Red Rodney

Bird Lives!

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This was trumpeter Red Rodney's first jazz date as a leader in 14 years. In the interim, he had spent a lot of time playing in show bands in Las Vegas, and both his chops and his jazz abilities were a bit out of practice, but making a gradual comeback. Before he would begin teaming up with Ira Sullivan in 1980, Rodney was mostly cast as a bebop revivalist, although he kept an open mind toward later styles. This LP (last reissued in 1989) finds Rodney, altoist Charles McPherson, pianist Barry Harris, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Roy Brooks paying tribute to Charlie Parker. They perform spirited renditions of six bop classics, including "I'll Remember April," "Donna Lee" and "'Round Midnight." Although Rodney was not yet back in top form, McPherson and Harris are quite consistent, and the overall date has its share of strong moments.

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