On the excellent 2009 release, Compass, saxophonist Joshua Redman leads a pair of trios through 13 compositions. The players — drummers Brian Blade and Gregory Hutchinson, and bassists Larry Grenadier and Reuben Rogers — come together in various combinations and formats: trios, double trios, quartet, and quintet. “Faraway” finds Redman’s highly melodic approach backed by the surge and flow of Blade and Granadier. The agitated and forceful “Insomnomaniac” catches Redman, Hutchinson, and Rogers in formidable form: the band swings hard and works wonders with the stop-start arrangement. All five of the players contribute to a lovely version of Beethoven’s “Moonlight” where there is no sense of jazzmen crossing over to play a classical theme; the group claims the piece as its own. Redman plays soprano on “Ghosts,” where his lines squiggle over riffing bass, splashing cymbals, and rumbling toms. (The saxophonist also plays that horn on “March” and “Little Ditty.”) Compass closes with the quietly moving “Through the Valley,” a nice composition by Blade. On Compass, it’s clear that Redman has further developed his already considerable artistry.

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