:"I came from the Southwest blues tradition," reminisced saxophonist Dewey Redman of his growing-up years in Texas. "I used to go hear a lot of musicians who came through Fort Worth, like T-Bone Walker and Louis Jordan. But there were also some good bebop players, and of course Ornette [Coleman] grew up in the same environment."
Redman, who will be at Blues Alley tomorrow night with his quartet, went on to speak of his early acquaintance with alto saxophonist Coleman, whose unorthodox approach turned the jazz world on its ear in the late 1950s and formed the basis for the new sounds of the '60s. Redman was a member of Coleman's group in the early '70s and today is on the leading edge of contemporary jazz.
"At that time  it was still very much segregated and all the black kids in [Fort Worth] had to go to the same school, one black high school, no matter which side of town you lived on," recalled Redman. "Consequently, I met Ornette and we played in the same high school band. And we had what they called a "jump band," a little swing band. And then Ornette started playing bebop and then he got into his own thing in Los Angeles. I never realized he would later become one of the greataest. He was just a local cat who could play, a local guy who everybody liked -- but the seeds were there before he left Texas."