Joshua Redman didn’t set out to make a double-trio record, but once that notion entered his head, the tenor and soprano saxophonist knew he would have to go ahead and give it a try. The result, Compass (Nonesuch), doesn’t so much pick up where 2007’s critically lauded Back East left off as it takes the trio concept to another place altogether. Where Back East featured Redman working out amidst a number of bass-drum configurations-and augmenting them with guest saxophonists Joe Lovano, Chris Cheek and dad Dewey Redman, who passed away before the album’s release-Compass loses the additional horn players but ups the ante on the standard trio model by featuring, on several tracks, two bassists and two drummers playing with Redman simultaneously.
After he wrapped up touring behind Back East, Redman says from his home in Berkeley, Calif., he experienced what he calls “a burst of compositional productivity, which is very rare for me. I wrote 10 or so tunes for trio in a very short time, like in four or five days.