Pianist Freddie Redd has not recorded all that much during his 45-year career, but most of his records have been special events. This particular set has eight of Redd's tightly arranged compositions being performed by a fine sextet that also features tenor-saxophonist Teddy Edwards, altoist Curtis Peagler and trombonist Phil Ranelin.
These excellent, rare 1956 Stockholm studio sessions feature pianist Freddie Redd in a trio setting with bassist Tommy Potter and Joe Harris, drums. They had been chosen by Swedish trumpeter Rolf Ericson, who was commissioned to find US jazz musicians for a tour. This release includes the complete LP Freddie Redd in Sweden plus, as bonus tracks, the pianists first US trio session in 1955 with John Ore and Ron Jefferson; and the only two recorded live tracks from this Swedish tour.
This early recording by pianist Freddie Redd (a straight CD reissue of the original Riverside LP) features Redd's trio of the time, with bassist George Tucker and drummer All Dreares. The CD reissue is highlighted by the 13½-minute title piece, a suite that in its five melodies depicts the jazz life in San Francisco during the era. Redd shows potential both in his writing and his boppish playing. The remainder of the fine set has the group's interpretations of three other Redd originals and a trio of standards. An excellent effort.
Features material from The Connection, Shades Of Redd, and an Unissued Session! Available in a box set as either three LPs or two CDs, this limited-edition release has all of the music recorded at pianist Freddie Redd's three Blue Note sessions. In addition to the selections originally included on the LPs Music From the Connection and Shades of Redd, there is a completely unissued date that adds to the fairly slim Freddie Redd discography. Altoist Jackie McLean (who is on all three sets) and tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks (a key soloist on two) co-star with the pianist; trumpeter Benny Bailey is also heard from the later date. The music is comprised mostly of Redd's originals (including seven songs written for the stage play The Connection) and fits into the style of the mainstream hard bop of the day, although with a few personal touches. Straight-ahead fans and Blue Note collectors can consider this set to be essential.
In an all too small discography, Freddie Redd's Shades of Redd is without a doubt his crowning achievement. Completed after a successful stint composing music for the stage play The Connection, Redd wrote music specifically geared for his two formidable front line saxophonists – emerging alto giant Jackie McLean and the unsung hero of the tenor, Tina Brooks. Redd, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Louis Hayes, fresh out of the Detroit scene, took New York City by storm playing clubs and working with Redd when he was not doing production music.
The Connection is an album of music composed for Jack Gelber's 1959 play of the same name by jazz pianist Freddie Redd which was released on the Blue Note label in 1960. It features performances by Redd, Jackie McLean, Michael Mattos, and Larry Ritchie.
SHADES OF REDD is part of the seemingly endless stream of bop and post-bop albums released on Blue Note in the 1960s, and as such is easy to overlook. That, however, would be a mistake, as SHADES OF REDD is a gleaming gem of a find. With saxophonists Jackie McLean and Tina Brooks in the front line, pianist Freddie Redd leads a rhythm section through nine blues-inflected bop numbers of his own composition. Cool, elegant, and with plenty of swing factor, SHADES OF REDD might sound, theoretically, like any other disc from the period, but this is one of the sets where the elements came together perfectly. Jazz fans of nearly any stripe would do well to pick this up.