshua Redman's self-composed "Moodswing" is one of the most significant recordings of the past five years.Joshua along with pianist Brad Mehldau,drummer Brian Blade and bassist Christian McBride demonstrate a strong reverence to the tradition of the music while continuing to expand its horizon.Not only is this an exceptional group, but each of these young players has carved out their own niche in JAZZ and are sure to endure!Exceptional recording!Miles would be proud! Give it a Listen!
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Format: Audio CD
I've recently started re-listening to my jazz collection and, I must say, this CD has as much emotional impact today as it did when I first bought it in 1997. To musicians and non-musicians alike, Josh, Brian, Christian and Brad speak to the gut and command our attention.
A reviewer below compares the chemistry and achievment here to Miles' 'Kind of Blue' and I second that. That album, as with this one, is fully accesable to every music lover. That, as well as this, uses interesting and (harmonically) uncompounded tunes to get the 'point' across. That album, as well as this one, has SHARP chemistry. Every song is worth remembering.
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Format: Audio CD
Joshua Redman has a big tenor sound that reminds one of traditional tenor men like Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins , and Ben Webster much more than most of the other modern sax men. Some may see this as a negative thing but I don't. Redman is an inventive improviser and on this cd he is accompanied by a rhythm section that consists of some of the best talent there is. Brian Blades is such an inventive drummer and yet he can swing or set up a blues tune as well as anyone. Christian McBride's bass playing is phenomenal on every track. Brad Mehldau rounds out the group on piano and is as a fine an accompanist and soloist as there is out there. Of course Redman is the featured player here and his sound is incredible. Big tone very soulful and bluesy on several tracks. Overall this is an excellent ensemble recording by a quartet of leading jazz musicians that is well worth acquiring.
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Format: Audio CD
Although MoodSwing retains some traditional stylings, Redman sparks a contemporary and very refreshing jazz synergy with Brad Mehldau on piano, Christian McBride on bass and Brian Blade on drums. MoodSwing was released in 1994 and I agree with the previous reviewers that stated this recording really set the stage for the creative evolution of these talented musicians in becoming the contemporary jazz leaders they currently are.

As a result of Redman's superior improvisational skills, the selections on MoodSwing do seem lyrical in their expression and this is a large part of what makes this project so enjoyable to listen to. Every track is a perfectly crafted joy to the ear.

If you are new to jazz or to Joshua Redman, you will want to add the sound of this incredibly talented quartet to your collection.
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Format: Audio CD
One of my earlier reviews here was for Joshua Redman's "Elastic" back in July 2005. At the time I alluded to the way I had always considered Redman to be a though-provoker as opposed to a groover. The former is often useful but I find the latter is always much more fun.

I think I was being kind at the time. The truth is, I'd always seen Redman as a saxophonist who was much too busy trying to be clever. I felt he played from the head rather than from the heart and as a result, a lot of his music left me feeling a bit cold. He acknowledges this jazz phenomenon - though not necessarily in his own playing - on the inner sleeve notes of this CD. An acquaintance apparently said to him:

"Jazz is cool and all, but it's not really my type of thing. I mean, I respect it, but I can't really get into it. I like music that makes me feel something. Jazz isn't really about that. With jazz, you gotta think all the time. Jazz is all complicated and weird. It's for those special types of people who like talking about stuff and figuring things out. Jazz is way too deep for me."

I think that's a sweeping generalisation. I think it only applies to certain kinds of jazz and/or certain kinds of jazz musicians. Redman himself goes on to say that he ackowledges the fact that many consider jazz to be an intellectual music:

"Most people assume that the appreciation of jazz is a long, arduous, and painfully serious cerebral undertaking. Jazz might be good for you but it just isn't any fun. This image is simple, powerful, and dangerously appealing. But it is also egregiously false. Jazz is music. And great jazz, like all great music, attains its value not through intellectual complexity but through emotional expressivity."

Well, he certainly had me fooled.
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