Joshua Redman’s original quartet—including Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride and Brian Blade—have reunited for the brand-new album, RoundAgain.
The record’s seven tracks are new compositions, and are collectively the first original release by the saxophonist’s original quartet since 1994’s MoodSwing.
All those years ago, the quartet stayed together about a year and a half before going their separate ways. In a statement, Redman said he knew the band “wouldn’t stay together for very long.” He explained: “They were without a doubt, for our generation, among the most accomplished and innovative on their respective instruments. They were already all in such high demand—everyone wanted to play with them! And they all had such strong and charismatic musical personalities—destined to start soon pursuing their own independent visions. I knew better than anyone else just how incredibly lucky I was to have even that short time with them.”
Mehldau emphasized a reunion was long overdue: “We would have done it ten years ago if it were up to me. Josh, Christian and Brian are all my heroes. It’s like playing with The Avengers.”
The four musicians have remained highly prolific over the years. RoundAgain comes a year after Redman’s album Come What May with his current quartet, also released on the label Nonesuch. Mehldau won a Grammy for his 2019 instrumental album Finding Gabriel, and spent his COVID-19 lockdown writing a suite of 12 songs, which helped fundraise for jazz musos struggling under the pandemic.
In February, McBride released a five-part suite in tribute to four key figures in the civil rights movement, and in March, Blade released the album Angular Blues with Wolfgang Muthspiel and Scott Colley.
Stream their long-awaited new album as a quartet below: