Redman, Penman, Harland & Parks (aka James Farm) Are Superb

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 14:57
Posted in category In the News, Upcoming Shows
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by Mario Carrington |

James Farm is an all star quartet composed of 3 jazz titans and one major jazz revelation. The titans are saxophonist Joshua Redman, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland; the revelation is AaronParks on piano. The first set of a 4 show, two night engagement September 20 at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, in downtown Minneapolis, was mesmerizing, and is a must see show.

On the short list of transformative jazz quartets there was John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison, with a fast forward to Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Jeff Watts and Eric Revis. This nascent quartet brought together by Redman could be an heir apparent to that continuum with the recent dissolution of that Marsalis band.

The Dakota has been the scene of some extraordinary shows featuring 3 of the band members— Redman, Penman and Harland—during their appearances as part of the San Francisco Jazz Collective. Redman has also appeared at the club separate from SFJC with individual projects, while Harland has variously appeared with McCoy Tyner, Charles Lloyd and Dave Holland.

If you enjoyed any of those shows and the performances by Redman, Penman and Harland, you will be similarly enthralled by this new group. It is the first visit by Parks and his playing brings to mind the young Keith Jarrett, and you will want to bear witness to a star in the making. James Farm is what a work of art by Romare Bearden would sound like if one of his jazz collages came to life–lyrical, harmonious, and beautiful.

All of the selections played were original compositions from their eponymous debut album and included “1981,” “If By Air,” “Unravel,” “Chronos,” “Star Crossed” and “I-10.” Their playing can be described as insouciant where they seem to amaze and entertain the audience and themselves as they talked to each other in simultaneous collaborative improvisations. The room seemed to levitate from the energetic, propulsive, thunderous displays from all of the musicians, particularly Redman and Harland.

It was the kind of scintillating performance that if Thelonius Monk were alive and on stage, he would have been moved to get up and dance around in mid chorus.

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WHAT: James Farm ft. Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman & Eric Harland
WHEN: Saturday, October 2nd, 2011, 7:30pm
TICKETS: $13-$56 Buy Tickets
MORE INFO: Artist Profile