The members of the legendary original 1990s Joshua Redman Quartet - Redman (saxophone), Brad Mehldau (piano), Christian McBride (bass), and Brian Blade (drums) - reunited after twenty-six years for 2020’s RoundAgain. They return with LongGone, featuring six original songs by Redman.
Joshua Redman reflects of his first group as a bandleader: “I realized almost immediately that this band wouldn’t stay together for very long. They were without a doubt, for our generation, among the most accomplished and innovative on their respective instruments. They were already all in such high demand - everyone wanted to play with them! And they all had such strong and charismatic musical personalities - destined to start soon pursuing their own independent visions. I knew better than anyone else just how incredibly lucky I was to have even that short time with them.”
In the intervening decades, each has played with one or more of the others on various occasions, but all four had never properly reunited. “I knew it would happen, but I didn’t know when,” Redman admits. “We were all so busy, and we needed the space, both in our schedules and in our creative development.”
“We would have done it ten years ago if it were up to me,” Mehldau insists. “Josh, Christian, and Brian are all my heroes. It’s like playing with The Avengers.” Blade adds, “This band is like a turntable where the stylus was lifted but the turntable is still spinning. We just had to drop the needle, and there we were with all of the information we had gathered. It has gotten deeper because of life itself, and because Joshua, Brad, and Christian plumb the depths every day.”
“These guys have grown exponentially,” McBride insists. “They are super-monsters now, and playing with them gave me a hard look at myself. And when you’re intimate creating art, even if you don’t play together for twenty years, you only need two bars to realize what the feeling is about, because the feeling never leaves.”
The band, which formed when the now legendary members were new to New York City’s jazz scene, tours internationally this summer and fall.