Saxophonist Joshua Redman's early-'90s arrival on the jazz scene was greeted by an onslaught of hype depicting him as an innovator in the tradition of Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane.

Saxophonist Joshua Redman's early-'90s arrival on the jazz scene was greeted by an onslaught of hype depicting him as an innovator in the tradition of Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. Not only was the buildup overheated, it was inaccurate. As a decade of solid recordings have indicated, Redman is less an innovator than a developing stylist with a keen ear for melody and a deep affection for the work of some of his most underrated elders. Redman's latest recording showcases his growth as a composer, an improviser, and the leader of a fine quartet. Passage of Time is an eight-part song cycle designed to highlight the interplay of his band—pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. Redman's own playing is leaner and more introspective than in the past. Highlights include Redman's solo "Before," the catchy "Free Speech Phase One," and the elegant "Our Minuet."—MJ