Over Joshua Redman
Perhaps it's unfair to stick Joshua Redman in the stiff-collared "neo-Bop" category just because he's not shrieking and honking his way to salvation in the basement of the Knitting Factory. The man is simply a Hard Bopper through and through but one who has increasingly taken chances over the years. He's always stuck fairly closely to traditional Bop tonalities while taking certain liberties with his rhythms, spicing up blues-based tunes with Latin and Funk grooves. His improvisation over Funk vamps is particularly masterful: he's able to blend the emotionally reaching qualities of Coltrane with the on-the-one earthiness of Maceo Parker. This combination has made him one of the most accessible and, indeed, commercially successful artists in modern jazz -- deservedly so.