Living On the Edge

A childhood friend of Ornette Coleman’s in Fort Worth, Dewey Redman came to New York in 1967 to join Coleman’s quartet and has been associated with his style of free jazz ever since. His solos have a similarly wily recklessness, but they are made warmer by his more traditional approach to pitch and the fact that he plays tenor sax instead of alto. On the diverse and new album, Living on the Edge, Redman also brings out his rarely heard alto for two numbers associated with the ’50s, and it’s bright and agile, suggesting Charlie Parker and Lee Konitz as much as Coleman. The album leans toward Coleman’s free style at first, but continues with a blues number, a ballad, and a jazz standard. Just about all of it works. And if you still haven’t heard pianist Geri Allen, here is an ideal showcase. Her solo on ”Blues for J.A.M. — Part 1” is wittily authentic down-in-the-alley stuff, her bop filigree on ”Lazy Bird” or her rolling phrases and splayed chords on the Colemanesque ”Boo Boodoop” cannily inventive. A-

Living On the Edge
  • Music