Joshua Redman’s latest project is a celebration of the power of three—the music of three iconic jazz composers interpreted in the classic trio format of saxophone, bass, and drums. The music is drawn from the works of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and Wayne Shorter, each of whom Redman considers “not just relevant but foundational” for today’s musicians, and the setting returns to a format in which he has excelled throughout his career.
The 3×3 concept emerged, in part, from Redman’s COVID-19 pandemic experience. Literally out the door on his way to the airport for a three-week tour of Europe when the world shut down in March 2020, the saxophonist found himself in the unprecedented situation of not being able to make music with another human being “in a real space, in real-time” for more than six months. “When I finally started getting together occasionally with folks for outdoor jam sessions,” he recalls, “the approach was predictably casual: ‘Let’s just play some tunes.’ Naturally, a lot of the tunes that were called were ones written by Duke, Monk, or Wayne.”