Jazzmen Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau have been teaming up — Redman on saxophone, Mehldau on piano — then going their separate musical ways for 20 years or more, ever since they first crossed paths at the Village Vanguard and other New York City jazz clubs in the early 1990s.
Even as their separate and highly successful individual careers flourished over the years, their shared musical and personal bonds seemed always to pull them back together again, to record together. Tour together. To engage in what they call the “conversation” of jazz, improvisation and instinct guiding their way.
And so they have again come together, late in 2016. There is a new album, “Nearness,” a mix of jazz standards and their own compositions. And a recently completed concert tour, centered largely in Europe, but with its launch at New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center earlier this fall. Hours ahead of that performance, they shared a version of Mehldau’s song “Old West” with the NewsHour, performed for us in the privacy of the Steinway Piano Showroom in Manhattan.
You can learn much more about the artists and their creative process in Jeffrey Brown’s profile of them from Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour: