While I’ll admit I have a particular affection for jazz artists from the bebop and cool jazz movements, there are also some contemporary artists I really enjoy. This week is the first time I’m featuring someone (slightly) younger than me. Joshua Redman (Wikipedia) is one of the best contemporary jazz saxophonists playing today. He is smart (Harvard educated!) and plays the sax with a technical expertise that makes my head spin. However, what makes him Jazz Friday-worthy is his artistry. Joshua puts himself out there when he plays and I find it almost impossible to play his music in the background because I always fall into it. There are several great albums. Two of my favorites are his Timeless Tales (for Changing Times) album, which features his take on several jazz standards and the more recent Trios Live album. The live recording shows off his talent. If you are going to just pick one track, I’d recommend Never Let Me Go from the Trios Live album.