Joshua Redman is set to make his Blue Note Records debut with Where Are We, the acclaimed saxophonist’s first-ever vocal album.
The album features vocalist Gabrielle Cavassa, along with a band comprising pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Joe Sanders, and drummer Brian Blade.
Listen to the lead single “Chicago Blues” — a mashup of Count Basie’s “Goin’ to Chicago” and Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago” — featuring vibraphonist Joel Ross:
Where Are We includes original compositions along with songs by Bruce Springsteen, Count Basie, Rodgers & Hart, John Coltrane, and more.
“The surface concept of Where Are We is rather simple: Each of the songs on the album is about, or at least makes reference to, a specific geographical location (city or state or region) in the United States,” Redman explains. “So, on one level, this is an album ‘about’ America — at once a celebration and a critique — but it is also, to varying degrees, a ballads album, a standards album, an album of romantic longing, an album of social reflection, an album of melodic invention, an album of improvisational adventure, an album of mashups, perhaps even a tribute album of sorts.”
Redman invited four other friends to contribute to the portraits of their native cities: guitarists Kurt Rosenwinkel (“Streets of Philadelphia”) and Peter Bernstein (“Manhattan”), trumpeter Nicholas Payton (“Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?”), and Joel Ross (“Chicago Blues”).
“It was a dream come true to finally have a chance to connect Aaron, Joe, and Brian — three of the most sublimely lyrical and deeply grooving musicians on the planet, who, somehow, had never before played together as a rhythm section,” Redman continues. “And it was a transformative experience to collaborate with Gabrielle — a vocalist of uncommon style, sincerity, and soul. This was my first time ever recording with a singer on one of my own projects, and I relished the challenge of discovering and inhabiting new musical roles for myself — not only as a featured soloist and ‘lead,’ but also as supportive accompanist and interlocutor.”
Here’s the track listing:
- After Minneapolis (face toward mo[u]rning)
- Streets of Philadelphia
- Chicago Blues
- By the Time I Get to Phoenix
- Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?
- My Heart In San Francisco (Holiday)
- That’s New England
- Alabama (intro)
- Stars Fell on Alabama
- Where Are You?
Joshua Redman’s Where Are We is out Sept. 15, 2023, via Blue Note Records.