Following the 2020 release of RoundAgain, Nonesuch reissues on vinyl Joshua Redman's first album with his own band — pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Brian Blade — originally released in 1994. MoodSwing was Redman’s third recording as a band leader and his first featuring all-original compositions. The young saxophonist sought to change what he believed to be the public perception of jazz — a largely academic and overly intellectualized form of music devoid of the emotional themes that drive many other genres.
From the playfully coy Chill to the urgent energy of Rejoice, Redman offers up a communicative and inspired record of emotional diversity. Joining him in this task was a young band of his peers, all of whom have since become established and esteemed figures in jazz. MoodSwing was one of the first exposures the jazz community had to young pianist Brad Mehldau, then beginning his career in Redman’s quartet. Mehldau anchors these compositions behind Redman’s lyrical playing, occasionally stepping out front to show his talents in The Oneness of Two (In Three) and Past in the Present. The band’s rhythm section has since been recognized as one of jazz’s best, with Christian McBride on bass, and then little-known Brian Blade on the drums.