Drawing inspiration, purpose (and of course their name!) from the great Old and New Dreams quartet, Still Dreaming with Joshua Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley and Dave King seeks to affirm, in their own way, the musical exploration and experimentation which defined one of the seminal jazz bands of the ’70s and ’80s
Old and New Dreams included Ornette Coleman alumni Don Cherry on trumpet, Dewey Redman on tenor saxophone, Charlie Haden on bass, and Ed Blackwell on drums – all of whom went on to interpret and expand upon Coleman’s revolutionary musical vision in their own uniquely personal ways throughout their careers. And when the four of them came together at various points from 1976-87, the results were nothing short of magical. Writer Tom Moon, in his book “1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die,” aptly describes the music of Old And New Dreams in terms of its “lyrical… subversion.” It was a group committed to “free jazz” – pushing the limits, often dancing on the fringes, at times reveling in thorny abstraction, but also with the desire and ability to communicate directly and viscerally, and always in service of beauty.
When Redman came up with the idea for this project, he did so with the knowledge that each band member’s artistic history was in certain fundamental ways linked to his corresponding instrumentalist in Old and New Dreams. The connection between Dewey Redman and Joshua Redman is perhaps most obvious as father and son tenor saxophonists. Of all the trumpet players on the jazz scene today, it would be difficult to think of one more thoroughly and deeply influenced by the sound and style of Don Cherry than is Ron Miles. And as a young up-and-coming bassist, Scott Colley attended the California Institute of the Arts in large part to study with Charlie Haden, who ended up becoming perhaps his most important teacher and musical mentor.
Busy as these four musicians are with their myriad musical projects, hearing them perform together as Still Dreaming will likely be a rare opportunity, an uncommon musical adventure – informed by the past, but looking toward the future, and navigated by the now.