Saturday: Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau Trade Solos at Herbst Theatre

Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau

Oct. 24, 2011

@ Herbst Theatre

Better than: Occupying Wall Street.

As an art form, one of the strengths of jazz is its refusal to prioritize the individual over the group, even in the throes of a virtuosic, impassioned solo. Saturday night at Herbst Theatre as part of the SF Jazz festival, Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman showcased that collaborative, interdependent nature of their art in fine, innovative form.

On paper, their songs were fairly typical, as far as jazz goes — Mehldau and Redman would start a song by introducing a melody. Sporting either his tenor or soprano sax, Redman would begin to solo, supported by Mehldau's piano. When Redman reached the end of his ideas, he would turn it over to Mehldau for his own time in the spotlight, closing with the two coming back together and eventually restating the opening melody.

Again, on paper, pretty typical. But in the flesh, it was so much more.

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