Red Holloway

In the Red

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Red Holloway is joined by a set of veteran jazz performers for a no-nonsense, down-to-earth blowing session recalling those magnificent Prestige and Blue Note recordings of the 1950s and '60s by Johnny Griffin, Dexter Gordon, Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, and others. The first cut, "The Chase," was the vehicle for the seminal Dexter Gordon/Wardell Gray tenor sax battle recorded in 1947, which set the ground rules for all such battles to come. On this cut, Holloway shows he has lost little, if any, of the fingering dexterity that characterized his playing in earlier days with such notables as "Brother" Jack McDuff, Bill Doggett, and Lloyd Price. Holloway continues to be equally adroit on alto as he is on tenor, bringing out the smaller sax on "The Gypsy" and "A Tear in My Heart" (the latter a composition by piano player Norman Simmons). A highlight of the album is the very poignant rendition of Duke Ellington's "In My Solitude," played in soulful, long musical lines. HighNote Records, the successor to the old Muse label, became a home for several veteran saxophonists. In addition to Holloway, the stable includes Houston Person and Teddy Edwards. HighNote deserves considerable kudos for providing a forum for this hard driving saxophone playing, done with soul, which otherwise might be lost.

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