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NEW RELEASES : Saxophonist Mixes It Up With Originals, Standards

September 19, 1993|LEONARD FEATHER

JOSHUA REDMAN

"Wish"

Warner Bros.

* * * 1/2

The young tenor saxophonist's follow-up to his debut album offers a well-balanced program of originals interspersed with pop and jazz standards, with considerable assistance from Pat Metheny on guitar, Charlie Haden on bass and Billy Higgins on drums.

Redman's ability to understate is well illustrated in Ornette Coleman's "Turnaround," a basic blues riff tune. "Soul Dance" is a Redman original launched by Metheny and moving into a 12/8 beat. Also by Redman are "The Deserving Many," a 32-bar cooker, and the title tune, a pleading ballad. The latter is one of two tracks taped live at the Village Vanguard. Others represented as composers: Metheny (the moody "We All Have Sisters"), Haden (the cliched "Blues for Pat"), Stevie Wonder ("Make Sure You're Sure"), Eric Clapton & Will Jennings ("Tears in Heaven") and Charlie Parker, whose "Moose the Mooche" is a trip on the "I Got Rhythm" changes.

New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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