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Red, Sharpe, Jenkins, Quill...........,
This review is from: Breezing - A Story Tale + The Mode - Images (2CD) (Audio CD)
There were so many musical disciples of Charlie Parker that it might without unkindness be said that they fell into divisions, at least in terms of the public exposure they enjoyed. Jackie McLean, Phil Woods and Cannonball Adderley were / are the trio at the summit, while the likes of Red, Clarence Sharpe, John Jenkins and Gene Quill never got the attention they deserved. The same goes for `the other' Kenny Rogers, only more so in view of him turning up on a Lee Morgan LP in 1956, and then nothing.
This two disc set brings together the LPs BREEZING, A STORY TALE, THE MODE and IMAGES, all of them originally on the Jazzland label (cat. nos. JLP 932, JLP 940, JLP 959 and JLP 974, number crunchers) which were the results of the most concentrated burst of recording activity of Red's mercurial career.
In a way Red's capacity to `sing' through his alto sax has cascaded down through the generations to the present day likes of Jesse Davis. This is a point made forcefully yet persuasively by his work on his own "Ditty" on which he keeps the company of pianist Barry Harris, Bob Cranshaw on bass and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath.
Red's got Clifford Jordan sharing the front line with him on A STORY TALE and from that album "You're Driving Me Crazy" is arguably the best example of the two men coming together to ply their musical wares.
The quartet with piano, bass, and drums obviously affords listeners the best chance to focus on Red's work, and the bright and breezy take on "Bye Bye Blues" finds him full of the joy of life. His take on Parker didn't necessarily focus on that gentleman's exuberance in the way that, say Adderley and Woods did, so his strain of that quality is a lot more personal and one might say leaner in the sense that he doesn't over-egg the pudding (!)
As I said above, Red's career was nothing if not mercurial. By the later 1960s he was still recording for Blue Note as a sideman with Donald Byrd, with a date from 1968 including a young MiroslavVitous on bass. If you can get Red's OUT OF THE BLUE album for the same label from about eight years earlier, then do so if the price is good, but this set best summarises his talent.