Monday, September 04, 2006

Dewey Redman, RIP

via Darcy and The Bad Plus.

Sadly, I think we knew this one was coming, but that doesn't make it any easier. I would rank Dewey as one of my five biggest influences as a player. Not for his sound- as big as Texas, where he was born- or for any particular way he played, but for the weight and depth of everything he played. Every solo of his I've ever heard makes me feel like time stopped. Right now I'm listening to his solo on the Anthem of the African National Congress on Charlie Haden's Dreamkeeper record. Warm, approachable, and at the same time heartstopping.

Dewey grew up in Texas in the days of the laughing barrels, and his playing channeled both the warmth of the south and the barely masked fury of growing up watching the elders in your community still being called "boy". If we can occasionally tap into 5 percent of the spirit he was channeling 100 percent of the time, there's hope for our music too.

Beyond the great recommendations TBP make, and Dreamkeeper, a brilliant record, I'd note "Dark Metals", Anthony Cox's great quartet recording of '92 featuring Dewey, Michael Cain and Billy Higgins. Some remarkable music.

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