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Pillars & Columns

by Dewey Redman and Mark Helias

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Dewey Square 13:19
Albert 06:22
Rush Hour 11:01


Pillars and Columns Dewey Redman and Mark Helias Duo

Dewey Redman is a very significant voice in the history of contemporary Jazz improvisation and Creative Music in spite of flying under the radar to a degree throughout his career. A sensitive, self-effacing man from Texas, he was a poet whose medium was the tenor saxophone. Considering the titans that came before him, his development of an engaging, unique and vocal sound on the tenor was, and remains, an accomplishment of the highest order. I had the pleasure of working with him over a five year period and, in the process he became a dear friend.
This recording occurred in 1981 while I was working in Dewey's Quartet with drummer Eddie Moore, pianist Fred Simmons, and later pianist Charles Eubanks. Dewey and I also did some one off trio gigs with Edward Blackwell, another important elder with whom I played for seventeen years. After Dewey and I stopped working together on a regular basis we played occasionally and always kept in touch until his passing in 2006.
How we decided to play duo for this concert remains a mystery to me but I am so glad that it worked out. The festival which included this gig was sponsored by WCUW radio in Worcester, Massachusetts and occurred at the now defunct New England Repertory Theater.

Mark Helias
May 2020


released August 7, 2020

Pillars & Columns (RL017)

1. Dewey Square (Parker)***
2. Daystar Nightlight (Redman)*
3. Gotta Get Some Sleep (Redman)*
4. Albert (Helias)**
5. Rush Hour (Redman)*

Dewey Redman - Tenor Saxophone
Mark Helias – double bass

* Composed by Dewey Redman Published by DewRed Music
** Composed by Mark Helias Published by Radio Legs Music BMI
*** Composed by Charlie Parker Universal Music Publishing Group

recorded live 2/3/1981
at New England Repertory Theater, Worcester Massachusetts
as part of the WCUW Jazz Festival

Cover Photo and Design - Mark Helias

Notes on the recording.
In the track Dewey Square, there was a considerable amount of electronic noise in different spots. As a result, some editing of choruses was done as a compromise between the integrity of the performance and the audio distraction of noise to the listener. The other major anomaly in this recording is that the end of Rush Hour is cut off just as the bass solo is ending and the recapitulation of the theme is about to be heard. It seems as though the tape may have run out at that point and there was no backup. However unfortunate this may be, I felt that the performance was worth hearing is spite of its lack of completion. This is a document that I wanted to share particularly to showcase the beauty of Dewey Redman's tenor sound and the incredible stream of consciousness exhibited in his improvising. I spent hundreds of nights performing with Dewey and have always marveled at the unfolding of events and ideas in his improvisations. The logic in his playing, harmonically and melodically, gave the impression that he never repeated himself; that he was in a constant state of discovery.
I am not sure when and where I acquired this recording (many concert promoters supplied us with recordings for permission to document the proceedings) but it was probably sent to me by the radio station. I rediscovered it recently and was struck by the beauty of Dewey's playing which motivated me to make it available to the public.


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Mark Helias New York, New York

Mark Helias is a renowned bassist, composer and producer who has performed throughout the world for more than four decades with some of the most important and innovative musicians in Jazz and Improvised Music including Don Cherry, Edward Blackwell, Anthony Davis, Dewey Redman, Anthony Braxton, Abbey Lincoln, Cecil Taylor, and Uri Caine.
Sixteen albums of his music have been released since 1984.
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