Elastic

Joshua Redman. | Warner Bros.


Jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman is a virtuoso who doesn’t always feel compelled to act like one. On Elastic he dares to make music that verges on easy listening yet never slips into blandness. Reuniting with Sam Yahel (keyboards) and Brian Blade (drums), Redman unspools languid, sultry melodies that lend “Molten Soul” and “The Long Way Home” the aura of a daydream. His restraint leaves Yahel plenty of space: The funky organ solos on “Still Pushin’ That Rock” and “Boogielastic” capture the old-school vibe of soul jazz. Redman will undoubtedly make more challenging sounds down the line, but this is a gem in its own mellow way.

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  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.