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International Jazz Saxophonist In NZ

Wednesday 3 May 2006


Internationally-renowned American saxophonist Joshua Redman flies into New Zealand at the weekend to record on the last of three John Psathas concertos for a new album to be released this year by art music label Rattle.

Joshua Redman is the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artist to have emerged in the past 20 year. Son of legendary saxophonist Dewey Redman and dancer Renee Shedroff, Redman was signed by Warner Bros Records in 1993 and has collaborated with an array of musicians including Pat Methany, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Ray Brown, Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson, Roy Haynes, Quincy Jones Joe Lovano, Elvin Jones, Marcus Miller and McCoy Tyner. He also provided the music for the film Vanya on 42nd Street and is seen and heard in the Robert Altman film Kansas City.

He will feature as the soloist performing John Psathas’ saxophone concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, supported by New Zealander Lance Philips (drums) on the album View From Olympus.

The saxophone concerto was originally commissioned by the sixth edition of the 2nd Agosto Competition in Italy and was premiered by 11-time Grammy Award winner Michael Brecker to a live audience of 8000 and broadcast live throughout Europe. John Psathas is best known as the composer of the key ceremonial music for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and is acknowledged as one of New Zealand’s brightest musical talents.

Hailed as New Zealand’s most ambitious classical recording project yet, View From Olympus features three concertos with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra – its namesake, View From Olympus, a double concerto for percussion, piano and orchestra featuring Portugese percussionist Pedro Carneiro, a piano concerto commissioned by the NZSO in 2004 with renowned pianist Michael Houstoun and the saxophone concerto.

The Wellington session with Joshua Redman is the final recording for the album which Rattle label manager Tim Gummer calls “the definitive recording of John Psathas’ work”. “Previous Psathas recordings have been for small ensembles, trios, duos or solo performers. In contrast, this latest recording consists of three major orchestral works that flesh out Psathas’ musical vision on a much larger scale.” John Psathas’ compositions are the most performed New Zealand works in the world.

“John’s profile has increased enormously since his work was performed at the Olympics and we are thrilled to be once again working with John to record these three concertos and provide a platform to enable more people to experience his talent.” John has won numerous awards and accolades over the years and was this year awarded the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

Rattle, an art music label known for releasing contemporary composers, jazz and ‘world’ music, has worked with John for a number of years and produced his album Rhythm Spike which went on to win Best Classical Album of the Year in 2002


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