The Struggle Continues

The best music has always been made by those who defy easy categorization, as exemplified by not one but two posthumous releases from Texas jazz giants. Fort Worth’s Dewey Redman was a glass-half-empty kind of guy who saw his career accomplishments as merely wins in a long battle—so the title of 1982’s The Struggle Continues ( ECM) is not surprising. What is surprising is that it took until now for this superb session to make it onto CD. Though the tenor saxophonist was integral to the New York avant-garde—Ornette Coleman introduced him to the scene—he was also a stylistic chameleon: Here, on arguably his most well-rounded effort, there’s some beautifully inventive straight-ahead blowing alongside his more mind-blowing excursions. Then there’s Kenny Dorham , a highly expressive player who also resisted his bebop typecast. As the percussive and explosive Latin jazz testifies on his newly remastered mid-fifties classic Afro-Cuban (Blue Note), the Austin trumpeter—who died at 48—knew how to explore every obtuse angle of creativity.

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