Trumpeter Red Rodney made a gradual comeback in the 1970s. Year by year, his chops would become less rusty, his solos more adventurous and his surroundings more stimulating, climaxing in his mutually beneficial relationship with Ira Sullivan in their classic quintet. This 1998 CD, a sampler of Rodney's Muse recordings, has some good selections, but is not programmed in chronological order and devotes too much to Rodney's earlier, less successful Muse dates. Any true best-of-Red Rodney set drawn from his later period would have to concentrate on his group with Sullivan, but only three of the ten selections are from that collaboration, while the other numbers (which feature such sidemen as altoists Charles McPherson and Richie Cole, pianists Barry Harris and Roland Hanna, and trombonist Bill Watrous) are, with a few exceptions, not up to the same level; Rodney's chops were not that strong yet. An OK sampler, but hopefully, 32 Jazz will reissue some of the complete sessions too.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow