Monday, May 9, 2011

Redman Debuts New Band, Parlato Returns - Bob Stewart

"James Farm" is a collaborative band featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, bassist Matt Penman, drummer Eric Harland and keyboardist Aaron Parks. The band uses traditional acoustic jazz quartet instrumentation for its song-based approach to jazz and incorporates the members' myriad influences: rock, soul, folk, classical and electronica, among many others. The quartet has received critical acclaim since its debut at the 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival, where they played to rave reviews. Although this is the first time the quartet members have performed and recorded together in this exact configuration, Redman, Harland and Penmen have performed together in the past as part of the SF Jazz Collective.

Gretchen Parlato's 2009 breakthrough CD signaled the arrival of one of this generation's most inventive modern jazz singers. The recording garnered international acclaim, being voted onto year-end, "best-of" polls for Jazz Times, the Boston Globe, the Village Voice and NPR among others. Now with the release of her follow-up -- "The Lost and Found" -- Parlato demonstrates that she has staying power. It exposes a broad dynamic range in the young singer's repertoire, which features her original compositions paired alongside interpretations of material ranging from that of Simply Red and Mary J. Blige to Wayne Shorter and Miles Davis.

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