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JazzTimes 10: Essential Albums of the 2000s

A look back at a diverse decade, featuring Joshua Redman, Cassandra Wilson, Maria Schneider, and more

Allégresse by Maria Schneider
Allégresse by Maria Schneider

Joshua Redman: Back East (Nonesuch, 2007)

Tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman had already recorded more than 10 albums before Back East, but the record stands out for its not-so-subtle debt to Sonny Rollins’ groundbreaking Way Out West, which featured Rollins in a pianoless trio with Ray Brown and Shelly Manne—and which had just turned 50 at the time Back East was cut. (As it happens, Way Out West was recently reissued for its 60th anniversary.) Redman, who is deeply influenced by Rollins’ loose but thematic improvisational style, strikes a fine balance between innovation and tradition, establishing that he has his own distinct voice while also acknowledging those who came before him.

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Originally Published

Matthew Kassel

Matthew Kassel is a freelance writer whose work has been published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and The Columbia Journalism Review, among other publications.