Ethan Iverson Trio MONK@100
& Joshua Redman
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 | 7:00 pm
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 | 9:00 pm
“Is Joshua Redman a new archetype?” The New York Times asked more than two decades ago, when the saxophonist, who had just moved to the city, was just twenty-five. The Times was right: since he abandoned Yale Law School to become a musician, Redman — the son of saxophone titan Dewey Redman and dancer Renee Shedroff — has become the new standard-bearer for jazz. His bright, bold tone and innate sense of momentum have made his music instantly accessible, an open invitation for audiences who thought jazz had left them behind. Redman has worked to foster a new breed of jazz giants, doing riveting work with Brad Mehldau and collaborating with the Bad Plus.
Though Ethan Iverson is best known for his groundbreaking crossover work with the Bad Plus, that trio’s remarkable catalogue only marks the second phase of a sterling quarter-century career. Iverson emerged as a major new player in the early 1990s, when he became an essential piece of a rising underground New York jazz scene. Around the same time he became the music director of the Mark Morris Dance Group, foreshadowing the ambitious routine he has maintained to this day. Iverson is a tireless bandleader, composer, arranger, and collaborator, and one of the best-respected jazz critics in the world. When asked in interviews who his greatest influence was, Iverson always says, “Thelonious Monk.”
In Durham, Iverson leads what he calls “a classic swinging New York rhythm section” custom-made for MONK@100 and the sequence of esteemed saxophonists the group will welcome over four days. Drummer Victor Lewis was a key element of the top-shelf Woody Shaw group for many years, and bassist David Williams was the lynchpin for an awe-inspiring trio with Cedar Walton and Billy Higgins for three decades. (Shaw and Walton programmed Monk frequently in their sets, and Walton once subbed for Monk at the Five Spot.) This trio is perfectly suited for the tremendous task of revivifying Monk’s music. Between the two of them, Lewis and Williams have worked with almost every significant modern jazz player, from Dexter Gordon and Freddie Hubbard to Elvin Jones and Kenny Barron, not to mention such brilliant musicians as Carla Bley, Anthony Braxton, and Roberta Flack.MONK@100 is made possible, in part, with support from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation & the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. MONK@100 is an official event of the N.C. Arts Council’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.
"Mr. Redman has always been a fluid technician, but the inner glow in his tone throughout the night, along with the grace and clarity of his ideas, suggested new levels of prowess."