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He Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts 

Wednesday, Apr 1 2009

One of today's most respected and successful jazz saxophonists, Joshua Redman nonetheless has a haunted career. Ghosts of legends like Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, or Dewey Redman (Joshua's father) constantly poke listeners whenever the younger Redman plays — which is why it feels more comfortable when this Berkeley-born saxman clears away the cobwebs and opens up his approach. On his new album, Compass, he leads basic acoustic trios in loose, impressionistic, improvisational songs that flow freer than his more structured outings. And while the unplanned jams occasionally float without focus, they are nonetheless unburdened by conscious reminders of the past.

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John Graham


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