Walden is now a professor at the U-M music school, but this has not led him to abandon the jazz life. Quite the opposite: after some recent health problems, he is ever the more determined to push himself and his art. In an inspired move, he formed a new sextet, made up of some of the best jazz players in his city, and named it the Free Radicals (with Dwight Adams, Cassius Richmond, Rick Roe, Marion Hayden, and Andre Wright). The repertoire is a mixture of classic, but not overplayed, modern jazz compositions and of originals by members of the band. Most important, they have a group sound that does not strive to imitate; the style is bop, but it reaches out into freer realms. These established musicians have created something fresh and new, and they present it on Saturday, October 28, at Kerrytown Concert House.
[Review published October 2006]