Redman · Mehldau · McBride · Blade
"A MoodSwing Reunion"
June 18, 2021
Joshua Redman, saxophones
Brad Mehldau, piano
Christian McBride, bass
Brian Blade, drums
Celebrated tenor saxophonist and composer Joshua Redman introduced his first permanent band with his 1994 album, MoodSwing, an astonishing collection by precociously talented musicians who would rapidly establish themselves as creative beacons. After years of individual triumphs, the original group reunited in 2020 on RoundAgain — with Redman, pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Brian Blade — for an unforgettable performance of new material alongside signature work.
About Joshua Redman
Joshua Redman is one of the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz musicians to have emerged in the 1990s. A Bay Area native born and raised in Berkeley, California, Redman is the son of renowned saxophonist Dewey Redman and dancer Renee Shedroff. After graduating summa cum laude from Harvard in 1991 with a degree in social studies, he deferred his admission to Yale Law School for one year so that he could indulge his passion for making music. Five months after his arrival in New York City, he won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, which marked the beginning of what would become an illustrious career spanning nearly three decades.
Redman has released more than 20 albums, which have earned him multiple Grammy nominations. A perennial favorite amongst critics’ and readers’ polls alike, his work with other prominent musicians includes jazz legends like McCoy Tyner, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Haden, Chick Corea, Ornette Coleman, and Elvin Jones; popular music artists like Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, the Rolling Stones, The Roots, and Dave Matthews Band; and classical music luminary Yo-Yo Ma.
About Brad Mehldau
One of the most lyrical and intimate voices of contemporary jazz piano, Brad Mehldau has forged a unique path, which embodies the essence of jazz exploration, classical romanticism and pop allure. From critical acclaim as a bandleader to major international exposure in collaborations with Pat Metheny, Renee Fleming, and Joshua Redman, Mehldau continues to garner numerous awards and admiration from both jazz purists and music enthusiasts alike. His forays into melding musical idioms, in both trio (with Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums) and solo settings, has seen brilliant reworkings of songs by contemporary songwriters like The Beatles, Cole Porter, Radiohead, Paul Simon, Gershwin, and Nick Drake, alongside the ever-evolving breath of his own significant catalogue of original compositions. With his self-proclaimed affection for popular music and classical training, “Mehldau is the most influential jazz pianist of the last 20 years” (New York Times).
About Christian McBride
Christian McBride is an eight-time Grammy-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader. McBride is the artistic director of the historic Newport Jazz Festival, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. He is also a respected educator and advocate for youth and serves as artistic director of Jazz House KiDS and the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions. In addition to artistic directing and consistent touring with his ensembles, he hosts NPR's Jazz Night in America and The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian on SiriusXM. Whether behind the bass or away from it, McBride is always part of the music. From jazz to R&B, and pop/rock and hip-hop/neo-soul to classical, he is a luminary with one hand ever reaching for new heights, and the other extended in fellowship — and perhaps the hint of a challenge — inviting us to join him.
About Brian Blade
Brian Blade was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. The first music he experienced was the Gospel and songs of praise at the Zion Baptist Church where his father, Brady L. Blade Sr., has been pastor since 1961. In elementary school, music appreciation classes were an important part of his development, and at age nine, he began playing the violin. Inspired by his older brother, Brady L. Blade Jr., who had been the drummer at Zion Baptist Church, Brian shifted his focus to the drums throughout middle and high school.
Getting the Group Together Again
Often lauded for his ability to perceive and develop prodigious talent early on, Redman formed his first permanent quartet as a bandleader in 1994, which resulted in his seminal work, MoodSwing. As it turned out, the foursome was only together for a year and a half. These musicians have gone on to become some of the most illustrious and influential musicians and bandleaders in modern jazz, recently reuniting for the newly released RoundAgain.
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. “Back then, I thought that maybe we’d reunite in five years, which seems like such a long time when you’re 25 years old. But we were all so busy, and we needed the space, both in our schedules and in our creative development. For at least the last decade or so, though, I started mentioning it more and more regularly, bugging everyone about it maybe a little too much! It seemed like we were all into it, but it somehow never fit into our collective schedules until now… Honestly, it took a real team effort, on the part of so many different folks, to make this finally happen.”
“We would have done it 10 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.”
This is the first performance at the Moss Arts Center for Redman, Mehldau, McBride, and Blade.
This performance is supported in part by a gift from Libby Drapeau.
Please note, there will be no livestream option for this performance.