Sign up for our free newsletter

Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.

Freedom in the Groove is the misleading title of saxophonist Joshua Redman’s fifth album. When I ponder both freedom and the groove I think of electric Miles and Herbie’s sextet, not Joshua’s marketing machine. While Redman is hugely talented and incredibly handsome (two things you need to be a populist hero), he is also savvy enough to attempt passing his first full album of originals off as a fusion of his eclectic musical tastes. But his liner notes’ heart-on-the-sleeve appeal to listeners to “identify genres but ignore their limits” seems more like a pre-emptive strike to protect such pandering pop pap as “Dare I Ask?,” “Pantomime,” and “One Shining Soul.” Some tracks, like “Hide and Seek,” and “Innovation,” do exhibit freedom and groove, but the CD lacks the spirit of adventurous fun its title implies. Live, the reedman does live up to his latest album’s declaration, which is why last year’s Spirit in the Moment: Live at the Village Vanguard is the only Redman recording to which I willingly return. At 8 & 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Rear Wisconsin Ave. NW. $26.25. (202) 337-4141. (Christopher Porter)