Red Rodney

Then and Now

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Red Rodney's final recording (cut two years before his death) finds the 64-year-old sticking exclusively to flugelhorn and still displaying strong chops. Performing with his working quintet (Chris Potter on tenor and alto, pianist Garry Dial, bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Jimmy Madison) Rodney returns to his roots, performing 11 bop-era standards with a twist. Producer Bob Belden helped reharmonize many of the songs, and even though the original melodies are stated, the results sound more modern than one would expect. Potter (showing a great deal of potential that he has since realized) and Dial have many fine solos, while Rodney sounds pretty strong, pushing himself. The CD concludes with Rodney talking for 9½ minutes about his experiences in the bebop days and about this project, a perfect conclusion to a successful and important career.

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